Turkey’s pro-government media can turn from friend to foe

Turkey’s pro-government media can turn from friend to foe

Interior Minister Efkan Ala, while chatting with journalists the other day, made an interesting comment about media groups affiliated with the Fethullah Gülen movement: “Until these incidents took place, these media outlets had not even once criticized the government. After these incidents, they started. Is this the media? I am asking: Didn’t the government make any mistakes from 2002 to 2013? People who during those years did not write ‘you have made a mistake’ even once, afterward started to write negatively constantly. Why? It’s obvious: They weren’t acting as the media then, and they’re not acting as the media now.”

Efkan Ala is absolutely right.

When they were partners, the Gülen media praised the government. When the partnership died, they started criticizing ruthlessly.

When ruthless criticism is based on correct news, then there is no problem. But now it is coming after manipulated, fabricated stories.

The pro-government media should itself draw a lesson from this.

A dose of assertiveness

Following main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s criticism of the new “security bill,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said this criticism was simply meant to “pay the CHP’s debts to the parallel structure.”

According to Davutoğlu, Kılıçdaroğlu’s leadership of the CHP only became possible thanks to the “cassette conspiracy” that the Gülen community prepared for former CHP head Deniz Baykal. Now, he is doing everything the community wants, provoking the people.

Yes, if it were not for the cassette conspiracy, Kılıçdaroğlu would not be leading the CHP. Baykal would never have given up his seat to Kılıçdaroğlu.

But we do have a problem with the prime minister’s assertiveness, which has grown to immense dimensions. Normally, the government would never bring this subject up and pray that it would be forgotten; however, it is now attempting to use it as material at rallies.

When the “cassette conspiracy” was staged against Baykal, it was these gentlemen who were in power. They knew that this conspiracy had been set up by that gang.

Their game plan was formed on the assumption that Baykal would not resign. They had planned to use these video images in future election campaigns and in rallies, but this did not happen. Baykal spoiled the game when he resigned, removing all meaning from the cassettes.

Nevertheless, without a trace of shame, the government is now saying at rallies again, “What privacy? This is public.”

Although they are now at odds with the Gülen gang, images have been released showing that they were involved in this conspiracy from the first moment. When the same gang conspired against members of the other opposition party, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), those who were rubbing their hands in glee were none other than this government. 

Then, they were attempting social engineering using the staff of the Gülen gang. 

Now, they come out and talk about these cassettes. OK. I understand you are not ashamed or afraid of the people, but at least be afraid of God! 

You may be able to pass off the justification on an ordinary citizen, “We were naïve. The Gülen leader fooled us all,” but we know that you were accomplices with that gang.

What I am trying to say, Mr. Davutoğlu, is that we won’t “buy it.”

If you did not oppose the acts of this gang back then, if you were the accomplice of this gang and attempted to use its cassettes, if you did not raise a finger to hand over to justice whoever did this, then you should at least blush a little when saying these things today!