Jul 04 2018

Western media hurting Turkey’s opposition - pro gov’t columnist

Western media plays a crucial role in the failure of Turkey’s opposition to analyze Turkish politics and unwittingly fuels pessimism among opposition voters, a columnist with Turkey’s pro-government Daily Sabah wrote.

Burhanettin Duran in his column on Wednesday noted that main opposition Republican People’s Pary (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce became the target of collective anger after he conceded and congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on his victory in the June 24 elections.

‘’But CHP chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu dealt a death blow to the opposition's hopes by refusing to gracefully step down and hand over the main opposition party's leadership to İnce, who received more than 30 percent of the vote in the presidential race. In other words, the CHP chairman's decision to double down created a new wave of hopelessness,’’ Duran wrote, adding that it is clear the main opposition's failure to beat Erdoğan causes a political and psychological trauma that makes them more introverted.

And what many foreign observers fail to acknowledge, Duran noted, is that the opposition's intellectual elite fail to analyze the dynamics of Turkish politics accurately.

‘’Anti-Erdoğanism and the charge of authoritarianism, which Western reporters have been making since 2013, are to blame for the current situation. In recent years, Erdoğan's supporters have been repeatedly accused of siding with authoritarianism and falling prey to his cult of personality. By contrast, the Turkish president's opponents are hailed as vanguards of democracy. The June 24 elections were no exception,’’ Duran wrote.

The claim that Turkey was more divided than ever which was pedalled in Western media outlets ahead of last month’s elections and commentaries alleging that the Turkish electorate opted for authoritarianism unwittingly fuels pessimism among opposition voters that could make them passive, the columnist said.

Since its current leader Kılıçdaroğlu became party leader in 2010, the CHP has lost three parliamentary elections, two constitutional referendums and a presidential election. The CHP has not won a general election since 1977.