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BURAK BEKDİL

burak.bekdil@hurriyet.com.tr

BURAK BEKDİL > Experimenting with patriotic journalism

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Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has joined his boss in accusing “those who question the Turkish account of how the Turkish reconnaissance plane was shot by Syria” of being unpatriotic. Today, I am going to try to win the hearts and minds of very important Turks by experimenting with a patriotic column.

I am thinking of a very creative headline to start with, such as: “the relations between Turkey and Syria.” Not patriotic enough? Boring? How about: “Syria (or Russia) should fear the Turkish wrath!” Or: “Fifty ways to bring democracy to Syria?” That’s good enough. Here we go:
“After the downing of our jet by the thugs in Syria we must follow two parallel courses of action. We must increase our efforts to equip the peaceful and democratic Syrian opposition with more iPads and smart phones so they can step up their silent and pacifist intellectual struggle against the junta.

“Meanwhile, we must explain to the international community in stronger words why our airplane was momentarily in Syrian airspace. We must tell the truth and reveal that our airplane was there, all alone like a dove, to take pictures of Syrian holiday resorts and olive trees. The purpose of that mission was to explore joint tourism and olive oil production opportunities between Turkish and Syrian businessmen.

“But now, as per the second course of action, we must also shoot down any Syrian military aircraft that violates Syrian airspace. It doesn’t matter if the airspace they violate is theirs. A violation is a violation and cannot go unpunished.

“To ward off Syria’s silent supporters Russia and China, our prime minister should threaten these countries by reminding them of Turkey’s size as well as its economic and military might. If threatened, the Sino-Russo pair will have no alternative than to stop supporting Bashar al-Assad who, sadly, was an angelic democrat until 2011. We can especially threaten Russia by cutting down natural gas exports to this country. The Russians will surely back off if they realize we can leave them in the dark.

“The Zionist Wall Street Journal must be banned in Turkey for the sake of advanced democracy. This newspaper, which sometimes bases its stories on unnamed sources, is violating the basic principles of a free media. In the last 25 years of my journalistic career I have never seen a Turkish newspaper quoting an unnamed source. Shame on the Journal!

“Speaking of the press, the journalist Utku Çakırözer who interviewed al-Assad, could be a crypto terrorist collaborating with the Syrian dictator. By conveying the propagandist messages of an illegitimate dictator Çakırözer, disguised as a journalist, committed the crime of influencing Turkish and international public opinion in a way that endangered our national unity and security.

“In that interview, al-Assad dared to ask: ‘Why doesn’t [Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan interfere with the issue of democracy in those [Gulf] countries [where people are being killed]?” Look, Mr. al-Assad, it’s none of your business. I am not going to teach someone at your age that there are legitimate and illegitimate dictators and that you fall into the second category.

“By the way, I have learned from high-level sources that the attack by the al-Nusra Front, a shadowy group aligning itself with al-Qaeda, which killed seven people at a pro-al-Assad TV station on June 27 is pure al-Assad propaganda. Although the group claimed responsibility for the attack, an unnamed source told me that this was merely an al-Assad plot to discredit the peaceful pro-democracy activists in the Syrian opposition.

“Some of the agents on al-Assad’s payroll, disguised as Turkish columnists, keep on criticizing an international accord between Turkey and Omar al-Bashir’s Sudan for a comprehensive military cooperation. They accuse Mr. al-Bashir of crimes against humanity, citing an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court. That’s pure nonsense. Mr. al-Bashir never committed those crimes. I personally went to Sudan and saw for myself that there was no genocide there.

“In these days, when we need national unity more than ever, we must stand by our government.”

July/11/2012

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