We are awestruck: A question is being asked
It is the Q&A section of the press conference. A journalist asks Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan questions. Everybody, everybody is frightened…
Reactions start pouring in: “Wow, a question has been asked. He is asking it, really asking it. What courage! Well, done, he is asking a question. Wow, wow, wow. Is this a joke? A journalist is asking questions. Oh my God, even that question has been asked. Whoops, he is still asking. Note today: It is the day of being able to ask questions.”
Everybody is surprised, appalled and in panic. But why? Because the matters touched on in the questions were brought up for the first time in this press conference? No. Were the topics in the questions discovered by that journalist? No. Were there any rude acts made while asking the question? No. Were there any non-journalistic approaches while asking it? No. Was there a violation? No.
Well, then, why are we all appalled? Why did we all say “whoops”? Why do we treat that journalist as a hero? Why are we all surprised, in a panic?
I am answering: There are many differences between “democratic countries” and “nondemocratic countries.” One of these differences is this: While it’s a “routine job” for a journalist in a democratic country to ask any question to officials on behalf of the public, in a nondemocratic country, doing this routine job appalls everybody - everybody. This is the main reason we were in panic, the main reason we shuddered and gave extraordinary reactions.
The land of peculiarities
Asking a few proper questions to the prime minister left everybody awestruck. This is a peculiarity. But there is another one we should not miss. If the “government” and the “community” had not been engaged in this fight, then the reporter from daily Zaman would not have asked that question. He would have never, ever have asked that question.
This is the land of peculiarities, with its judiciary, media, government, prime minister, community, with its pro-government journalists and its pro-community journalists…
The paper called ‘The Pool’
There is a newspaper called “The Pool.” Its owner was Ahmet Çalık. The poor guy sold it and saved himself. After Ahmet Çalık left, it became a government issue to determine the new owner of the paper.
Money was collected in a pool from contractors that have won state tenders, millions of dollars. Our businessmen are willing to throw out a herring to catch a whale.
However, this initiative is yet incomplete. The paper is in complete uncertainty. But a buffoon hired by the paper as its hit man is flourishing constantly in the paper, the owner of which is unknown. He writes “Aydın Doğan is such and such.” He writes “Turgay Ciner is so and so.”
He cannot write about the pool; he cannot write about the “pool tax.” Her cannot write about the whale and the herring, neither can he write about former Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım being tasked as the coordinator of the pool. He cannot write about “We will f*** the nation.” He cannot write the transcripts, about the hundred million dollars.
He just constantly writes about Aydın Doğan and Turgay Ciner.
Let’s say you are not really seeking any consistency or the like. Let’s say you are not ashamed; you are not embarrassed.
Well, at least don’t be so cheeky. At least don’t be so brazen, my dear buffoon!
Ahmet Hakan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 13. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.