Don't be surprised on election day (again)

Published 23.06.2018 00:00
Updated 23.06.2018 02:05

On June 24, millions of voters across Turkey will head to the polls to elect the country's next president and 600 parliamentarians. This election season's historic significance has attracted worldwide attention in our country's affairs; from U.S. President Donald Trump to Middle Eastern political elites and Chinese investors, the Turkish elections have a diverse following who eagerly and curiously await the results.

According to various pollsters, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will clinch a clear victory in the presidential race and the People's Alliance will control the most seats in Parliament.

We hate to break it to you, New York Times, that Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce, whom you called "the man who could topple Erdoğan," won't be able to topple anything, much like Good Party(İP) candidate Meral Akşener, who was described as a "she-wolf" by many. They will be old news on Monday morning, still sore from the previous night's humiliating defeat.

While time takes its toll on all public figures, the current president's appeal seems more or less intact. Sure enough, part of Erdoğan's charm is based on his contributions to the country's economic growth and political stability over the past decade. Despite the international media's accusations and attacks against Turkey's government, a clear majority of voters do not seem to be having second thoughts about Turkey's political leadership. Actions, as the saying goes, speak louder than words.

In recent weeks, however, international audiences have been bombarded with negative coverage of Turkey's president and government. A small group of journalists, entitled 20-somethings holed up in the so-called "Cihangir bubble," have yet again covered the news negatively and tried to distort the facts on the ground – either because they are ignorant, out of touch or know they won't be held accountable for their failures. Opposition leaders have been conveniently hailed as the bringers of democracy with no real interest in their platforms. The Turkish economy, they claimed, faced unprecedented challenges – which, for those of us who were actually here in the 1990s and before, is a big joke. Unsurprisingly, allegations of election fraud have been recycled yet again, although the opposition leaders themselves ruled out that possibility and independent observers have dismissed such claims repeatedly in the past. All in all, these self-proclaimed Turkey experts, some of whom have never even set foot in the country, presented their readers with hearsay and campaign rhetoric disguised as facts just to account for Erdoğan's success.

Once again, everybody's reputations will be at stake on election day.

As Daily Sabah, we have accurately predicted election results since the March 30, 2014 municipal elections. When the June 7, 2015 election produced a hung Parliament, we were the first media outlet to predict repeat elections. Again, in November 2015 and April 2017, we provided accurate information and analysis to our readership from journalists who live among the people, as opposed to expats. The accuracy of our predictions in the past boosted our online and offline circulation as we emerged as the world's leading English-language source for Turkey-related news.

Like Erdoğan, we rely on our strong track record. We are confident that Sunday will be no exception.

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