What these eyes have seen

What these eyes have seen

I was 13 years old on May 27, the first coup d’état of Turkey in 1960. I was the son of a family that supported the Democrat Party. There were newspapers and journalists supporting the Democrat Party; there were those who opposed it…

They were honorable people. Nobody would inform against someone else or report on someone else. Nobody branded another as a target for terror organizations and street gangs. 

In the interim period of March 12, 1971, I was a 24-year-old leftist youth. There were journalists and newspapers close to the government. There were newspapers and journalists close to the opposition. There was a fierce argument between them. 

But they were honorable people. Nobody would inform against someone else or report on someone else. Nobody branded another as a target for terror organizations and street gangs. 

I was a scholarship student on a government grant and I was on the executive committee of the Paris Student Association. There was a conservative government in power. We issued an anti-government declaration. My scholarship was cut. 

They were honorable people with a conscience. They pardoned my youthful state and my scholarship was given back by that conservative government.   

During the Sept. 12, 1980, military coup, I was a 33-year-old academic and a leftist. There were pro-government and opposition journalists and newspapers before Sept. 12. There were extremely fierce arguments between papers and journalists. 

They were honorable people. After the coup, nobody informed or reported on others. Nobody was branded as a target for terror organizations. 

After the coup, I wrote against the military administration in the Arayış magazine published by the late Bülent Ecevit. No journalist reported on me or informed on me to the military administration. 

The dean of the Department of Economics and Social Sciences at Hacettepe University, Professor Emel Doğramacı, as well as my dear teacher, Professor Gülay Coşkun from the Management Department, were brave, democratic and honorable people. They protected me. 

I have lived 68 years in this country. I have seen military coups, interim regimes and democratic times. 

But I have not seen such a dishonorable era of “reporting on people” as this period, with this many intimidation attacks with the support of the ruling power. I have never experienced such a treacherous era where journalists are branded so much as targets for street gangs, terror organizations and state institutions. 

I lived long; I have read much. What history tells me is that no society and no nation can tolerate this much remorselessness, dishonesty and dastardliness…   

The Turkish nation and the Muslims with conscience will absolutely raise their voices. If not on the street, they will do it at the ballot box. 

The other night when fellow colleague Ahmet Hakan was suffering pain after an attack, I explained him this short history of Turkey. 

This is not only against the Doğan Group 

To the politician who is steering the fate of this country, no matter if you are from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) or the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) or from Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP):

If you think this cowardly attack was only conducted against journalist Ahmet Hakan, or on daily Hürriyet or on the Doğan Group; 

If you think this cowardly attack is an ordinary incident that occurred as a result of a pro-government media group and a herd of trolls pointing at it as a target, then you should know you are in a state of unawareness and blindness… Know that this incident is a signal flare…. 

It is a signal flare to concern everybody who lives in this country, the secularist, the conservative, the liberal, the rightist, the leftist, the nationalist, the Turk, the Kurd; it is a signal of anxious developments… 

Know that this is not an end; it is a beginning. This course of events is not a good one…

The attack that was organized against Ahmet Hakan is, you can be sure, reconnaissance for all those compasses that will turn toward us tomorrow, as well as the treachery and developments that will aim at our democracy…