How the Turkish press portrayed local election results

Turkish media portrayed the results from various different angles.

How the Turkish press portrayed local election results

World Bulletin / News Desk

As Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party celebrates a successful local election campaign after overcoming a string of corruption and wiretapping scandals designed to damage their popularity among the public, newspapers across the country this morning portrayed the victory in varying lights.

The opposition aligned Zaman newspaper, which was once a supporter of the AK Party before a fallout between Erdogan and the US-baded Hizmet Movement leader Fethullah Gulen - to which the newspaper is affiliated - forced them to side with AK Party's main rival CHP, showed the gap between the two parties as significantly narrower than other media organs. On its front page, Zaman showed AK Party in the lead with 43% with CHP lagging behind on 26%, while at the same time stating the pro-Kurdish BDP was in control of the south-eastern provinces.

The pro-government Star newspaper focused on the fact that Prime Minister Erdogan had led his party to its eighth consecutive victory, ahead of the oppoisition CHP by 47% to 27.8%. Interestingly, the paper in its main heading stated that Erdogan's victory had buried a coup attempt on his government set up by the so called 'parallel state', which is accused of using infiltrators in senior positions in the police force and judiciary to plot scandals against the government ahead of the polls.

Sabah newspaper chose to portray the victory as a victory for politics in general, noting the failure of baseless accusations and video montage leaks to affect the electoral will of the Turkish people. At the same time, the paper pointed out that AK Party's votes had increased by 8% in spite of the pre-election scandals.

Haberturk chose to console the opposition CHP, showing that support for both the ruling AK Party and CHP had increased, but in the opposition's case, this was not enough to outseat the government. Pro-opposition Radikal newspaper conceded defeat to the AK Party, but portrayed varying vote counts from two different news agencies. While a graph from Anadolu Agency showed AK Party in the lead with almost 47%, the Hizmet Movement-affiliated Cihan News Agency showed them with just 43%.

Meanwhile, another pro-opposition newspaper, Hurriyet, focused on CHP's success in maintaining its main support base along the western Aegean coastal region. Bugun portrayed the local elections as a victory for all four main parties, including AK Party and CHP as well as Turkish right-wing MHP and pro-Kurdish BDP. However, Bugun noted that smaller parties had failed to make an impression on the polls.

Taraf newspaper, which also maintains an anti-AK Party stance, showed the close race for the Istanbul district of Uskudar, where the Prime Minister owns a home. Traditionally a strong seat for the AK Party, the new alliance between CHP and Fethullah Gulen's Hizmet Movement - which has a strong presence in Uskudar - almost resulted in an exchange of power. CHP finished close second in the district, just 3-4% behind the AK Party. Both Taraf and Cumhuriyet portrayed the AK Party victory negatively.

Likewise, the Sozcu newspaper hinted at a conspiracy, noting that AK Party's votes were low before power cuts across 40 cities took place. Following the power cuts, AK Party's votes had increased, the paper noted.

On the other hand, Yeni Safak shed positive light on the results, implying that it was a victory for the people against a plot by the 'parallel state', thus leaving the opposition speechless. Aksam newspaper also portrayed the results similarly. Yeni Akit saw things from a slightly different angle, focusing more on the failed plot of Fethullah Gulen.

Milliyet newspaper noted that despite CHP taking three new provinces, AK Party also gained two provinces and in doing so broke their own record in votes gained.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Mart 2014, 12:46