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Turkey votes | Why Putin loves the World Cup

Posted by: Global Perspectives

Date: Saturday, 23 June 2018


Editor's note

Turkey goes to the polls tomorrow. The election is happening under a state of emergency that has been in place since an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016. If Erdoğan wins, the office of the prime minister will be abolished and even more power will be handed to the president. With mainstream news sources in crisis, Rabia Karakaya Polat explains how Turks have found an important political outlet on social media.

Over the next month, billions of soccer fans will watch their national teams compete in the FIFA World Cup. Even those who don’t follow ‘the beautiful game’ likely know the mega-tournament is taking place in Russia. And that one key fact, Peter Rutland argues, is why this year’s World Cup is a huge win for Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Andrew Naughtie

International Editor

Top stories

Enough? EPA/Erdem Sahin

Turkey resists Erdoğan on social media as snap election approaches

Rabia Karakaya Polat, University of Essex

A snap poll intended to boost the Turkish president's power has stirred up online opposition to his increasing authoritarianism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev watch the action during the match between Russia and Saudi Arabia that opened the 2018 World Cup. Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

One likely winner of the World Cup? Putin

Peter Rutland, Wesleyan University

The Russian leader seems to understand the ability of sport to foment feelings of national pride and enhance his popularity at home.

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