GeriGündem Turkish newspapers interpret election results as warning to gov’t
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Turkish newspapers interpret election results as warning to gov’t

Turkish newspapers interpret election results as warning to gov’t
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Local election results filled the headlines in yesterday’s newspapers, with pro-government media outlets tying the drop in votes for the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, to the economic crisis, and others interpreting it as a warning to the government.

Daily Hürriyet chose the headline "A warning from the voting box" to emphasize the boost in votes garnered by the Republican People’s Party, or CHP. Another Hürriyet headline, "Rise of Gandhi," drew parallels between the CHP’s Istanbul candidate, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, and India’s legendary statesman. With its headline "The People Said ’One Minute,’" daily Radikal referenced the Davos incident where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted to a moderator who wanted to interrupt him by saying, "one minute." The Radikal story’s subhead read, "The leading party, AKP, has its votes decrease for the first time."

Daily Milliyet reminded its readers of Erdoğan’s pre-election comments about the media, in which he said that although some of the press was criticizing the AKP through their headlines, the headline on the morning following the elections would be written by the voters. Again pointing to the decrease in votes for the AKP, daily Milliyet titled its story "The Headline of the Voter," continuing, "The leading party, AKP, which has increased its votes in every election it has entered previously, went below 40 percent at the ballot in which it rose to 47 percent one and a half years ago."   

Daily Akşam went with the headline "Ballot File," in reference to the AKP votes being filed down in comparison with the 2004 local election results. In its subhead, Akşam noted that the AKP had lost eight points in comparison with its general election results in 2007. Akşam further emphasized that the gap between the AKP and the CHP in Istanbul had closed substantially and that the CHP, the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, and the Democratic Society Party, or DTP, had all grown stronger.

Daily Cumhuriyet’s headline article, "A Warning from the Ballot Box," highlighted various reasons for the drop in AKP votes, including the economic crisis, corruption claims and the party’s aggressive politics. In its subhead, Cumhuriyet drew attention to the DSP two municipal wins.

Daily Bugün’s story "A Great Race in Istanbul" had a subhead highlighting the fact that the election held great surprises, especially in Istanbul, where the AKP and the CHP went head to head. "Municipality races in Istanbul, Mersin and Adana were especially breathtaking," Bügün wrote.

While some of the pro-government newspapers admitted the drop in votes, attributing it to the economic crisis in their headlines, others preferred to reflect a more optimistic view, claiming the results were a vote of confidence for the government. The daily Star ran the headline "Confidence Refreshed" and quoted the prime minister’s statement that the ruling AKP had maintained its 2004 vote ratio.

"The castles have not fallen" was the headline for daily Yeni Şafak, which said the AKP retained control of Ankara and Istanbul while the CHP held onto İzmir. A second headline in Yeni Şafak, "Vote of Confidence Despite the Crisis," appeared over an article pointing out that the AKP got more votes that the CHP and MHP combined. Daily Sabah opted for the headline "The Effect of the Crisis," saying that the crisis had a larger effect on the industrialized west coast.


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