The last general elections in Costa Rica and what they have taught us

Last autumn, on the 23rd of November, I watched a documentary at the Sustainable Living Film Festival titled “A Bold Peace”, which tells us about the general character of Costa Rica. After the film finished, which I enjoyed very much, everyone moved onto discussions about the documentary. After that, we watched the wonderful mini concert of the "Social Inclusion Band". The magnificent voice of singer Benay Gözkaman, who is visually impaired, was like music to our ears. 

 

 

Here is a section from the magnificent performance of Benay Gözkaman, the lead singer of the Social Inclusion Band.

I would like to congratulate Miss Pınar Öncel and Mr Tuna Özçuhadar, the organizers of the Sustainable Film Festival, for all the successful work they have done. I also would like to congratulate my dear friend Mr Ercan Tutal, the founder of AYDER (Alternative Life Association), who created the Social Inclusion Band.

Now let's come to the actual topic. After watching the documentary “A Bold Peace" about Costa Rica, I couldn't help myself and I raised my thoughts about the country and the documentary as the Honorary Consul of Costa Rica. Mrs. Aynur Bektaş, who was sitting in the same row with me immediately after, asked me a question and started chatting with me. While speaking to me, she asked, “The most striking thing in this documentary is how a young candidate, who is not likely to win the elections, stands out among all candidates and wins the election. We also have a group called the Republican Union Platform. Can you tell us about Costa Rica and these last elections as the Honorary Consul of Costa Rica?”.

Recently, the presentations I have made have almost always revolved around the issues such as "Sustainability, Solar Energy, 100% renewable energy in Turkey" which I automatically connect to my speech. It was not difficult for me to make a presentation about Costa Rica, but I had to work hard to explain the elections in Costa Rica. With the eagerness to learn something new, I accepted the lady's offer without hesitation, saying, “Sure, I'll be happy to”. 

 

Information bombardment on the Costa Rica elections

Afterwards, I sent a text to the Costa Rican Ambassador, Gustavo Campos and Ekhart Peters, whom I worked with as an honorary Consul of Costa Rica, and then to whom I worked with when he was an ambassador to Madrid and said, "Can you inform me about the last elections?".

I received the relevant documentation from them both. As you can imagine, all of the documents were in Spanish. Especially when Ekhart sent me at least 15 different documents on this subject. However, there was one problem: during this time, I was incredibly busy. Therefore, I could not predict when exactly I would be able to read these documents and prepare the presentation. Anyway, as I expected, the preparation of the presentations was done last minute due to my high work intensity.

Last Saturday, after attending the energy storage system, and the Latin America and NGO meetings, I came home and started to prepare the presentation immediately. Then I slept for about 3 hours, got up early in the morning and continued to prepare my speech. The next day, I finished my presentation at 2pm which is when I left the house. I called the Costa Rican Ambassador every now and then and asked some questions that got stuck on my mind. I also managed to have a quick breakfast.

I left the house around 2pm and arrived at the Barış Manço Cultural Center at around 2.30pm. With such coincidence, while I was on the road, Barış Manço's song "Ali Yazar Veli Bozar" played. I personally love him very much. May his soul be rested in light.

When I arrived, the President and the relevant managers of the Republican Unity Platform also welcomed me. We waited for the late comers who were stuck in traffic and I started my speech at around 3.15pm. My presentation went for about 1 hour.

 

 

After that, the question and answer session went for about 1-1.5 hours.

 

 

Sunum sonrasında da sağolsunlar, beni 1 saat Kültür Merkezi’nin kafesinde ağırladılar.

 

 

They were all very pleasant people. Our common denominator was Atatürk. Before starting my presentation to this audience of Atatürk supporters, I presented this video to them, all of whom have all had very many life experiences:

 

 

You have just watched the NTV video of the Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo who made his first visit to Turkey in 2012. After Minister Castillo visited Turkey for the second time in 2013, the two countries' bilateral relations gained considerable momentum. Even during this period as a result of the Action Plan prepared, a Costa Rican Embassy was opened in Ankara in 2014, and a Turkish Embassy opened in San Jose.

After relaying this information, I started my presentation. You can find the slides of my presentation below: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While answering the questions at the end of the presentation, I displayed the following images in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After presenting the great images of Costa Rica, it was truly another joy to get questions asked afterwards. Every time a new visual was shown, I heard the participants muttering, "Look at this beauty, we have to go there."

After all, it would not be right to compare two countries that are in very different situations due to the geopolitical position. Both countries have very different dynamics. Especially in Costa Rica, a presidents cannot be a candidate again after completing their 4-year duty (they have the right to put their candidacy for another term after the period has passed), there are 2 rounds of elections in the country, and for the last 50 years, the selection of centre-right and centre-left parties was distorted by the PAC in 2014 which reflects the different political structure of Costa Rica.

Of course, there are also similar sides to both countries. The similarities are that Latin Americans have a character structure similar to us, are emotional like us, they are the bridge between North and South America (we are a bridge between the East and the West) and the fact that they have the participation of more than 20 political parties shows much similarity.

After all, there is a situation that doesn’t change. This is also the case all over the world. Voters show their reactions in the ballot box when they are tired of the current political system. At the end of this process, they give opportunity to new faces. And eventually everything makes a turn around the people.

For example, in the first period when PAC was in power in Costa Rica, President Solis got involved in the Cementazo scandal and was put aside and then his young presidential candidate of the Labor Ministry, Carlos Alvarado was given an opportunity… According to the most important issue that determines the result of the election. In other words, the fact that leaders are inspiring in emotional countries like us is the most important issue that determines the outcome of the election.

An image of Costa Rica State Minister Carlos Alvarado and his wife in the election campaign 

 

At the end of my speech at the Republicans Union Platform, I managed to make all the participants say Pura Vida smiley Here are the moments:

 

Let's continue to enjoy life despite all the difficulties we have experienced. Pura Vida! 

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