Let’s decide who is and who is not a journalist

Let’s decide who is and who is not a journalist

The prime minister said those who were arrested in the case of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), or those who were jailed because of the stories they have written were not “yellow press card-holding journalists.” *
Journalists Fatih Altaylı and Aslı Aydıntaşbaş rightfully objected.

There are many people who are journalists without holding a yellow press card. I also don’t have a press card, and I am a journalist. 

If a person does not act as an accessory to terror, does not disseminate its propaganda, does not produce bombs, and does not kill people, then he or she can write his or her ideas as he or she wishes. Moreover, they can even defend PKK’s policies. We cannot say to those people: “You’re not journalists.” We cannot create a professional description dependent upon possessing or not possessing a yellow press card. 

Aslı made a very good point in her column. She drew attention to the fact that the prime minister has been misinformed by his bureaucrats. Indeed, whether its the Justice Ministry or the Interior Ministry, they cannot act any other way. When they say: “Sir, they are supporting the PKK,” then it becomes indisputable and the prime minister rages.

This stance is not new. Ever since I could remember, those journalists contradictory to the official ideology have always been fired and hunted. It may have been routine in the old times, but this does not at all suit the Justice and Democracy Party (AKP).

Creating a symbol is not a job for an amateur 

The new symbol for the Turkish Lira has been finalized and accepted and has entered our lives. Anything new at first receives a critical eye from the public, and as time passes, people slowly get used to it.

I don’t want to give my opinion and explain whether I like the new symbol or not here at this point; there is another aspect I want to emphasize. To create a symbol, especially a symbol for the national currency, is a very serious business. It is too important to leave to amateurs. 

There are international firms that create symbols, employing hundreds of experts, which have been operating in the field for years. Millions of dollars are spent. After long research, sometimes taking years, a symbol is created. You cannot imagine the energy and money spent on the work of searching for a symbol for a new TV station or a major product. It is work that is regarded as extremely serious.
 
No offense, but the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey should not have chosen the symbol for the Turkish Lira via the method it used. However well-intentioned the contestants in the competition may have been they do not possess the necessary skills. 

The lira now claims to be an international currency. We should also treat it as an international currency. This method for choosing its symbol was really amateurish. I hope the next time we are looking for other symbols the same methods are not applied.

Speech lessons first, position next 

Gentlemen, please, you must know very well that when you enter the cabinet of any government, the public does not evaluate you depending on whether you are a good minister or not. More precisely, to be successful, merely doing your job well is not enough. 

It was like this yesterday, it is like this today. 

The public evaluates you depending on what you say and how you say it. A minister who takes communication for granted, and one whose statements are not understood, can never be successful.
When you look at some renowned ministers in the cabinet today, only a few can express themselves properly in Turkish and communicate with society. If I were to name them here, you would jump into the air but, then, my life would become miserable. Because of this, I leave it to you to judge.

One piece of advice to those respectable ministers who see themselves as beyond thinking about communication: Please take speech and communication lessons, then hit the road. And do not cover up your gaps by blaming the media. 

*Official press cards issued by Turkey’s Direcorate General of Press and Information are yellow in color.

Turkey, erdogan, prison, press freedom, journalism