What's wrong with the Turkey's Election Map?

Map from http://www.haberturk.com

Map from http://www.haberturk.com

 Single map dominates all the Turkish election news reporting, which took place on November 1. This election was especially a momentous one, as it returned the land to a single-party rule under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. Though the aim of this article is not to discuss the consequences of this election, or criticizing the voting process. It is about a pivotal aspect that is rather unseen when journalists cover the election results.

In the parliamentary elections, AKP had about 49.5% of the votes which is equivalent to more than 23 and a half million people. But a close look to the above map would reveal that the color orange, which represents AKP, is covering the 78% of the country. In other words, 63 cities out of 81 are colored in orange. This means, more than 13 million citizen is being misrepresented. This is a direct result of applying color codes by the vote percentage instead of the numbers of elected MPs. Artvin, a  northeastern city, for example, is colored with orange although it has two elected MPs from both AKP and CHP. The parties had 45% and 35% of the votes respectively.  Apparently, this method is causing a problem. "We need to look at the maps in a more colorful way for fairer representations," saysEfe Kerem Sözeri in his article. He explains his methodology in order to be able to paint a single city with different colors that are proportionate to the MP numbers.

Map by Efe Kerem Sözeri for the previous elections

Map by Efe Kerem Sözeri for the previous elections

When I saw this, I was fascinated. That's why I wanted to create a polygon map for this elections by using different tools. But unfortunately, although managing to create a custom polygon map for Turkey, I have been failing to code a single polygon (in this case a city) with different colors. So instead I created  a pie chart map. It's obvious that it is not as well representing as a polygon map but it is for sure an alternative way for fair representation. With this map, at least Artvin, the northeastern city, has two colors.

Data journalists should strive for more accurate representations. We can create more colorful maps of the reality.

A note for the map user: You can click on the party names and see how their elected MPs are distributed in Turkey.


Number of MPs per city

Total number of voters, votes and valid votes