If it is not a joke, it is insulting
Lately I find myself saying this sentence to myself very frequently: If it is not a joke, it is insulting.
For example; on Monday, Prime Minister Erdoğan said that Turkey was freer than many EU member countries during his first ever interview for Al-Jazeera Turkey. If you are a person with absolutely no education and don’t know how to read and write and don’t have access to anyone who does, maybe you would think that everything is fine in Turkey. However, if you know that Turkey ranks in the last places in any kind of freedom of speech indexes you would say that if this is not a joke, it is insulting, like I did. Turkey ranked 138th in the Reporters Without Borders’ 2010 Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index. In 2011-2012 Turkey ranked 148 out of 169 countries in the Reporters Without Borders list.
For example; on Tuesday, at the TekeTek program presented by Fatih Altaylı, the president of the Turkish General Assembly’s Internet Commission, Necdet Ünüvar, tried his best to answer questions from prominent figures of the Internet world. His most common answer was, “I don’t know about that.”
I wondered about who he was in the past and found out that he was a doctor who was working in the Ministry of Health before. He used to lead the charge on cigarettes. I believe he is the governments’ figurehead on “bad things to ban,” such as cigarettes and the Internet. However, he himself confessed after some hardcore questions that he did not know as much about ICT as the people asking questions. Nonetheless, he still saw himself fit to lead the commission to write the law to censor the Internet. So I think to myself that if it is not a joke, it is insulting.
For example; in one of his recent speeches, the prime minister told the public that we who are in favor of a better thought out Internet bill are all porno lovers. He said we are against the new law because we are all members of the porno lobby. So I think to myself that if it is not a joke, it is insulting.
The list is really long. Every day for the past few months I keep repeating this sentence. I cannot believe how things have escalated so quickly and how mismanaged even the most crucial turning points in our history become.
The rest of the world is doing all it can to improve the Internet industry, while in Turkey we are doing all we can to destroy it. It would be very beneficial for the country if the leaders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) stopped thinking about the Internet and social media as the enemy.
Otherwise, it will be too late when they notice that they have insulted too many young and bright minds and Turkey fails to achieve its 2023 goals.