May you rot in the hell you created for journalists

May you rot in the hell you created for journalists

That’s about enough. I cannot stand this much hypocrisy. I’ve tried hard to keep my good manners until now. Really, this is enough. 

You are all lying. 

I’m talking about you: politicians in power, business circles, military, members of the judiciary. You only like the journalists who fit in with your opinion. You hate criticism. You credit those who protect your interests as “good journalists,” but drag those through the mud who have contrary views. And then you dare to talk about press freedom in this country. 

This is the hypocrisy that causes people like me to protest. 

The media cases currently proceeding in the courts, primarily the OdaTV case, are frankly a disgrace.

There are nearly 100 arrested journalists undergoing trial. Isn’t this shameful enough for us? Criticism comes from all over the world, but nobody seems to care. The government says: “We have changed the laws,” but they cannot go beyond a few cowardly improvements. 

If you look at the judiciary in hope of common sense, no: It is like they are in a showdown with the arrested journalists.

What kind of insensitivity is this? What kind of democracy is this? 

And there are those who say, “Well, sir, some of them are related to terror organizations, so they cannot be considered journalists.” Worse, there are not a few among our colleagues who support this view. 

No. If somebody has not participated in armed terror, if they have not instigated terror with his or her stories or articles, then that person is a journalist, not a terrorist. Even if that person is a member of a terror organization, you should not try them because of their ideas but because of their published pieces. Even if they praise the policies of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), even if they make a major effort for an independent Kurdistan, you cannot punish these people.

When we achieve this, then we can talk about a real democracy in Turkey, real freedom of thought. Until that day, please, don’t lie to us.

We’re not lily-white either

Now, let’s turn the spotlight onto us. Is it true that only the politicians, the judges, the prosecutors are at fault and we are always right? 

Journalists (that is us) have done many off-balance, many crooked things. 

For long years, because we could not “touch” the military because of fear, we dragged the politicians through the mud. We battered them to an extent they did not deserve. And we did this without being aware of it.

Let’s take a look at the past.

Let’s start with ex-premier Adnan Menderes, then move on to ex-prime minister and ex-president Süleyman Demirel, then to Bülent Ecevit, then Turgut Özal. Let’s remember how much injustice we did to them.

We looked down on all of them. We thought we were superior. There was an image of Turkey in our minds.

There was a fixed order we liked and whichever government did not act according to this order, we gave them hell. We did not care that they were elected, that they were chosen by the people and that they adopted policies that people wanted. Whatever the consequences, a destructive opposition was our only raw material.

Criticism and opposition were our reasons for existing. We had a vulgar attitude, far from international journalism principles. 

Indeed, we never came across a strong government. Since they were also afraid of the military, they were also afraid of us. As they shied away from us, we became more arrogant. This is how we reached the present day. 

Now we’re reaping this harvest. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is behaving like it is taking revenge on the old days. As it does so, it seems to be getting carried away. 

Istanbul gets used to snow 

It is painful but we are gradually getting used to snow. Remember, when it first snowed this year nobody listened to officials and we were stuck in traffic for hours.

In the second and third snow, this time nobody went out because of fear. That was not a solution either. 

Now, we’re slowly getting there. We go to the office early and we come home early. The number of those preferring mass transportation over private vehicles is increasing.