I’ve been in the field for about 5 months. First, I started by asking questions to the Ak Party voters. My aim was to try to understand the dynamics underlying the backlog in the undecideds that all commentators are so voraciously talking about. I wrote the findings that emerged after the field research. A few months later, I went back to the field to ask questions of the Ak Parti voters, since there was no sharp relaxation in the clinging of the undecided despite the bad course in the economy.
Of course, every question I asked to the crowd paved the way for other questions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a research firm employee after all. My aim is to try to understand the dynamics underlying the political attitudes and behaviors of the crowds rather than seeking an answer to the question of what happened or what will happen to the vote rates of the parties. Which I have mentioned in detail in my articles.
On the other hand, I have always asked the question ‘Who would you vote for as a presidential candidate’ from the very beginning? No matter how much Ak Party crowds complained about the economy or other problems, they generally answered “Erdogan”. I don’t think I need to point out how important a strong leadership is for the Ak Parti voters. In addition, the crowds of the AK Party were not insignificant in the question of whom would you vote for apart from Erdoğan? ‘Mansur Slowpointed to. And ‘Ali BabacanThey also stated that they were watching carefully from one side.
About a month ago, I rolled up my sleeves again to ask questions to the voters who set their hearts on the Republican People’s Party. First, I asked CHP voters questions in Beşiktaş and Kadıköy. Just as I was about to finish the field research, with Ümit Özdağ’s nomination of Mansur Yavaş, I spread the field research to the general public, and in many districts, at bus stops, on the subway, on the ferry, in the taxi, in the market, in the grocery store, on the street, in many parts of Istanbul, you can see, “Who do you vote for as a presidential candidate?” I asked, ‘Can you give it?
In addition, when I went to Ankara for the Strengthened Parliamentary System meeting; I asked a certain question to many people in crowded districts of Ankara such as Kızılay, Ulus and Keçiören, and even in Ayvalık, where we went during the last holiday.
(Concerning the exploratory research carried out, the limitation of the sample to certain regions can be stated as the limitations of the study in terms of interpreting the general.)
Before moving on to the results of the field research of the Republican People’s Party, I would like to touch on the following issues:
First of all, the “election alliances” implemented in the March 31 local elections can be stated as the most important variable affecting the election results. I think that the leadership of CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is also important here. On the other hand, the 31 March election results revealed the necessity of reaching more voters as well as consolidating their bases in order to win the metropolitan cities. From this point of view, I believe that this experience was also effective in the establishment of the six table.
It seems that the burden of the leaders has increased even more compared to the past, since there is not a system in which the parties win or lose alone. In this context, it is expected that the leaders will both consolidate their own base and try to reduce the gap that may occur with the bases of other parties with which they are allied. Regarding reducing the shear between soles, my point is this: I do not mean that the bases turn into the same party. I point to paving the way for bases to mutually understand each other’s sensitivities. Of course, experienced leaders are needed here more than ever.
Regarding Kılıçdaroğu’s rhetoric of halal; I think that this discourse is “a game-changer”. It is not an easy matter. Obviously, there may be many underlying traumas. Therefore, it may be necessary to evaluate this issue together with all the factors that have arisen, rather than expecting immediate results from yesterday to today. It can be said that the discourse of halal is not internalized in the field. This internalization is expected to reflect “from the leader to the party organizations and finally to the base”. I think this will take time too. On the other hand, I can say that even though there is no concrete response yet, the discourse of saying goodbye to the Ak Party voters is welcomed.
At this point, I would like to open a small parenthesis and say a few words about İmamoğlu’s Black Sea visit, which has been talked about for days. I will not say that it was like this one by one, since it has already been interpreted a lot. I just think that the emerging picture should not be seen as just a communication accident. It can be said that there was an empathy crisis here. I think the first sentence that brought up this situation was…
‘We don’t care about those discussions. It is the comments of 200-300 people among themselves.’ And after ‘Come and trot’ sentence…
We see that throughout the 20-year adventure of the AK Party, the worries of the worried moderns have gradually increased with increasing momentum. From this point of view, the crowds defined as ‘200-300 people’ may be feeling under pressure for many reasons. Therefore, the priority is to understand what lies behind this pressure. If the dynamics underlying this pressure had been looked at a little bit, this sentence could not have been said so easily. Therefore, experienced leaders and managers who can empathize with the crowd, that is, with all segments, are needed more than ever. In this way, the way can be opened for the bases to mutually understand each other’s sensitivities. On the other hand, aside from the discussions, it is also remarkable that the crowds embrace İmamoğlu so much. Naturally, when the expectation is high, the response can be equally high. Therefore, it is clear as daylight that it is important for leaders who want to be candidates for the upcoming term to observe these sensitivities.
