How do polarized media systems respond to political discord during a global health crisis in a competitive authoritarian regime? This study focuses on Turkey as an exemplary case and explores the news coverage of the political dissension between the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) regarding the COVID-19 aid campaigns. The study uses a quantitative content analysis to analyze populist frames and investigate the polarization of the mainstream media (the pro-government outlets Sabah and Hürriyet, the opposition Sözcü and Cumhuriyet), public broadcasting (TRT), and the alternative media (Bianet). The results from 1,143 news stories show that the selected Turkish media outlets adopted differing (populist) framing strategies and source adoptions to propagate their affiliated political actor/socio-political camp’s discourses. While the public broadcasting outlet TRT did not serve as an exception in this partisan media landscape, the alternative media outlet Bianet adopted a balanced stance in its coverage of the COVID-19 aid campaign issue. The findings reveal that the news outlets’ coverage was in line with political party ideologies and the polarization of the media during the pandemic tracks the earlier patterns of political dissensions in Turkey.