31th of March was a crucial day for the Turkish people as the local elections took place in but this was no ordinary local election in various ways. It was an election of unjust practices and slap to the oppressive government of Turkey.
First of all, most of the media organizations were controlled by the government and before the elections they constantly advertised and gave screen time to the pro-government candidates. It is especially sad to see such media organizations like TRT which is the first broadcasting organization of Turkey and CNN Turk which was supposed to promote liberalism fall into the government’s hands. The state of media organizations could be seen below,
But media doesn’t end here, in Istanbul people use public transportation heavily and of course the public transportation is maintained by IBB which is Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Before the elections AKP was in the lead of IBB and they constantly streamed pro-government propaganda on their advertisement screens without mentioning any other parties.
Finally, social media is also considered media and it is heavily used in Turkey. With the huge amount of money, the government put on pro-government advertisements on YouTube as well as smear campaign against the opposition candidates on the same platform. It is shocking that YouTube allowed such alt-right and smear campaigns on their platform but I guess money talks?
Before the elections every government organization including the president should have been neutral but that wasn’t the case here. As I mentioned above, there were a lot of smear campaigns on social media and one-sided propaganda for pro-government candidates on the media outlets.
Unfortunately, the president was no way near to being neutral, he made rallies on behalf of the other candidates and even divided his folk into two by calling the opposition as the Zillet İttifakı which means Alliance of Humiliation. He called the opposition and their voters explicitly on his social media account as can be seen below,
The government and its supporters lost major cities in this election but they are in denial and accusing the opposition of cheating the elections. It is ironic that after all these years of unjust practices, they are accusing a weak opposition of accomplishing such a hard task.