Turkish voters across the country are still refusing to believe that Erdogan is an autocratic dictator despite the fact that he’s locked up all the opposition journalists.

“We need to see it on a big red bus really. “Zübük Dangalak told The Rochdale Herald. “I’m not falling for anybody telling me that Erdogan isn’t really, really pro free speech and democracy until it’s on the side of that bus.”

Millions of Turkish voters are preparing to head to the polling booths to decide whether or not Turkey will continue to pretend to be a parliamentary democracy or simply cease to be one entirely.

The referendum is essentially to decide whether or not to hand over a whole boatload of extra constitutional power (18 separate constitutional reforms in one go) to the office of the presidency under the pretext that this is the best way to preserve democracy in Turkey.

The timing of the referendum is pretty convenient for the “yes” campaign who have locked up 231 opposition journalists, shut down 149 opposition media outlets, sacked 4,317 members of the judiciary, fired 7,317 academics, closed 2,000 ‘liberal’ schools, arrested 48,542 people and locked up 97,845 people.

Ironically Erdogan is quoted as having said “democracy is like a streetcar, when you come to your stop. You get off.”

I hope this isn’t your stop Turkey.

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Quentin D Fortesqueue is a founding editor of The Rochdale Herald. Part time amateur narcissist and full time satirist Quentin is never happier than when playing his lute and drinking a full bodied Bordeaux. He rarely plays the lute and never gets to drink Bordeaux.