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Conservative Turkey Votes for One-man Rule

Author Max Hoffman discusses the recent Turkish election and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's reliance on the nationalist right wing to ensure his political dominance.

Before writing anything about the June 24, 2018 Turkish election, it is important to note one crucial point: the vote was deeply, fundamentally unfair.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) held the election under a state of emergency, allowing centrally-appointed governors to control opposition rallies (or public assemblies of any size). Erdoğan allies control 90 percent of the media, and the opposition could barely get air time on television, where most Turks get their news.Journalists knew they could face legal prosecution if they went too far in criticizing the government—Turkey is the world’s leading jailer of journalists. The majority-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) faced severe repression, with thousands of party activists in prison, including the party’s co-leaders and its candidate for president, Selahattin Demirtaş. A new elections law, passed by the AKP-dominated parliament in March, opened up avenues for outright fraud and allowed government officials to easily move ballot locations, a measure aimed at suppressing Kurdish turnout.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Progressive Post. Click here to view the full article.

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Max Hoffman

Former Senior Director