Jun 07 2018

Western governments must not allow Erdoğan to steal Turkish election – Washington Post

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.”

There were increasing signs that Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), in power since 2002, could both lose the parliamentary election and be forced into a run-off for the presidency, the newspaper’s editors said.

“As a report last week from the Brookings Institution pointed out, social media has been alive with catchphrases that suggest impatience and fatigue with the AKP and Mr. Erdoğan, who has ruled Turkey for more than 15 years,” they wrote.