Google’s Turkish election doodle causes controversy
Erdoğan supporters have decried the doodle, arguing that the technology giant was advocating a vote for Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu.Google’s special doodle for Turkey’s first ever presidential election by a popular vote has created some controversy as the ballot in the image was ticked in favor of one of the candidates on the end of the paper, prompting debates about subliminal messages.
The supporters of both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his main opponent, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, claimed it suggested Google was in favor of their rival, as the two have been placed on the respective ends of the ballot, with Selahattin Demirtaş in the middle.
Erdoğan supporters decried the doodle, arguing that the technology giant was advocating a vote for the candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
But the CHP has suggested the opposite and even a party district head has applied to the election board for asking the removal of the doodle.
“It is not right to show in a website accessible from Turkey and the world making clear which candidate is ticked,” said Özgür Şahin, the CHP’s head of Nilüfer, in the northwestern province of Bursa.
Google officials, however, denied any deliberate suggestion in the design. “There is not a goal to direct [people] whatsoever. Similar designs are prepared for other polls, such as the European elections,” Google officials told Hürriyet.
The debate is another example of the degree of tension in the elections, in which Erdoğan seeks to consecrate his 12 years of policies by becoming the country’s first ever elected president, although his opponents have criticized his tightening grip on power as a slide toward authoritarianism.