This Sunday, 64 million voters will decide how Turkey, founded in 1923, enters its second century. They will vote for democracy or drop Turkey off at the Autocracy stop. The fact that elections are normally an instrument of democracy shows that neither the system nor the electoral procedure is democratic in our country. We have seen an election campaign that has not taken place among equals, in which the opposition has been suppressed by all possible methods and the government has unscrupulously used all conceivable means and state possibilities. The fact that Erdogan is so close to losing for the first time in his 21 years of his government has taken the capers of the palace regime to the extreme. In order to stay in the 1000-room palace for another five years, Erdogan presses all the buttons at once, to use a term from the world of computer games.

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Erdogan knows full well that he will not be able to win the elections because of the economic decline for which he is responsible. That is why he is playing less for victory than for making the opposition lose. After 21 years in power, he has hardly anything left to promise the people, so he is trying to capture votes by demonizing the opposition. Last weekend, he played the election video of the opposition candidate Kilicdaroglu to his supporters at a major rally in Istanbul, but the recording of a leader of the terrorist organization PKK was cut into it. He booed his rival by claiming that he would get terrorists out of prison and "LGBTize" the Turkish people.

His ally Devlet Bahceli, leader of the ultra-nationalist MHP, went one step further by threatening Kilicdaroglu and his allies: "These traitors will either get life imprisonment under difficult conditions or bullets in the body." And the justice minister declared: "Every vote for the opposition alliance is the breath of life for terror." The interior minister, however, said of the day of the elections, which are the democratic way for a change of government: "May 14 is a political coup attempt." In the case of the AKP deputy chairman, it sounds like this: "This election is the election of the struggle for independence against the occupiers." In the so-called struggle for independence, the Greek, French and Armenian forces that occupied Anatolia from 1919 to 1922 were defeated. So anyone who votes for the opposition has been declared both a terrorist and an occupier from the mouth of the government.

It is difficult to estimate how this poisoned rhetoric will be reflected in the ballot box. We are concerned about the fact that it manifests itself as violence on the pitch. In a city in the southeast, where the AKP is strong, the opposition candidate was attacked. The men who stepped on Kilicdaroglu's car turned out to be senior cadres of the foundation of an Erdogan's son. And stones were thrown at a rally in a conservative city in the east against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, whom Erdogan banned from politics in order to eliminate him as a competitor. In front of the police, a group of around a hundred people threw cobblestones at Imamoglu and his audience. Nearly twenty people were injured. The police watched. Now you expect the attack to be condemned afterwards, don't you? On the contrary, some AKP deputies published messages thanking the city where the attack took place. Under these adverse circumstances, Erdogan's following statement sounds like a joke: "We have always raised the standards of rights and freedoms in our country for the present time."