Representation of Politics or Politics of Representation?Patterns of Western Mainstream Media Coverage during Turkey’s 2018 Elections

    The purpose of this study is to investigate whether there was media bias in the reporting and treatment of the related information, and determine its extent in the overall coverage.

    In this paper, articles published by established mainstream media organizations from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France were analysed in the context of Turkey’s 2018 elections. The period that was studied stretched from April 18 to June 5, 2018.

    Subsequently, the framing methodology, which was applied, revealed the existence of dominant narratives underlying this coverage. These narratives misconstrue Turkey’s political system and the leadership of the country by denigrating the Turkish democracy, painting an image of an authoritarian state that stands in contradiction with Western norms. There were also other narratives, which denigrated Turkey’s economic success story by building an image of a country in crisis, and instilling fear and panic among investors and the business community.

    The study’s findings uncovered patterns of Western mainstream media coverage and offered a perspective of how these media frame their information in relation to Turkey’s June 2018 elections. The findings could contribute to more understanding of how Turkey is represented in the media in general, and in key political moments in particular.

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