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'Oy ve Ötesi' Becomes One of Sabancı Vakfı's "Change Makers" (Fark Yaratanlar)

Since the beginning of the multi-party system in 1946, the electoral processes in Turkey have always been looked at suspiciously. In the days following the elections, the newspapers have been filled with allegations of burned, stolen and invalid ballots. Vote and Beyond (Oy ve Otesi) has been founded by Sercan Celebi and his friends both to check these claims through the means of participatory democracy and to develop a sense of citizenship.

Those, who want to be volunteers of Vote and Beyond Association and take charge on the Election Day, participate in a set of trainings. Afterwards, they specify the district where they want to volunteer. After they complete their duties in the polling stations, they confirm the polling reports, which are transferred from all over Turkey to the “Turkey Report Confirmation” system called T3. Thus, they enable votes to be counted by people who are not returning officers and citizens to take solid responsibilities in the process.

Since its inception, Vote and Beyond has served in five elections one being the presidential election. With 140 thousand volunteers, it worked to ensure transparency in elections. Vote and Beyond observers have collected 67.065 ballot reports and entered them into T3 system.

Vote and Beyond has arisen with “a more reliable election” motto. With the support of tens of thousands of volunteers, it advocated the supervision of the elections through civil society participation and citizens’ direct involvement in the process. It made a huge difference both in the field of civil society and in Turkish politics.

Congratulations to our partner Sercan Çelebi and all of 170,000 volunteers of Oy ve Ötesi (Vote & Beyond) for their dedication and hardwork in bringing Turkish democracy one step closer to where it needs to be and for their well-deserved "Change Maker" acclamation.

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