The cover story of the latest issue of the London-based newspaper The Economist has angered the Turkish government by evaluating the upcoming elections in the country with the headline “Turkey could be on the brink of dictatorship”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s “behaviour as the election approaches could push what is today a deeply flawed democracy over the edge into a full-blown dictatorship,” the newspaper said.
Arguing that Erdoğan has moved further away from democracy and become more and more autocratic during his stay in power, The Economist added,
“Approaching his third decade in power, he sits in a vast palace snapping orders at courtiers too frightened to tell him when he is wrong. His increasingly eccentric beliefs swiftly become public policy.”
In the article, the British newspaper also called on western powers to take a firmer stance against the current Turkish government. “Mr Erdogan is a bully who sees timidity as a reason to press his advantage and toughness as an incentive to mend fences,” the article reads.
Being defined by the newspaper as a leader who took his country “to the brink of disaster” has angered the Turkish president. “The British magazine cannot determine the fate of Turkey,” Erdoğan told reporters on Friday.
Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also expressed fury over the cover story by calling it “cheap propaganda” on his Twitter account on Thursday.
“Outrageous headlines and provocative imagery might help them sell their so-called journal, so we congratulate them on their ingenious marketing techniques!” said Altun.
The Turkish president on Wednesday had cited 14 May as the date for Turkey’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections during his regular weekly speech in parliament.