World media must stop pandering to authoritarians like Erdoğan – op-ed
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not “clearly still popular,” as many world media outlets would have their readers believe, but like many other authoritarian rulers relied on cheating to win last Sunday’s presidential election, Forbes contributor Melik Kaylan wrote in a piece published on Tuesday.
“(W)e know this much about populist authoritarians hiding behind the legitimacy of plebiscites: they never lose. They don't leave things to chance. They orchestrate the media, the opinion polls, the electoral commissions, the permits for rallies, political party funders, last-minute money printing, naturalization of foreigners, and the police who arrest opposition candidates,” wrote Kaylan.
Turkey’s elections were conducted under a state of emergency after being called 18 months ahead of schedule, and during the short campaign the opposition received meagre coverage from the country’s media, the vast majority of which has ties to Erdoğan’s government.
Despite what most coverage says, the tally of votes which secured for Erdoğan the country’s first executive presidency is also highly suspicious, given that the opposition and ruling party’s vote counts did not appear to match on election night, said Kaylan.
“The respectable newsmedia worldwide must wise up sharply and get past making the right noises,” he continued, citing the many editorials that dwelt on a “tired old liturgical notion of the populist champion (Erdoğan) upheld by the downtrodden, alienated masses.”
“Anytime, anywhere you witness the incomprehensible rise of a charlatan despot, who proceeds to hijack his country's power and wealth and electoral machinery, you hear the same cretinous aria from the foreign press,” he said.