Turkey Election 2015 results from Israel

The dust is finally settling on a dramatic election in Turkey. Basically all of the votes have been counted, and the ruling AKP received 41 percent of the national vote – a sharp decline from its 50 percent achievement in 2007. Just as important, the upstart pro-Kurdish HDP managed to surge past Turkey’s daunting 10 percent electoral threshold and enter parliament – a historic first.

The results were surprising, so much so that the same host of Turkey analysts who had previously been seen energetically tweeting their joy on Sunday evening were offering a more somber response by Monday afternoon. As a result, I am going to hold off on my formal analysis of the election and “what it all means” for another day or so – a day or two of contemplation is in order.

But because Turkey (unlike my beloved Israel) does allow expats to vote in elections, I was curious how Turkish voters in Israel cast their ballots.

The results were disappointing.

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There are likely thousands of Israelis who self-identify with being Turkish, or of Turkish origin, however only 4,603 are registered voters (according to the polling results). These may not exclusively be Turkish Jews; there are always a fair number of Muslim Turks working in Israel and who knows who else might be spending time in the Holy Land.

Of the 4,603 voters, only 243 voted.

I can only assume the overwhelming majority didn’t want to be bothered going through the effort in order to vote in an election that many believed would bring more power into the hands of Erdoğan and the AKP. It shouldn’t be ignored that Turks in Israel are largely assimilated into Israeli culture, and perhaps don’t identify voting as a representation of their Turkishness. By way of contrast, the enormous Turkish community in Germany voted en masse (some 474,000 votes).

In Israel, 42.80 percent voted for the Republican CHP. The AKP and HDP ran neck and neck, with 24.69 percent and 22.22 percent respectively.

Not much room for analysis here. The raw numbers depict a community disconnected from the political process in Turkey. Still, one can imagine the circumstances being somewhat different if there had existed a genuine belief prior to election day that positive change was a possibility. Perhaps in the next election the turnout will be higher.

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel, Turkey