Kabataş is now a matter of honor

Kabataş is now a matter of honor

If only Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said the following about the “Kabataş Incident”:

-    This is an isolated incident.

-    We cannot accuse all of our citizens who have participated in the Gezi incidents of this ruthless attack in Kabataş.

-    Generalizations should be avoided.

-    Thank God, our society is not in such a brutal state.

If the prime minister had said these, then the issue of “the Kabataş incident being proved a lie” would not have created reactions to this extent.

After the “Kabataş Incident,” Prime Minister Erdoğan made a “merciless” generalization. His stance aimed to generate these deductions: These people, all of them, are like this. All of them, when they see a headscarf wearing woman, put on their leather gloves and attack. They use their sexual organs as a weapon. All of them are brutal. They are cruel and are also perverts.

I want to ask, anyone who has been subjected to the cruelty of this ruthless generalization, what else would they do but hold on to the smallest bit of evidence that it didn’t happen? Can you say to them:

“You are such people that when a headscarved woman is attacked, you conclude ‘it has not happened,’ but when a woman not wearing a headscarf is attacked you raise hell”?

Those who say “No such thing happened in Kabataş; it’s all a lie, it’s all slander,” are not saying this because the woman who claimed that she was attacked wears a headscarf. They have one aim: They are trying to save their honor, pride, and dignity, which were all damaged because of Prime Minister Erdoğan’s brutal and merciless generalization.

A disappointment: President Gül

The reason for the disappointment is not that he is trying to maintain good relations with the government, nor is it that he hasn’t adopted a stance against Erdoğan, nor that he has not crossed to the side of the Justice and Development Party’s opponents. The reason for the disappointment is that three years ago he said, “There must be no restrictions in any freedom. Anyone who wants to should be able to freely browse the Internet,” while today he cannot veto the bill that introduces restrictions to the Internet.

It is this contradiction that causes the disappointment. Nothing else…

What kind of a media do they want?

They want a media that says “Whatever the sir says, that’s it.” For example, they want this kind of media: When the “sir” says, “Fethullah Gülen hodja is a mighty scholar,” it responds, “Of course he is sir.” When the “sir” changes his mind and starts saying, “Gülen is a rough copy of a scholar; he is a false prophet,” it would respond, “Whatever you approve of, sir.”

When the gentleman says, “The community is ultra-great; they are flying the honorable Turkish flag in seven continents,” it responds, “Yes, sir, how well you have described it.” When the gentleman changes his mind, saying, “They are parallel. They are the Hashhashi (Assassins). They are a gang, we will go into their den,” it would say, “Yes, sir, that is it; that is exactly it.”

When the sir says, “Our police behaved heroically in the Gezi incidents,” it would say, “What heroism, sir; they were beyond heroic.” When the sir changes his mind and says, “The police acted under the instructions of the parallel state at Gezi; there is no legend or anything like it,” it would say, “How well said, sir. Really, what kind of a police was it at Gezi?”

Ahmet Hakan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 20. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.