Conventional family criteria for media productions
Finally, the long expected “conventional family criteria” will be introduced to the media.
The 2016 program as published in the Official Gazette said, “Measures will be taken so that news, magazine programs, films and all similar productions in visual, aural and social media are in agreement with our conventional family values; effective arrangements will be made to discourage negative broadcasts.” We do not know yet how this “discouragement” will be applied. It is not definite whether there will be fines, imprisonment or flogging.
However, there are many reasons for us to think that a new tool is being prepared to put pressure on the media with the threat of punishment.
“Conventional family values” is an intangible, abstract concept. Anyone can declare a conventional family value according to their own temperament.
Conduct or behavior which may be considered as “conventional family values” according to the idea ruling today may be considered “inappropriate conduct” for another ruling tomorrow.
For this reason, in democracies, deterrent measures based on such abstract concepts are never in question.
If the public authority in a country is starting to take deterrent measures based on such abstract concepts, then we cannot talk about a true democracy.
These kinds of things happen in authoritarian, totalitarian, fascist and communist regimes.
Look, in Germany, which is ruled by a parliamentary democracy, there is no such “criterion,” nor is there in the U.S., which is ruled by a presidential system.
A film or novel cannot be punished by such a criteria; nobody can ever think of doing such a thing.
You can come across these practices in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, North Korea and similar countries.
What makes the difference is “democracy.”
Were the shoeboxes free?
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told the mayors from his party in a closed session, “We will be after those who changed their spouses, businesses and houses. We will approach them with doubt. Be careful in monetary affairs.”
The reason these words of the PM were in the media is that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has sent inspectors to scrutinize mayors who had corruption claims against them.
We know the sensitivity of the prime minister on this matter. Apparently, he is trying to upgrade his level of caution against corruption which may be caused by power poisoning.
I hope he succeeds.
However, there is a point where this initiative and these statements and speeches hang in the air: His stance on this party over the whitewashing and saving from trial of cabinet ministers who were accused of serious corruption.
The prime minister, who says he will go after those who change their spouses, houses and businesses, is the chair of the political party which saved from justice the cabinet ministers whose monetary activities were publicized. It is the same party that whitewashed the dollars sent in shoe boxes, suit bags and chocolate trays.
It would be better for the prime minister to not focus too much on this “changing houses” matter.