Turkish police storm TV stations
The Turkish police stormed two opposition-linked television stations on Wednesday. They belong to the Koza İpek Holding, which has close ties to the Gülen movement. A court ruling on Monday put the conglomerate under state control. Commentators are concerned to see President Erdoğan resorting to violence and intimidation shortly before the election, but they also believe the government's tactics will strengthen solidarity among its opponents.
Those who don't support AKP persecuted
Shortly before the elections Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP are making yet another brutal attempt to intimidate their opponents, the liberal daily Hürriyet Daily News criticises: "For the last couple of days, Turkey has seen the worst of what a democratic parliamentary system turns into when those in power bend laws as they please in the absence of any kind of checks and balances. ... The seizure of Koza İpek days before a crucial election on Nov. 1 is nothing but an intimidation of everybody, including big businesses, who dare to criticize, or do not openly support the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its de facto leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The message is simple: Support us, do what we tell you to do, or I will confiscate everything you have and no one can do anything."
Police crackdown bonds opposition groups
This most recent attack on a media company linked to the opposition could backfire on the AKP government, the centre-right daily Der Tagesspiegel believes: "Ankara may well have gone a step too far with its move against the critical Koza İpek media. ... On Wednesday everything pointed to the police operation having caused the opposition to bond. Even representatives of parties and media that normally don't have any sympathy whatsoever for the Gülen community have reacted indignantly. They know they could be the next in line. Moreover, this intervention against the media is a clear sign of weakness. Shortly before the elections, the government is clearly not sure that it can reach its goals by legal means."
Turkey has never been so polarised
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sown chaos and discord in Turkey all for the sake of securing an absolute majority for the AKP in Sunday's election, the conservative daily The Times criticises: "Erdoğan may feel he has done enough this time to drive worried voters into the arms of his nationalist ruling party - and paint Kurds as well as liberal, secular Turks as enemies of the state. But electoral success - if he wins on Sunday - comes at the cost of a Turkey polarised as never before and rife with rumours of shadowy conspiracies to which both Russia and the US have been linked in wild imaginings. This is a high price for one man's ambitions, a man Chancellor Merkel courted last weekend, with offers of visa-free travel and accelerated accession to the EU, despite Turkey sliding into authoritarianism and chaos."
A new party needed to bring change
Turkey needs a new political party, writes the centre-left daily La Repubblica: "The [pro-Kurdish] HDP is trying to free itself from the grip of the war between the Turkish military and the PKK guerrillas. Because even with its brilliant result of 13 percent in the June election, the HDP can't even dream of ever achieving a majority in Turkey. No matter how open it is to all the other minorities it can't ever make people forget its Kurdish origins. The hopes for true change - rather than just a stronghold of the type Erdoğan's Islamic-nationalist megalomania is aiming for - rest on the emergence of a Turkish political party that truly believes in justice and peace. On a Turkish party without Islam-nationalism, on a state without a parallel state."