What do you think RTÜK is doing?
My show on CNN Türk was fined 37,000 Turkish Liras by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), by a majority vote.
The fine was over a program that went on air on Oct. 2 hosting writer Muhsin Kızılkaya, a deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and journalist Günay Aslan, a member of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The monitoring department of RTÜK “carefully” reviewed our program and reported it. They wrote, “In the program, the general theme was the Nov. 1 elections, the HDP’s election strategy and the stance of the Kurds in the elections.”
We have been caught red-handed, as you would imagine.
When the program was reviewed, we were caught saying the following: (This is a shortened but unedited RTÜK transcription)
A.Beki: So, when one says something against the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] or HDP, does it mean speaking out against Kurds?
G.Aslan: Sure, sure. A vast majority of Kurds support this movement. We have to see this…
A. Beki: No, no…
G. Aslan: But when you talk down about them, the Kurdish freedom movement, when you talk down about the PKK and the HDP, then all Kurds are offended by that. Because they vote for it; because their children are fighting there. They see it as their own spokesperson, as [their] representative. You may not accept this but this is the reality.
M. Kızılkaya: What will happen to Kurds who vote for [the Republican People’s Party] CHP, AK Party and [the Nationalist Movement Party] MHP, Günay?
G. Aslan: I am referring to the patriotic Kurds. Non-patriotic ones should draw their own conclusions.
M. Kızılkay: What does patriotism mean?
G. Aslan: The Kurds’ essential…
M. Kızılkaya: I love my country very much. You also love it. What is the criterion for it? I mean, if I love it with arms, then am I more patriotic? When I love blood, do I become patriotic?
G. Aslan: If we get into that now…
A. Beki: There are Kurds that the PKK has otherized, those that are not members of the PKK, not sympathizing with the PKK. One dimension of the problem experienced in Cizre was actually this. There were Kurds there who were forced to relocate, to migrate. I call them the other Kurds. In other words, there are Kurds who do not identify with the PKK, who differ, who have antipathy, not sympathy for the PKK, who are against the PKK. Now, these Kurds…
G. Aslan: Defending all the rights of these Kurds…
A. Beki: Columnist Gülay Göktürk wrote a piece on this and she was absolutely right. In the ‘90s people were afraid to say in a public place openly that they were Kurds. Now, people cannot say they are non-PKK. Because they are afraid to say so…
M. Kızılkaya: Yes, that is so true.
A. Beki: Now, isn’t this a fascistic situation? In other words, does it mean being a Kurd is equal to identifying with the PKK? Can’t there be any Kurds who criticize the ideology of the PKK, its terrorist acts and it not laying down arms? Will they not be given a chance to survive?
From this and similar dialogues, what conclusion do you think the “big brother” in RTÜK has drawn?
This: “Günay Aslan, as can be seen above, has openly made discriminating [remarks] within society… His expressions accusing Kurds who do not vote for the HDP of not being patriotic are not acceptable expressions… Here, the host of the program, even though he has made some explanation, has not directly opposed them…”
As a second conclusion, the “big observer” has drawn that the dialogue was almost propaganda for a terror organization such as the PKK…
As a result, it was understood that, when viewed carefully, it was overstepping the boundaries of criticism, discrimination was encouraged and the state was belittled. And the decision was reached for us to be fined.
While Kızılkaya and I were opposing Aslan, our strongest argument was this: What is not covered by unarmed politics in today’s Turkey that one may defend by resorting to arms? Which right is not asked for and discussed with the unarmed method that it is legitimate to do through terror?
While we were trying to refute the terror mentality in the program, what do you think RTÜK is trying to do?
A. RTÜK is trying to refute us. It is trying to disprove our argument based on the concept that “everything is freely discussed here.”
B. It is trying to confirm those theories that say “most of our literate people have difficulty understanding what they read.”
C. It is trying to become a guardian of thoughts; it is trying to beat us up to discipline a debate environment that looked undisciplined.
D. It is trying to make us feel the breath of the “repressive, prohibitive mindset” of old times on our neck again.
E. It is trying to raise awareness of the fight against terror in Kurdish writer Kızılkaya, who has been fighting the idea of terror for eternity …