Date posted: April 22, 2014
Lies and slander are not all that remain after devastating and cruel events take place. I sometimes even believe that it is better to ignore this impotent and twisted type of journalism and leave the whole settling of accounts to the afterworld. There is no use in trying to remind people of ethics and professional standards in the face of this type of journalism, which is based on aggression and recklessness. But there is no need for pessimism; the fate of liars and the arrogant has always been the same throughout history. And it will be same now. That aggressive style of journalism will eventually collapse and disappear.
It is now time to take a look at situations and developments that can raise future hopes. Some attitudes that now appear to be only small beginnings are main signals that tell us we should be hopeful for the future. For instance, people defending their most natural and basic rights and fundamental freedoms through relying on opportunities defined under universal law raise hope for the reconstruction of Turkey, which is now being restricted by illegal moves. If the Anatolian people who pray for the survival of the state peacefully object to injustice and unfair treatment, and if they stand against the illegal use of state power, the current course of events will surely be reversed in Turkey.
Here is an incident that will always be remembered: Inspectors from the Education Ministry unexpectedly showed up at an educational institution, but a mother from Sivas stood against them. She strongly objected to their presence. The mother asked, “Why are you taking my child to an interrogation room and asking him political questions?” She was standing against them holding a zikirmatik, an electronic version of prayer beads. She had left for the school in the middle of her prayers. This single incident of a mother objecting to an injustice implies that there are many other mothers like her in Anatolia, and that they will not bow to unfair practices and treatment.
We could have said this was an isolated incident if this had only been observed in Sivas. But this was not the case. Mothers cried out and made objections wherever state brutality was observed. This noble and peaceful attitude was not only displayed at the education institutions affiliated with the Hizmet movement. The parents in another school also strongly reacted to inspectors asking the kids whether they love Mustafa Kemal Atatürk or Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan more.
Another mother, this time in Gaziantep, did the same and showed her anger to the inspectors. The inspectors had to leave the school without completing their task. Apparently, the mother’s peaceful objection made the inspectors feel ashamed of what they were doing. I understand that the inspectors, although being perfectly aware that what they were doing was illegal, couldn’t find the strength in them to stop this despotic and repressive practice. The mother in Gaziantep raised such legal and reasonable questions that the inspectors were unable to give plausible answers. In fact, not only the inspectors but also those in Ankara who gave them their orders should be ashamed of this practice of questioning students, which bears traces of a coup regime.
The issue is not limited to these inspections at educational institutions and the democratic reaction against such an unjust and illegal practice. We are experiencing something new. Those who govern the country are condemning, trying and judging others at election campaign rallies. Of course, they all hold the same view and approach. There is no legal basis for their argument which runs absolutely contrary to the principle of separation of powers. These public and ungrounded accusations are followed by efforts of executioners to justify any legal action. The pro-government media fabricate false reports, which are then considered by prosecutors as evidence in an investigation. Based on these false reports, people are arrested and investigations are initiated. The reputation and honor of those who are arrested are thus violated. This is brutal and cruel.
Then again, we have another example of the Anatolian spirit. The mother of a police chief who was arrested on the basis of false news reports said she had raised her son properly and denounced the transformation of the state into a tool of brutality. Hers was a show of defiance and uprising made through tears. We also have the example of a father, whose appearance tells us that he is a pious person. He seems to be someone who represents the dignity and religiosity of Anatolian people. He says that he used to pray to Erdoğan in the past but that the injustice and cruelty his son was subjected to made him very upset. His son was arrested after false evidence was made against him. The father shed tears of sadness while telling his son’s story.
The prime minister already made up him mind about the six Adana police officers who were released. He would perhaps have even instructed that their executions be carried out. . However, law does not tolerate arbitrary decisions and orders. The prime minister directed some grave insults at the judge who released the police officers. Is this how justice is delivered?
Turkey is seeking an answer to the question on whether Turkey is a democracy or dictatorship. The attitude of the government and its supporters vis-à-vis the Constitutional Court’s Twitter decision raises concerns on the issue. Court President Haşim Kılıç is being lynched. Those who up until now had praised the Constitutional Court on its decisions are now slamming it for its decision.
The truth is that Turkey is at a crossroads. The struggle to establish rule of law will determine the direction of this country. If the arrogant approach succeeds, justice will no longer be served in Turkey. There are, however, two developments that raise hope: the noble efforts by some institutions, including the Constitutional Court, and the willingness and determination of ordinary people, including the victimized mothers and fathers, who seek redress and a remedy. This is enough for great expectations, because mothers and fathers are inherent parts of the nation.
This is just too much!
Some people have been insulting Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen for months. They are doing this without feeling ashamed. They do not recognize that they have no boundaries in their insults. They are lying. And what can a person who is subjected to such grave insults do? He could resort to legal options and exercise his rights as they should be recognized under the law. However, the pro-government media criticizes the exercising of these rights. Apparently, they do not recognize the law and keep insulting people. And because of this, Gülen’s lawyers file suits. They are exercising their most basic rights. Given that it is not possible to do what they do and reciprocate with insults, is there any option other than relying on legal processes?
Those who cannot even hear themselves start complaining when they are sued. They act as if they are virtuous and argue that they are victims of countless legal cases. If you do not want any legal suits brought against you, then you should have observed the standards and principles of journalism and should not have told lies or slander. If you violate the basic principles of journalism and speak slander, then you should know that innocent people have a right to take legal action. Did you expect that there would be no legal consequences for your insults and slander?
Those who forget that they have made insults are now complaining as if they are victims. They publish photos of Gülen under headlines implying that he is not a man of tolerance nor does he have a constructive approach. They should be ashamed. Gülen is a man of tolerance and a man devoted to a cause. He has always been a man dedicated to his cause, which was out there well before you were even born. History is witness to the fact that the difference between men of virtue and men of hedonistic pleasure is huge. Besides, you should also note that each lawsuit leaves its mark on history. What really matters is the settlement in the hereafter, because there you will not be able to offer excuses to justify your slander, lies, insults and accusations.
Editor-in-chief of Akşam daily, please talk!
On April 10, more than 10 days ago, I made the following call to the Akşam daily’s editor-in-chief, Mehmet Ocaktan: “You are dishonorable and you have no ethics at all; you made up grave lies and have committed slander. Ocaktan, if you are a man of honor, then apologize! If you have a slight shred of honor, admit to slandering the Zaman daily, because you were caught.” He did not respond, so I made another statement and wrote a column. However, those at Akşam have made no response to my calls. Besides, they keep making similar slanderous remarks, relying on the words of Ergenekon suspects. They still have not responded to our concrete and open question in which we urge them to prove their allegations and in which we note that otherwise we will consider them dishonorable. They still remain at their posts without feeling ashamed. They think what they are doing is journalism. What a shame!
Source: Todays Zaman , April 21, 2014