June 7, 2018 Weekly Graphs
Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections will be held on June 24. President Erdoǧan moved the elections up from November 2019 despite previous denials that he would. This comes amid a largescale crackdown on the media and suppression of the opposition. Following the failed coup in 2016, Turkey’s President Erdoǧan has carried out a purge of almost every state institution, leaving regime loyalists firmly in control. More than 135,000 soldiers, judges, police and journalists have lost their jobs and in some cases without due process.
This week’s graph looks at V-Dem indicators on the treatment of journalists and the nature of opposition parties in Turkey. The first indicator measures to what extent journalists are harassed by governmental and non-governmental actors while they engage in legitimate journalistic activities. This is measured on a scale of 0-4 with 0 indicating journalists do not dare to report critically on powerful actors and 4 indicating journalists are never harassed while engaging in their work. The second indicator looks at the ability of opposition parties to exercise oversight and investigatory functions over the governing party or coalition. This is measured on a scale of 0-2 with 0 indicating the complete inability to exercise oversight and 2 indicating the regular ability to do so.
The graph shows a decline in these two checks and balances since 2009 with that rate accelerating since 2015. The political environment has become hostile to opposition or critical voices, voices that should be heard in free and fair elections. With the media heavily controlled, oppositional voices are silenced. In response to the President’s own offer to step aside if the people says it’s “enough”, Twitter erupted with tweets using the hashtag #tamam, Turkish for “enough is enough”. With nearly 1.5 million tweets in less than 12 hours, many citizens have been using the hashtag to oppose President Erdoǧan’s increasingly authoritarian manner of ruling. Will this internet campaign inspire election results contrary to the general expectations? We will find out soon.
Are you interested in learning more about the situation in Turkey? Use our online analysis tool at v-dem.net.