The owner of a Turkish survey company AKAM, Kemal Özkiraz who claimed before the referendum that he would close down his business if the ‘Yes’ side won -which he did-, has made critical statements about the results of the poll.
Özkiraz stated that he did not see this as a defeat, and defended his results saying “In a country where 1 million votes have been canceled, and 2.5 million votes without an official stamp have been counted there is no point in doing surveys” Özkiraz said.
Özkiraz stated, “According to the information that I received from the different political parties and observers, almost all of the unsealed ballots were marked ’Yes.’ That cannot be incidental. The information I received is that most of the unstamped ballots were from the Southeast part of Turkey, where there is predominantly Kurdish population. The Supreme Election Board(YSK) must immediately explain how many unstamped ballots were counted as valid. If these ballots were not enough to affect the outcome, YSK would be more open, and the objections would go away. Apparently, the unsealed ballots determined the outcome of this election. Some sources mention that there are about 2.5 million [votes without official stamp]. This is equivalent to 6% of the turn-out. I do not know how to survey a fraudulent election.”
The Turkish Electoral Council (YSK) President Sadi Guven did not disclose the exact number and distribution of the unstamped votes in either of the statements he made to the media after the referendum. According to Özkiraz, most of these votes are from the eastern provinces: “The information I received is, most unstamped ballots were from the Southeast, where there is predominantly a Kurdish population. YSK should explain this. How many unstamped ballots came from that part of the country? How many of these were marked ‘yes,’ and how many were ‘no.’ ”
Özkiraz said that he did not expect the council to reverse its decision, adding “The opposition should have acted swiftly and stopped the count.”