The Election In Turkey Is Ominously Familiar

Melik Kaylan in Forbes:

Anyone with a pundit’s opinion about the election in Turkey seemed to feel that it was, in some way or other, the ‘most important’ one in.. well.. in a generation, in modern times, possibly ever. Yet it was hardly as pivotal as the referendum a year ago when Recep Tayyip Erdogan barely scraped a majority to move all executive power to the Presidency where he presided. After that, his triumph in the recent June 24th balloting was a foregone conclusion. Because we know this much about populist authoritarians hiding behind the legitimacy of plebiscites: they never lose. They don’t leave things to chance. They orchestrate the media, the opinion polls, the electoral commissions, the permits for rallies, political party funders, last-minute money printing, naturalization of foreigners, and the police who arrest opposition candidates.

Yet in country after country, global newsmedia endorses the outcome every time despite ‘a few’ anomalous instances of gerrymandering, ballot-stuffing, large scale location shifting, bullying and intimidation at voting centers and much else. Always, we are told, that the winner is clearly ‘still’ very popular in his country. We heard this about Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and then his successor Nicolas Maduro. Sisi in Egypt. We keep hearing it about Putin. And repeatedly about Erdogan.

More here.