As a Turkish person living in Britain, I don’t like the western double standard around our democracy

A question I am often being asked is: ‘How does it feel to live under a dictatorship?’ This is a laughable claim, and one I only began to understand when I looked at the coverage of this week’s election

A misinformed narrative has been dominant on the airwaves and in the columns of many of the international media outlets shaping the discourse around Erdogan

A misinformed narrative has been dominant on the airwaves and in the columns of many of the international media outlets shaping the discourse around Erdogan ( AP )

This Sunday the people of Turkey will go to the polls in what may prove to be the most significant election to be held for a generation. The Turkish government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said it seeks to bring stability to the country by holding elections earlier than scheduled.

As a Turkish national who is studying in the UK, I know how the threat of terrorism and the challenges of uncertainty within globalised economies may affect the stability of a nation. Turkey remains an island of comparative calm in a region rife with instability and violence, which has managed to sustain its democracy – something that should be applauded.

Yet, when the elections that were originally scheduled to take place in November 2019 were brought forward, I was stunned by the narratives that were formed in the British and European press. Gone were the basic facts – as most Turks see them – that the snap election had been called in response to requests from the opposition and to overcome uncertainty facing the nation.

Instead, the move was portrayed as a power grab by Erdoğan, who was “capitalising on his popularity” and pre-empting “Turkey’s currency and economic downtrend.” This is said neither to defend Erdoğan’s policies nor to take any sides in the matter, but rather to highlight the importance of the development that will come through the process of strengthening the democracy. Regardless of who wins the election, all young Turks like myself want is the sovereignty and democratic processes of our country to be respected.

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https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/turkey-elections-erdogan-media-democracy-a8410076.html

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