Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Quasi-authoritarian Turkish media and Belgian cats

Saadet Oruç,

Oruç image from article

At a conference organized by Galatasaray University in Istanbul, Turkish academics and an American professor discussed public diplomacy.

No matter that the discussion should have focused on the subject of public diplomacy as a tool of foreign policy, some participants at the conference took the subject as a basis to attack the structure of the media in Turkey.

In a well-prepared presentation on Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), a Turkish professor defined Turkish press institutions as "quasi-authoritarian."

After the country's leaders, it is now the media's turn to be defined as authoritarian and to combat the unjust classification.

Putting aside the influence of Western media in reproduction of international politics, the speaker more or less accused the Turkish press of playing a hegemonic-colonialist role in its regional neighborhood without any mention of the role CNN played during the Gulf War or that of the francophone media in African countries, or the cooperation between Hollywood and the CIA to shape subliminal messages for the public.

As previously mentioned in this column, "the daily sportive activity of Turkish opposition intellectuals" was on its way to collect the necessary ammunition and to get into battle against Turkey's image and prestige at the international level

No matter what the ground is, no opportunity should be missed to punish Turkey.

Fortunately, an American academic, who can be called a real on public diplomacy, was present at the conference hall and he confronted the Turkish scholar's accusations.

"Turkey is at the bottom lines of the freedom of press index," the Turkish professor said.

"Yes, I know very well how these indexes are prepared," the American participant said.

I took the opportunity to have a short discussion with him at the end of the conference.

Refusing the designation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as an authoritarian politician, he contended that anti-Muslim circles are behind the smear campaign efforts against the president.

He added that there are not many people who see Erdoğan as an authoritarian politician in the United States.

He suggested that these campaigns originate from internal debate in Turkey.

Thanks to our academics, intellectuals fabricate amazing phrases such as "quasi-authoritarian Turkish media" for circles defending Turkey's interests.

I remember a recent night-long operation in Brussels conducted by Belgian security services in pursuit of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks.

Belgian police warned the media as well as social media not to report on the operation. And Belgians shared pictures of cats the entire night on social media.

Silently, they waited for the operation to end.

Has anyone read any piece accusing there of being censorship in Brussels?

Belgian media and social media took its part near the authorities of the country without any questioning.

And no Belgian academic dared to accuse its media of being authoritarian.

It was just a night-long operation only in the Grand Platz neighborhood of Brussels.

Think about any European country combating terrorists who target the whole territorial integrity of the country.

Additionally, as France declared emergency rule after the attacks in Paris and shelved certain rights in the ongoing security atmosphere, French media also took its part beside the authorities.

Has anyone heard any accusation?

Hypocrisy should be left behind and facts should be discussed for the sake of reality and academic-intellectual dignity.

1 comment:

Efe Sevin said...

So, I was one of the panelists on that particular day. TRT presentation was very well researched to say the least. Phil Seib definitely did not dismiss the methodology of the Press Freedom Index. And if we are talking about "quasi-authoritarian media", Sabah would be a great place to start...