How hateful discourse manipulates our perception

Date posted: February 2, 2014


The government has gone too far in its efforts to manipulate people’s perceptions, which were effective only for the lower-middle and lower class of society. The project to manipulate people’s perceptions, which is led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, lost its old allure when the discourse of hatred started to be employed.

Some right-minded and cool-headed Justice and Development Party (AK Party) executives, who asked to remain anonymous, have also expressed their uneasiness about the government’s project to manipulate people’s perceptions. The reason for their unease is that no steps are being taken to address their disappointment with this discourse of hate. Observations voiced in friendly conservations cannot be discussed at party meetings, since there is no room for discussion and consultation within the party.

In the last few weeks, because of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) tactics in selecting its mayoral candidate for the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality for the next municipal elections in March, the AK Party has started to voice the possibility of losing the municipal elections in Ankara. Now this possibility has become a real risk for the AK Party. It has become a widespread conviction that the AK Party might lose the municipal elections in Ankara because of its discourse of hatred aiming to manipulate people’s perceptions.

Erdoğan is trying to develop strategies so that the party does not lose the municipal elections in Ankara and İstanbul. However, the discourse of hatred from AK Party members may cause an election defeat for the AK Party. For example, last week the AK Party’s Erzurum provincial deputy head and two more members of the provincial council resigned from the party due to Interior Minister Efkan Ala’s verbal attacks on the Hizmet movement and its leader, Fethullah Gülen.

Besides AK Party members who have been influenced by Erdoğan’s discourse of hatred, there are some who think this discourse of hatred is wrong and have stepped aside. While Erdoğan’s speeches at the AK Party’s parliamentary group meetings provoke young AK Party members against the Hizmet movement, the ministers and deputies of the AK Party are making statements which in effect amount to over-egging the pudding. They glorify the state, assign the attributes of God to Erdoğan and alienate the masses.

A fair-minded member of the AK Party who has not been influenced by Erdoğan’s discourse of hatred, asking to remain anonymous, said: “Until two months ago, we were at the peak of our political and economic power. No prime minister of this country had been able to attain such great power, and none of them had experienced such a rapid decline.”

At the peak of his political power, Erdoğan fell prey to his over-confidence in these efforts to manipulate people’s perceptions.

Things would have been different if the AK Party government had not tried to prevent the corruption probe that became public on Dec. 17, 2013. Erdoğan and the AK Party would not have faced such rapid decline if they had not victimized close to 10,000 public employees, particularly police officers, police chiefs, judges and prosecutors, who have been removed from their posts or reappointed to other cities, if they had not tried to undermine the independence of the judiciary by passing the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) bill, which aims to restructure the HSYK and grant wide authority to the justice minister, and if they had not conducted a black propaganda campaign based on unfounded claims, triggering a discourse of hate against the Hizmet movement, whose activities are applauded by all segments of society.

According to what-if-an-election-is-held-today surveys conducted before Dec. 17, 2013, the AK Party’s electoral support was between 52 percent and 55 percent. However, to secure such an election success, Erdoğan was expected to say: “Even if the suspect is my son, the judicial process will go on properly. A crime cannot go unpunished. And innocent people will be acquitted by the court.”

A recent survey carried out by the MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center on the ongoing corruption investigations that have implicated people close to the government shows the public reaction to Erdoğan’s attitude towards the probe. Only 25 percent of the people interviewed described the corruption probe as a coup attempt against the government, as Erdoğan has claimed. And this percentage can be considered the hardcore voters of the AK Party. Of those interviewed, 70 percent believed that the claims that some ministers had been involved in corruption are true. When asked, “Do you think the government is trying to cover up claims of corruption?” 59.7 percent of those surveyed answered “Yes.”

Of those interviewed, 90.9 percent stated that they will continue to support the AK Party government if the government continues to turn a blind eye to corruption.

Every day, there is new information and evidence suggesting that Erdoğan derives his power from the distribution of dirty money. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has asked, “Who is the real owner of the Sabah daily and the ATV TV channel?” The answer to this question is very important. Claims have been made that these multi-billion-dollar deals have generated a huge hoard of funds for Erdoğan to buy off some media outlets through proxies, hire new sets of journalists to defend his government line and even convert critical analysts with fat checks to prod them to the other side of the aisle.

And these claims also explain why some media groups are conducting black propaganda against the Hizmet movement. Since this black propaganda and discourse of hatred are seen as a government attempt to silence claims of corruption, their efforts to manipulate people’s perceptions have proven unsuccessful.

Source: Todays Zaman , February 2, 2014

Related News

Woman detained over links to Gülen movement after giving birth

A woman was detained less than 24 hours after delivering a baby yesterday for alleged affiliation with the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen. Betül Uluçam, 34, was detained in the hospital where she had given birth less than a day before.

Prof. Nanda: Extraditing Fethullah Gulen to Turkey would erode the rule of law

Turkey’s strategic importance cannot be overestimated. However, Erdogan’s personal friendship with Trump alone cannot resolve the difficulties. Even if Trump may be willing to find a way to extradite Gulen or find another country to accept him in order to placate a NATO partner for geopolitical reasons, he must not. The damage to the rule of law would outweigh any benefit Trump hopes to gain from such an action.

Islamists’ xenophobic policies threaten Turkey

The assaults on Korean tourists and a Uighur chef, who were mistaken for Chinese people, in İstanbul last week have shown the extent of damage dealt to this moderate nation of Turks by the Islamist rulers, who provide political clout to hate crimes and xenophobia in order to sustain their waning power in the government.

Turkey warns Kazakhstan over Gulen-linked schools

Astana (Kazakhstan) (AFP) – Turkey’s ambassador to Kazakhstan on Friday warned the Central Asian country over its schools linked to US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government blames for this month’s coup attempt.

Erdogan Purge Against Gulenists Could Prove Lucrative

The power struggle between the Turkish state and the Fethullah Gulen-led Hizmet Movement continues to reverberate in Turkey. The number detained, arrested, jailed, and dismissed from their jobs since the July 15 coup attempt has reached well over 100,000, 40,000 of whom have been detained on suspicion of having links with Hizmet. One third of the highest-ranking armed forces officers have been dismissed. Almost every major institution—military, judiciary, media, education, business—has been affected.

Dismissed police officer dies of heart attack in German refugee camp

Ali Ünlü, a 42-year-old former police officer who was earlier dismissed from his job as part of the government’s post-coup crackdown, died of heart attack in a refugee camp in Stuttgart, according to media and people with knowledge of the incident.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

How Turkey is emerging as a development partner in Africa

Gulen Movement: An attempt to represent Islam and Muslims positively

Peace Islands Institute Honors Remarkable Individuals

Faith Compatible with Science

Witch hunt and AKP’s legacy from Feb. 28

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

Fethullah Gulen denies ties to attempted coup in Turkey

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News