The Twitter affair of the ‘dictator’
Two months ago, German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel said, “Erdoğan closed down Twitter. Only a dictator could do this.”
Look, here is what Twitter alone can do: Der Spiegel withdrew its Turkey correspondent Hasnain Kazim to Hamburg. The reason is a threat to safety.
I had also made an issue out of the Der Spiegel publication “Go to hell, Erdoğan.” It drew a lot of reactions.
However, the reactions coming from Facebook and Twitter were extremely out of control and ugly, again…
When violent curses, threats of hanging and cutting were released, our colleague who works for Der Spiegel was first a bit depressed, then he became completely abandoned. Of course, his system is not as used to it as ours. He is now on vacation.
In the more than 10,000 emails, Facebook messages and tweets that were sent to Hasnain Kazim, there were threats such as “If we find you on the street, we will cut your throat.”
It is a democratic right to react, but what would you call these ugly words, these pathetic words, these hideous psychotic acts?
The measures to be taken are obvious. These two things should be done immediately.
First, the office of the public prosecutor should start taking action no later than today. I don’t know if Der Spiegel has filed a complaint or not. Even if they have not, it should not be waited for. The judicial authorities should start prosecuting ex officio considering this piece as a tipoff.
The threats and the intimidation in the content of the messages that made Kazim flee to Hamburg also are crimes in Turkey, as they are in Germany. There are no buts about it.
Also, these are severe attacks on the freedom of the press.
As a second precaution, there should be some more pressure exerted on Twitter in a style that Der Spiegel would find suitable. The reason for this is that those users who are involved in trolling with dirty tricks should first be determined and be punished without pity.
However, Twitter does not share identity information from accounts and they have turned into dens of iniquity so that further action is able to be taken. They have a divine excuse of protecting freedom of thought and expression.
What kind of an expression of what thought is threatening to cut Kazim’s throat, anyway?
This Twitter was not respecting the verdicts of our courts either until two months ago. It did not recognize the court, let alone respect its verdicts.
Unfortunately, Twitter, only after the pressures that Der Spiegel calls “dictatorial,” regarded Turkey as its counterpart and sat at the table with it. Now, they are like a lamb applying court verdicts and now they have decided to set up a new live support line in Turkish; so that, complaints are reviewed immediately and concluded without waiting for the court.
There is one step left:
It does not solve the issue to blacken the inconvenient content or if needed, suspend the account, even though they are apt.
It is similar to taking the murder weapon from the hands of the murderer and release him on the street.
Twitter should share all the information that may lead to the criminal so that the crime does not go unpunished.
Well, if it is all right for Der Spiegel, too.
Otherwise, we will need to, sooner or later, move to Hamburg or accept that “This is in the nature of freedom,” and shyly sit down wherever we stand.