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The Economist responds to row with Erdoğan, says he may lose credibility

The Economist, which has been under fire from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over a recent editorial column that called on Turkish voters to cast their votes for the main opposition party in Sunday’s elections, said in another article on Thursday that Erdoğan’s accusations of the magazine being part of a “global gang” are unlikely to add to his credibility in the West.
“In the past week, this newspaper has been a target for daring to suggest in our June 4th issue that Turks should vote for the [Republican People’s Party] CHP to deny the [ruling Justice and Development Party] AK party the two-thirds majority it needs unilaterally to rewrite the constitution. At successive rallies Mr Erdoğan has accused The Economist of acting in concert with ‘a global gang’ and taking orders from Israel. This may win him votes at home, but it will hardly add to his credibility in the West,” the article titled “Turkey’s bitter election: On the last lap” said.

In strong remarks against the first editorial column published on June 4, while delivering an election speech in the southern city of Adana, Erdoğan stated: “We thought that the new leader of the CHP was a project of neo-nationalists and gangs. It turns out that Mr. [Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu is at the same time a project of international gangs.”

In Thursday’s article, The Economist said Erdoğan’s ruling party heads for re-election after a polarizing campaign and continued its criticisms against Erdoğan. “A greater worry is Mr. Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian bent. Turkey has more imprisoned journalists than almost any other country (there were some 57 at the last count),” the article said.

The article also observed instances during which “puritanism” emerged under Erdoğan’s leadership. The article criticizes the stance that the prime minister has taken on “strengthening the family structure,” after the AK Party suggested that women should have at least three children and tried criminalizing adultery. The author highlights various examples of how Erdoğan’s “prurient tone” have encouraged violating female liberties, such as the example of a woman that was fired after she wore “short skirts” to work.