Erdogan’s ‘Oh my headscarved brothers’ or “Oh, if that Diyarbakir Prison could even speak, oh, if that Van Prison had the language, if only it could speak…” It is seen that such sentences contain many sensitivities. Leaders are expected to state each message with a certain strategy in mind. In fact, it should be desired to call out to different segments during the Black Sea trip… It is essential to set up the strategy well, however, in such symbolic trips.
If we look at the comments about the field;
First of all, let’s look at what an apartment worker I met in Kadıköy said…
“I am from Tokat Erbaa. I’m left wing. I can vote for Kılıçdaroğlu, Yavaş and İmamoğlu in the next election. What we want from the CHP is that they listen to the people more, they get into the people more. They shouldn’t leave us with so many problems.”
At this point, I think that it will be positive for the CHP to start the rallies as of May 21. Frankly, the crowds who are devoted to the CHP are demanding that their voices be heard somehow. He wants to tell his troubles firsthand.
Thus, from the field “with feedback (know-what)” The party’s failing aspects and processes can also be improved and developed. At this point, information can be obtained both about the party and about the rival parties. Thus, improvements and innovations can be made in party-related strategies. In a sense, the competitiveness of the party can also be increased.
On the other hand, “CHP, which has municipalities such as Istanbul and Ankara that provide serious competitive advantage”, is expected to use this advantage more effectively. I don’t think it would be possible without mentioning that municipalities have an important place in the success of parties. There were also those who stated that the CHP has shifted to the right in its policies and discourses in the field. It can also be stated here that general politics has shifted to the right.
I believe that the speech Kılıçdaroğlu made in the dark on the night when the electricity was cut off is important. Of course, it was impressive that many households voiced their great distress in the dark. During this speech, he said that neoliberalism is dying and gave a brief information. In fact, this subject could have been discussed more technically, in the hall meetings. On the other hand, there is no doubt that how this policy is perceived is a separate topic of discussion. Obviously, in such crucial actions, it can be ensured that the crowd can perceive the emotion in the message with simpler sentences.
On the other hand, I think that Kılıçdaroğlu’s speech on April 26 was impressive and that the emotion to be expressed was conveyed to the crowds.
Now, what the owner of a small restaurant I met in Beşiktaş said…
“We currently have double rental expenses, especially with electricity and rent. We can’t keep up with the increase in the materials we buy in the shop. Let’s be frank, no one cares about tradesmen. If the increase in inflation continues like this, many tradesmen you see here will close their shops soon. There is an urgent need to find a solution to the cost of living. Or people will soon start looting. We are going negative every day. There must be a solution to this. As a tradesman devoted to the CHP, we expect the party officials to listen to us more and to voice our problems more.”
What a stationer I met in Beşiktaş said…
“I have always voted CHP until now. There is a level problem in politics right now. It seems that the politicians of the old period were more careful. Now the insults are knee-deep. I get very angry when it is stated as ‘the mentality of the front’. Unfortunately, there is always a smear campaign.
I support Kılıçdaroğlu’s efforts for the six table. If such an environment could have formed in 2018, it is as if these situations would not have happened. If only the leaders could come together at that time. That’s why what Kılıçdaroğlu does now is important. We also want the CHP to be more visible. Let them meet face to face. We want organizations to be more active. Our hearts are with CHP. We want the CHP’s voice to be louder. When I say this, I don’t mean the language of fight. Let them state the solutions more clearly”
Finally, what a trainer I met in Beşiktaş bazaar said…
“My family is from the CHP, so am I. Election safety is very important. Precautions in this regard need to be taken now. I will vote no matter who the candidate is. But we expect CHP to be more active. We would like to see more teams on the field. We want solutions to be discussed more. The problem is the problem, we’re tired of being told we’re done. We want to hope.”
I would like to open a little parenthesis here:
Regarding CHP; It can be easily said that loyalty to the party is high rather than to the leader. And discourses such as secularism, social state and founding values were especially highlighted in the meetings. Also, the crowds who are devoted to the CHP want to hear more solutions, in a sense they want to hope. In particular, they complain about the high cost of living and the absence of an immigration policy.
On the other hand, CHP, which is the founding party of the Republic, which I see from the crowd, is expected to be much more decisive in politics. In this way, it is thought that the quality of politics can also increase.
I continue what our instructor brother said:
“I see the acquisition of municipalities as a very strategic gain. Kılıçdaroğlu’s efforts should be appreciated here. There is also a big disappointment among young people right now, there are many young people around me who want to go abroad. It would be nice if something was done for the young people as well.”
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, since I started my field research, I have always asked the question ‘Who would you vote for as a presidential candidate’? In order to be sure of the answer to this question and especially the underlying dynamics, I expanded the field research both as a sample and extended it in time. I will explain this in the next article.
Finally, after the field visit in Beşiktaş, on the ferry back home, I talked to a fellow tradesman from Erzurum, who was in his 40s and fell in love with the Nationalist Movement Party. He complained a lot about the cost of living. I would like to emphasize the following sentence:
“They separated people from the land. Unfortunately, we became a country of construction…”
What’s wrong with the right word?