My Turkish Election Results Dataset Raises Troubling Questions and Should Be of Interest

Still wondering how I yet again beat every major outlet on a big story…

By Brian E. Frydenborg (Twitter @bfry1981LinkedInFacebook) May 18, 2023; see related ongoing Twitter thread and related articles by Brian from May 13 The Importance of The Effort to Eject Erdoğan Goes Far Beyond Turkey and from May 10 graciously published by The UnPopulist: Turkey’s Best Shot for Defeating its Illiberal President Is This Sunday (and feel free to hit that heart like button there!); because of YOU, Real Context News surpassed one million content views on January 1, 2023but I still need your help, please keep sharing my work and consider also donating! Real Context News produces commissioned content for clients upon request at its discretion.

Turkey election map
Anadolu Agency modified by author

SILVER SPRING—I have compiled a dataset on Turkey’s (known formally as Türkiye) May 14, 2023 presidential elections in comparison with the June 24, 2018 presidential elections.  I was able to take the raw totals from 81 provinces and their regional groupings along with the overseas vote.  It is mostly completed but still a work in progress, but the data raises some serious questions about the fairness and integrity of the elections.  I have made my own calculations about the change in support over 5 years for incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the margins between him and his main challenger in Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the change in turnout from 2018, the number of rejected ballots, the rate of rejected ballots, and the change in rejected ballots form 2018.  This data has painstakingly been or is nearly compiled for all 81 provinces, the 7 regions into which they are organized, and the overseas voting.

While I will be producing my own analysis on the meaning of this dataset along with some of the statistics therein, as an independent journalist and researcher, it is important to me that I find a proper way to bring my geopolitical intelligence product to the attention of reputable organizations that can use this dataset to provide higher quality coverage, research, and analysis of these elections.  I am in process of engaging in talks to license the dataset to reputable institutions, news outlets, or individuals, as I was shocked to find no other similar presentation, calculation, or analysis of the Turkish elections, no CNN-styleMagic Wall” comparing the change in results and other data points from one election to the other.  I felt not having this was a huge gap in the election coverage, and I am still confounded by the lack of interest by other outlets, particularly regional outlets close to Türkiye (in Türkiye’s repressed media environment-which I recently discussed for The UnPopulist—I kind of understand why this data is not being highlighted).

Thus, this unique service I have provided as a solo freelancer, when much larger news outlets and institutions or more established individuals did not put together what I have, should be put forward in a way where other commercial-driven organizations or well-funded research institutions are not benefitting commercially or prestige-wise from my effort without due credit and/or compensation.  When major organizations put such data together for U.S. and other elections, the people doing so and calculating and compiling the data points are compensated well for their efforts.

Thus, while I will not hold back on soon providing my own analysis on what this data means—including potential foul play by Turkish authorities under Erdoğan government, I am for now not publicly posting my dataset—which I may expand to include the coming May 28 runoff election—in the hopes of licensing to interested third-parties that I am shocked did not do this on their own.

More to come soon, but if you are a member of a news organization or an academic or research institution, or if you are a well-established freelancer who would like to license this dataset for credited use, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I also respect hustlers like myself and will be willing to entertain different terms for more independent, less-established journalists and researchers, and would especially like to engage and assist if you are members of or support the Turkish opposition CHP or the much-repressed Kurdish political party, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP).  If you are any of these, please contact me as soon as possible to discuss.  And let us all hope for a free Türkiye with free and fair campaigns and elections.

© 2023 Brian E. Frydenborg all rights reserved, permission required for republication, attributed quotations welcome

Also see Brian’s eBook, A Song of Gas and Politics: How Ukraine Is at the Center of Trump-Russia, or, Ukrainegate: A “New” Phase in the Trump-Russia Saga Made from Recycled Materials, available for Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook (preview here).

eBook cover

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