Let us all take France as an example

Let us all take France as an example

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said the media should take France as example.  

Obviously, everybody in Turkey likes to think they know how to manage a newspaper. That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising that the prime minister is attempting to teach the media how to do its job. 

In fact, I agree that we journalists can draw lessons from the French press. We should do so. But is it only us? Aren’t there also lessons that the prime minister should draw from France? 

For instance, has the prime minister listened to the statement of the French prosecutor spoken hours after the attacks? This kind of statement would never happen here. Moreover, a media ban would be introduced so that nobody is able to talk about or discuss the topic. 

This is what happened after the attack in Suruç. It is also what happened after the attack in Ankara.
Let’s take France as an example in other areas too. 

For instance, does the president or prime minister in France exceed the duties that are defined in the constitution? In France, is it possible to seize TV stations and newspapers with a ruling from a Criminal Court of Peace judge? 

In France, can certain television channels, just because they oppose the government, be excluded by administrative decisions from transmitters and satellites that are considered public property? 

How many people are in jail in France on charges of “insulting the president”? How many are in Turkey? 

In France, are tax officers tools for the government’s revenge operations? 

Why do our judges and prosecutors never seek the assurances that their French counterparts take? 

There is not enough space in this column to list all the examples, but just starting with these would be enough. We can take care of the rest later.

Let’s all take France as an example.

It can only happen in a tribal state 

The other day, the footage of special police forces returning from an operation in early morning hours in the İdil district of the southeastern Şırnak province was posted in social media. 

The police officers were singing the song “Ölürüm Türkiye’m” (I will die for you, my Turkey) and firing into the air for minutes, accompanied by “Allahuekber” (“God is Great”) chants.

We do know that these policemen are risking their lives in such operations; some of them die and become martyrs during these tasks. For this reason, one can easily imagine that they are under huge stress. 

Maybe this was letting steam off, an unwinding of the nerves after that major tension. But it is also obvious that it is a wrong attitude. 

Non-disciplinary behavior and celebrating by firing in the air cannot be an act the security forces of a democratic state are engaged in. Such acts can be seen only in tribal states. 

Security forces who have to abide by the rules and who have to make others abide by the rules should know the restrictions of “using firearms in a populated area.”  

Maybe there is no authority that deals with the psychology of the security forces that are deployed in the region; so they relieve from their stress with such “celebrations.” 

The thing that security forces should always keep in their minds is obeying laws literally.