Turkish opposition İYİ Party ‘trolls’ ruling AKP with Google ads
The opposition İYİ (Good) Party, which is set to race in the upcoming June 24 elections, has started a Google ads campaign for a number of keywords to target the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been dubbed by some social media users as “clever trolling.”
When AKP or “Ak Party” is googled, the top search result leads the user to İYİ Party’s website, reading “Now you have an even better one,” in a play of words with the party’s name.
A Google search for “vacant rooms” brings the user to İYİ Party’s election vow to open President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s palace to the public, while googling “VPN” leads the user to İYİ Party’s website with the phrase “Don’t waste your money. For internet freedoms, wait until we come to power.”
Google AdWords is Google’s advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results.
The İYİ Party’s Google AdWords campaign went viral on Turkish social media on June 5.
The party, which has not released any statement regarding the AdWords campaign, has been complaining that their presidential candidate and chairwoman Meral Akşener was being ignored by the mainstream media, including the public broadcaster TRT.
When Akşener founded İYİ Party last year, it was reported that one of her first recruits was Taylan Yıldız, a 38-year-old Stanford graduate who quit his job at Google to return to Turkey to become the chairwoman’s advisor.
Having industrial engineering and marketing degrees, Yıldız’s work at Google had focused on customers’ spending behaviour at Google AdWords.
“I am not a politician. I neither have millions of votes coming with me nor any money. Meral Abla [meaning “elder sister” in Turkish] saw something else in me. And I saw that she cares about the merits of a person,” Yıldız had told daily Hürriyet in an interview in October 2017.