Turkish journalist rejects Erdogan’s invite for AKP’s “election” event
Cigdem Toker, a columnist for daily Sozcu said she has rejected to participate an event by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who will announce his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) road map for 2023, a year that Turkey faces presidential and parliamentary elections.
"I believe that my participation in this event will be used as a means of gaining legitimacy for the government," said Toker, who has been excluded from previous AKP events along with several opposition journalists for a long time.
Erdogan on Friday will hold an event titled “Turkey’s Century” to announce his AKP’s “vision” for 2023, an election year for the country, coinciding with the centenary year of the foundation of modern Turkey in 1923.
The event which Erdogan will announce his party’s goals under many topics such as foreign policy and economy, was believed to be the launch of Erdogan’s election campaign.
“What I believe is that inviting journalists who are not pro-government was not a meaningful change of strategy, but rather a pragmatism,” Toker said.
“In such political climate of the country, I believe that my participation in this event will be used as a means of gaining legitimacy for the government. Therefore, I will not participate,” she said.
Turkey adopted a presidential system in a referendum in 2017 which entered into force after the presidential and parliamentary elections held in 2018. The new system granted Erdogan vast executive powers. Since then, Turkish authorities intensified a crackdown on the dissident, including political opposition, media organizations and social media users. Tens of thousands of people arrested on charges such as terrorism and insulting the president.