Swiss media frown upon result of Turkey’s election

Erdoğan's election victory ushers in a new system granting the president sweeping powers. Keystone

The victory of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey’s controversial presidential elections giving him sweeping powers has prompted mainly sceptical reaction in the Swiss press.

This content was published on June 25, 2018 - 11:22

With most votes counted, Erdoğan has won an absolute majority, overcoming the biggest electoral challenge to his rule in 15 years. His AK Party and its alliance partner have a majority in parliament as well, according to unofficial results.

“Welcome to the next Erdoğan era,” says the editorialist of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung daily. He says millions of Turks voted with conviction for Erdoğan, despite all efforts by the opposition and the wishful thinking of the western media about the end of an authoritarian regime.

Swiss-Turkish voters 

Only 37.2% of Turkish voters in Switzerland backed Erdogan, according to the state news agency, Anadolu. This was lower than the 53% in Turkey.

Erdogan's main presidential rival, Muharrem Ince of the CHP, received 31.9% of the vote and pro-Kurdish HDP candidate Selahattin Demirtas 27.5%. 

Regarding parties, the HDP came first on 40.8%, ahead of the Erdogan’s AKP (31.3%) and the CHP (17.3%). 

Around 100,000 people in Switzerland were eligible to vote in the Turkish elections.

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Most of Erdoğan’s supporters continue to see him as the ‘strong leader’ who brought prosperity, shares their religious needs and speaks their language, the NZZ continues.

“Identity, belonging to a group and exclusion, the ‘we’ versus ‘the others’ has always been part of Turkish politics. It is a game that nobody plays as masterfully as Erdoğan.”

High price

The Tages-Anzeiger group of newspapers stresses the negative impact of Erdoğan’s victory.

“Uncertainty will continue, money and brainpower will continue to flee the country,” the Turkey correspondent writes in her analysis.

She argues that the Turkish regime has spent money lavishly to satisfy voters expectations.

“This victory has been bought dearly. Turkey is heading straight into a debts crisis and it can’t carry on being generous.”

Both papers also mention the reports about irregularities, manipulations and intimidation as well as attacks on election observers.

The French-language Le Temps as well as most other dailies limited themselves to straightforward reporting from Sunday’s elections.

“The result of Sunday night confirms the authoritarian tendency of the past few years,” the correspondent says. She describes the outcome of the poll as a serious blow for the opposition with its new optimistic campaign.

The Blick newspaper, which has run several reports highly critical of Erdoğan’s regime and the activities of its supporters in Switzerland has relegates the topic to the back pages.

The main story for the tabloid is the spat about the Swiss football team and the World Cup in Russia and the controversial pro-Albania goal celebrations against Serbia.

Three Swiss players made hand gestures of an Albanian national symbol, a two-headed eagle.

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