Jun 07 2018

“Turkey is going into the most unjust election in its history” – academic


“Turkey is going into the most unjust election in its history” – academic

Turkey’s June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections are set to be the most unjust in history due to government control of the media and the imprisonment of a prominent opposition candidate, said Karabekir Akkoyunlu, an international relations scholar who recently moved from a research project at Oxford to São Paulo University.

With the purchase of the biggest opposition-backing television and newspaper company by a supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in March, the government now has the backing of around 90 percent of the traditional media.

Erdoğan is looking to extend his 15 years in power and consolidate his position with extensive new executive presidential powers that will come into force after the polls.

He faces an array of opponents in the presidential race, including the jailed pro-Kurdish candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, who hope to force a run-off and then unite against the president.

“In this dark atmosphere, Turkey is preparing for what is maybe the most unjust election in its history,” Akkoyunlu told the Iraqi Kurdish news channel Rudaw.

“This is a shameful election carried out while one of the candidates is benefitting from all the opportunities of the state and media, and another is campaigning while jailed in prison,” he said.

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'Western governments must not allow Erdoğan to steal Turkish election' – WP

An editorial in the Washington Post said Western governments should ensure Turkey’s June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections are not rigged by partisans of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“It certainly would be refreshing to see voters reject Mr. Erdoğan’s illiberal autocracy and demonstrate anew their support for democracy. It also might slow Turkey’s drift away from Europe and the United States. Mr. Erdoğan is the most adroit Turkish politician in decades and should not be underestimated, but a backlash may be brewing,” the newspaper said.

“That gives good reason to Western governments, including the Trump administration, not to write off the Turkish election as a foregone conclusion but to follow it closely — and insist that the votes be counted fairly and the results respected.”

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