Are you aware of what’s going on in Turkey?
This is what Aydın Doğan, who has been in the media sector for 40 years, had to say:
“Some mafioso people raided my newspaper, they dragged the girls in the ad service over the floor. My newspapers were closed down. [Some were] gunned down. They were closed by the martial law [of the coup era]. I lived through all of that. But it is the first time that I have seen this issue against journalists. Because journalists are doing this against journalists.”
Unfortunately, the Turkish history of the press is full of wounds and bitter memories. But what we are experiencing these days is a first.
We have never come across resolute attacks that are so systematic, so organized and so well-planned.
Attacks that have first been theoretically framed and then put into practice in a hierarchical way. At least for the past 40 years.
It seems the waters we did not like in the past were open seas. Now we are being drowned in pools.
Things have gotten so out of hand.
I fear my colleagues will be taken from their house at dawn, assaulted in the streets, harassed under detention, serve unfair jail time and lose their lives.
Hasn’t it happened? How can a person not be afraid in the midst of such madness?
People can be afraid indeed.
When they are being targeted by those at the top of the state.
When they are accused of supporting terror just for trying to remain independent.
When they are harassed by their so-called colleagues on their TV programs and in their newspaper columns.
When the building they work in are attacked with sticks and stones.
When they go to their workplace through a cordon of police officers.
Are journalists not scared?
But being fearful is one thing, being a coward is another.
While journalists can get scared from time to time, they are not cowards.
There are those who say, “Don’t be afraid, don’t shut up; continue writing.”
We will not be afraid, we will not be silent, we will write. But what will you do?
Last Saturday we got together in Beyoğlu and shouted “You cannot silence us.”
But we were among us. Had you been there, we would have felt stronger…
You were not there. But are you aware of what is going on?
Can you understand why those who are making the news are declared guilty rather than the one who places the bomb, pulls the trigger or gives the order?
Why today but not yesterday?
Why now but not three years ago?
Didn’t it exist three years ago? Of course it did. It has been there for the past 13 years. We were used to social media lynchings, calls for boycotts, stacks of tax fines, finger-pointing at public rallies and discrimination disguised as accreditation.
In the midst of all the pain and suffering, dozens of our colleagues went to prison and hundreds became unemployed; we lived through all of that.
We have witnessed the laying of the stones one by one on the road that brought us to this point.
But something different happened after June 7.
Are you really aware of what’s going on?