Turkey, Politics

Western media go anti-Turkey and Erdogan before polls

Prominent Western media outlets intensify anti-Erdogan, anti-Turkey publications ahead of Sunday’s election

Western media go anti-Turkey and Erdogan before polls

By Mehmet Kara


Violating the standards of objective journalism, media outlets from several Western countries have urged Turkish citizens to vote against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sunday’s election.

Turkey is going to polling stations on Sunday to elect its next president and parliament, with Erdogan eying to win the polls in the first round and the opposition trying their best to secure a presidential runoff on July 8.

British daily The Guardian published an op-ed on Friday with the title “Bully-boy Erdogan is a threat to Turkey - and the world”.

The piece’s author, Simon Tisdall, openly called on Turkish citizens to vote against Erdogan and his Justice and Development (AK) Party.

Mentioning how Turkey has become an important actor in Syria, the Middle East, and the world, the op-ed claimed he thus poses a threat to the region.

Tisdall criticized Turkey’s counter-terrorism operation in Syria and Iraq, especially the ongoing operation against the PKK – a recognized terrorist group to EU, the U.S., and Turkey – in northern Iraq’s Mt. Qandil region, where the terror group set up many camps and its so-called headquarters.

He also went on to claim that Turkey poses a risk to Europe by forging close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that Ankara is no longer a friend to the U.S. or Europe.

The article alleged that if Erdogan is reelected president Turkey’s relations with the Europe would worsen.

“Turkey’s voters have a duty to the world, not just to themselves. Kick him out,” concluded the op-ed.

Provocative anti-Turkish language

Not only the British media, but media outlets from the U.S., France, and several other Western countries have closely followed the Turkish elections and similarly urged Turkish voters to vote for their favorite candidates.

Since the elections were announced in April, the Western media have run dark influence campaigns, using provocative language to play up expectations of risks and tensions in Turkey's economy.

Western rating agencies and financial magazines also showed their desire to be an important playmaker in Turkey’s election by influencing its sociological base and the voters’ mindset.

The negative attitude towards Turkish elections has also been seen in British newsweekly The Economist as well as on broadcasters CNN International and Bloomberg.

The Economist claimed an Erdogan victory would have a very negative impact on Turkey. The transition to a one-man regime would be completed if Erdogan and his party win the election, alleged the magazine.

It said if the AK Party lose its parliamentary majority, this could lead to more political turbulence with the possibility of another early election.

A study by Turkish broadcaster TRT World found that the Western media has run intense anti-Turkey, anti-Erdogan campaigns ahead of the June 24 election.

The study examines news strories published by many Western outlets, including Agence France Press, the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, Guardian, Times of London, and Financial Times, between April 8 and June 5.

“Another attempt to delegitimize Turkey’s president and AK Party occurred via the deployment of the economic 15 Patterns of Western Mainstream Media Coverage during Turkey’s 2018 Elections Representation of Politics or Politics of Representation consequence frame, which was detected in 38.8 percent of the sample under study. This frame negatively portrayed the Turkish economy in an attempt to downplay Turkey’s economic success story,” the study says.

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