Monday, March 28, 2016

Western Media Awash in Disinformation and Hogwash about Turkey

As someone originally from Turkey (of Kurdish background) who follows the international news fairly closely, I have been particularly alarmed by the level of unfair and grossly inaccurate journalism vis-a-vis Turkey, post-Arab Spring.

Here is a country that----under Erdogan's leadership----managed to turn its past economic and democratic dismal-self around remarkably in the last decade or so, and became, for the last couple of years, perhaps the most humanitarian of all governments, by allowing, and taking care of, some 3 million Syrian and Iraqi (Arabs, Kurds, Yezidis, Christians etc.) refugees  into its territory.

But according to the most Western media, Turkey seems to be a horrible place where journalists are jailed and minorities are oppressed.  I urge you to investigate all these claims, looking at the arguments from both sides, not just the smug claims made by some in the Western media. For example, many of the journalists or people in question would face similar, if not worse, litigations in the West (Judith Miller and Edward Snowden come to mind).

Furthermore, you need to know the culture of the country itself to make sense of what is happening there. Some people (in Turkey and the West) think that insulting and defaming people's reputation publicly is part of freedom of speech. How can that be? Why do we have defamation laws, for instance in the West, available to anyone who feel their reputation is publicly tarnished?

One gets a sense that the pre-Erdogan Turkey was like the proverbial Switzerland, but Erdogan took all that away. Whereas those of us with some fair sense of judgement who happened to have lived in pre-Erdogan Turkey, knows very well that it was a God-forsaken country both economically and democratically. It would be an insult to human intelligence to even compare today's Turkey to that of old Turkey. But, alas, that is exactly what the Western media is doing.