Turkey’s ruling AK Party (AKP) is yet to concede the March 31 local election results six days after it concluded in an overwhelming defeat for the party in big cities Ankara and Istanbul.
While the Turkish government stops at nothing to close the gap between its candidate and elected mayors of Republican People’s Party (CHP) through recounting votes, pro-government media don’t hesitate to call the ballot race a “coup,” a move “to topple the government.”
Unlike many cities where the opposition parties asked for a recount of ballots, the country’s election authority has accepted AKP’s appeal to recount the votes in Ankara and Istanbul.
CHP spokesperson announced on Saturday that Istanbul’s mayor-elect Ekrem Imamoglu is ahead of AKP’s candidate Binali Yildirim with 17 919 votes after 57 percent of the ballots were recounted.
Unofficial results of the state-run Anadolu Agency reveal that Imamoglu with 48.79% over Yildirim who has 48.51% of the vote share.
AKP eyes a late victory in Ankara too, with arbitration by the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) saying that initial vote count results in every district of Ankara had not met their “expectation.”
For pro-AKP media, this expectation also includes the cancellation of the March 31 election in Istanbul and re-voting in order to ensure Turkey’s biggest city does not change hands after a 25 years-long rule by an Islamist candidate.
Ibrahim Karagul, the chief editor of the pro-government Islamist daily Yeni Safak labeled the local elections as a “coup,” plotted to topple the Turkish president in an article on Tuesday, drawing a backlash across social media for the past few days.
Another columnist of the Islamist daily took it even a step further, by contributing to Turkish political history with an unprecedented and self-proclaimed paradoxical term: Election coup.
— Yeni Şafak English (@yenisafakEN) April 4, 2019
Selcuk Turkyilmaz, a writer of Yeni Safak, wrote down the following statements on April 4 referring to the March 31 elections:
“The entire plot is based on wearing down Erdogan and stopping Turkey. We are witnessing an extensive intervention similar to the one during the process that led to the July 15 coup attempt. We are witnessing a different form of Dec. 17-25 judicial coup in the ballot boxes.”
Blame was laid on FETO, an abbreviation formed up by the government to designate the Gulen Movement as a terrorist organization following the July 15 coup, and Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) which has waged an insurgency in southeastern Turkey.
Turkyilmaz stated that the coup carried out through ballot boxes is the result of a “blinding”, adding that this was another consensus on evil by reorganizing of the structured “terrorist” organizations more powerfully this time.
Dear people of the world, please hear the oxymoron of the century: ELECTION COUP https://t.co/Ky4SyuuVWv
— NOT MY… (@MiraLincess) April 4, 2019
Many raised their eyebrows on the idea of “coup through ballot boxes” and let their opinion out on Twitter, accusing AKP of rejecting to bear the consequences of a “democratic” race, when it loses.
Mood in Turkey. Some pro-govt media & trolls continue portraying oppo-won mayor elex in Istanbul as "election coup" & go as far as suggesting re-election,while High Elex Board (HEB) keeps expanding scope of the recount. CHP cites latest HEB figures, says diff is still around 19k. pic.twitter.com/tlKLvuiZcT
— Erdem Aydın (@eerdemaydin) April 5, 2019
-Hey, have u heard 'bout the election coup in Turkey
-Did u mean election cup?
-No, election coup
-Like military coup?
-Yes..well, not really. It's a coup through election
-Sorry, I don't follow
-Opposites try to overthrow the government with elections
-Isn't it called DEMOCRACY?
— Serhat Kocasakal, PhD (@KocasakalSerhat) April 5, 2019
Pro-AKP journo's "election coup" truly oxymoronic. It's also a frame that invokes the resonant terrorist/foreign meddling narratives from Gezi, 17 Dec 2013, coup attempt, lira crisis, more. Brilliant, sort of: while opposition cries foul, flip the script and blame them. https://t.co/kA8cJsSxfn
— Lisel Hintz (@HintzLisel) April 4, 2019