Turkish Officialdom Outraged Over Economist’s Pre-Election Cover

(Bloomberg) -- A cover story by the Economist on Turkey’s elections triggered an angry response from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top officials including the foreign minister, who said he was pulling an article he’d submitted for the weekly.

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Hours after Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu asked why the British publication was “attempting to intervene in the internal politics of a country,” the Turkish leader added to the outcry over the cover devoted to next week’s Turkish election. It pictured pins that said “Save Democracy” and “Erdogan Must Go.”

“We will not allow our domestic politics to be directed and the national will to be swayed by the covers of magazines that are the operational apparatus of global powers,” Erdogan said in a Twitter post on Friday.

Other officials that expressed a similar sentiment on Twitter include Erdogan’s communications chief Fahrettin Altun and his spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin.

On the cover of its latest issue, the Economist described Turkey’s May 14 ballot as the most important vote of 2023. “If Turkey sacks its strongman, democrats everywhere should take heart,” the lead article said.

Late on Thursday, state-run Anadolu Agency cited Cavusoglu as saying that he’d retract an article he’d penned for the next issue.

“We have no business with those who interfere in Turkey’s internal affairs,” he said. “They’re deciding on behalf of the Turkish people, or they’re trying to sway the nation.”

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