Joke of the year from the foreign minister

Joke of the year from the foreign minister

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said Die Welt reporter Deniz Yücel, who is currently in prison in Turkey, was charged with terror not because of journalism. “Just like in Germany, there is an independent judiciary in Turkey. This independent judiciary is conducting the investigation,” he said. 

We all know how much of an independent judiciary there is in this country. Obviously they have hid the indictment against Yücel from the minister. If he actually reads the file, he will see that the charges were only over the stories written. 

Çavuşoğlu also said: “Lately, European secret services have started using journalists in Turkey as agents.” I’m wondering whether “espionage” will be added to the charges against Yücel. 

What is interesting is of course why the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is unaware of what the minister knows. If MİT knew the presence of “agent/journalists,” they would have either deported them by now or jailed them. 

Accusing journalists of spying is one of the distinctive features of closed regimes.  From Iran and Saudi Arabia to Russia and China, in all closed regimes, disliked foreign journalists are accused like this. 

At a NATO summit in Brussels, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly told German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who demanded the release of Yücel, that “I told her and reminded her, ‘You have many more Denizes. I gave their files to you.’” 

Erdoğan must have been misled by some advisors, because in Germany there is no journalist who is arrested for of their stories and comments. 

If we listen to our administrators, all the arrested journalists are terrorists, but they have never carried a gun in their hands nor there is evidence that they have organizational ties with a terror network. 

No offence but this has got nothing to do with an “independent judiciary.” 

This is a political instruction and this instruction causes the violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and practices of the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court rulings in the hands of courts. 

No need to have waited for so long 

Environment and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki elaborated an earlier statement he made in which he said “All the stealing is coming from zoning.”  

“Nobody should expect me to name the municipalities. But anybody can go and take a look at Ankara’s and Istanbul’s most luxurious neighborhoods. I think anybody who sits in cafés near the coast and look around; will all be very annoyed with the unpleasant images they see. If they listen to the rumors there, they will be extremely uncomfortable. Some of these are rumors; they are slandering; so we can erase those. But not all of them are rumors and we know that,” he said. 

I agree with him. 

Modifying zoning plans and making extreme profits is a widespread practice in Turkey - regardless of any political party - very much because of the characters of individuals. 

What he further said is also precisely true: A portion of these may only be rumors, but we all know there is also a share of truth.  

Those who modify the zoning of a plot where you are allowed to build 1,000 square meters of closed space and make it suitable for 3,000 square meters will of course benefit later for doing this change; this is so true. 

Well, of course what is interesting is that a minister of a political party who has been ruling this country for 15 years and has administered the metropolitan municipalities of Istanbul and Ankara for 23 years is saying this. Moreover, he was the mayor of Kayseri, a big city, for many years. 

Why have they waited for so long to correct the situation they are complaining about now? If he explains this, we will all be enlightened.