Recently, six German newspapers, Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Stern, Der Spiegel and Focus, have used the title of this column in their captions. During the days when the Gezi Park uprising was at its peak and when then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was on a visit to North Africa, foreign media outlets criticized Turkey since we put the same critical sentence from his interview with a group of journalists, including me, in headlines and it was shown as proof that the press is not free. However, it is not such a surprising coincidence for journalists conducting a common interview with the same person to put the most critical phrase from the interview in headlines. So, how should we interpret the act of these six German newspapers, which used the same headline on the same day about another country for no apparent reason? How would those who inferred that the press is manipulated from the aforementioned instance evaluate this case?
The content of the news is not true anyway. President Erdoğan said the following on June 14 regarding coalition possibilities and early elections in his recent statements: "As a requirement of political ethics, I will assign the chairman of the political party that has received the most votes. We will see the developments together. If this chairman fails to form [a government], I will assign the chairman of the party that received the second most votes to the office again as a requirement of political ethics. As it is known, there is a 45-day process at this point. Hopefully it will not extend any longer." (June 14) On June 22 he said: "Turkey could solidify the atmosphere of stability and safety again with a coalition founded on the grounds of a common language, common goals and common sense. Parties and politicians that underline the differences rather than common features should know that they would give an account of it to the nation. No one has the right to use their position created by the election results with an aim of locking the system instead of taking responsibility."
On June 24 he said: "We respectfully welcome the picture revealed by the June 7 elections. The national will is the most essential point. Our nation willed a picture in which no party can be the ruling power on its own. After the moment the ballot boxes were closed, the duty of our nation came to an end and the responsibility that is represented at Parliament passed to our political parties. I hope a coalition government can be formed as soon as possible. All the political parties and their chairmen have a major duty at this point. Turkey needs a coalition government that will enlighten the future of the country rather than discussing its past. The resolution will be our nation again if political parties do not perform their duty."
Another lie in the news stories with the same title is that opposition parties do not wish to form a coalition with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Contrarily, since Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli firmly said they would not join a coalition with the Republican People's Party (CHP), there are only two coalition options left, an AK Party-CHP coalition or an AK Party-MHP coalition. Both opposition parties have said that their doors are open to the AK Party. In other words, the opposition parties, which built upon all their election campaigns to erase the AK Party from the political scene, are now making calculations of coming to power by including the AK Party in the picture.
Lastly, the fact that these newspapers, which constantly publish news stories calling Erdoğan authoritarian, wrote that Erdoğan "threatens the opposition with early elections," which would also mean their contradiction with all the news they have released for the last three years. Think of an authoritarian leader who threatens political parties with elections, which is really frightening.