Is this dubbing or is this a montage?
If that recording of the phone conversation is “dubbing,” then it must be that two people who can perfectly impersonate Tayyip Erdoğan and Bilal Erdoğan got together and rehearsed the text that was prepared beforehand like a play and recorded it. In other words, what is in question is an absolutely indecent setup.
If that phone recording is a “montage,” then sentences that were derived from real speeches of Tayyip Erdoğan and Bilal Erdoğan were re-edited so that completely different meanings came out of them. In other words, what is in question is the disruption of content integrity of an existing speech.
In this case, this has to be done: It should either be called “dubbing” or “montage.” But, what do they do? They do this: They are calling it both “dubbing” and “montage,” which shatters both of them. First, decide whether it is dubbing or montage. Then we will know what to do…
Seven questions waiting for answers
ONE: If such a conversation never took place and the entire phone recording is a lie, then why don’t you say, “I’ve never had such a conversation with my son”?
TWO: If this conversation is “dubbing,” then why don’t you say in a clear and concrete way, “They have imitated our voices”?
THREE: If “technical editing” is in question, then why don’t you present the unedited version of the conversation, convincing everybody, friend and foe?
FOUR: If you were delivering speeches on live broadcasts during the hours when those conversations are claimed to have been held, then why don’t you prove this in a clear way?
FIVE: If you are saying that those phone conversations were not held at those alleged times, then why don’t you just provide, like a “bang,” all those Directorate of Telecommunication (TİB) records that show which telephones were connected and at what hour?
SIX: If there is a major slander, then why don’t you take concrete steps to expose it with a convincing technical review or some such step, instead of clinging to general expressions such as “montage, dubbing and lies”?
SEVEN: If you have had those conversations with encrypted phones and you think it is impossible for them to be wiretapped, then why did you say “They have even tapped our encrypted phone conversations”?
What if the cassette proves genuine?
The Islamist writer Emine Şenlikoğu has answered this question as follows: “If the cassette proves to be genuine, I would say this: The pious may have given their alms to the prime minister for him to pass on to the poor.”
This is an endless benefit of the doubt. This is a good-willed effort to interpret favorably. It is limitless, endless trust. It is an immense credit opened in the range of belief. It is undoubting and unquestioning belief in a person.
At the root of the recklessness of saying, “My grassroots will believe me no matter what; I can convince my grassroots no matter what,” lies are limitless and endless trust exists. In the grassroots is this undoubting and unquestioning belief in a person, a good-willed effort to interpret favorably, this endless benefit of the doubt.
Ahmet Hakan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 27. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.