When we look at what is going on in Turkey now, we see that we actually owe an apology to the people of the region (southeastern Turkey) for the 90’s. Nowadays, through our experiences, we have been coming down to an understanding of what it means to be labeled as a ‘criminal’ or a ‘terrorist’ while being persecuted at the same time. And, we now understand how devastating it could be to not be able to share news or receive them and to be left alone.
As we have been waking up to each new day with a new kind of a nightmare, we have also been witnessing how journalism is considered a crime. Not only the media but social media is also under pressure. Banning people from criticizing the government and blocking or slowing down the internet are ‘normal’; yet, people reporting and making comments are downtrodden. And, middle of the night or early morning operations are at place in full-speed.
Yesterday (December 25), our team members in BirGün Mahir Kanaat, editor of Diken news portal Tunca Öğreten, and chief editor of DİHA Ömer Çelik and journalist Metin Yoksu were taken into custody.
What a great illusion it is to think that truth and questions fade away or evaporate when those who speak out, question, and criticize are taken into custody
‘Questions’ posed by people are one of the best clues for understanding a particular society. Police officer who raided the house of Ömer Çelik – just as all other journalists had got their houses raided – in the middle of the night asked Çelik’s mother: “Why did you let your son to become a journalist?’
Considering all that has been gone through, this shouldn’t shock us, actually. That question, in fact, goes as: ‘How could your son dare to write the truth?’
‘Questions’ are one of the most significant indicators of the stage that a society has reached.
Once upon a time, a dictator was talking in a country, praising democracy, human rights, unity, equality, and economy. Also talking about progressions, the dictator gets applauded crazily. Looking at the crowd after finishing the speech, the dictator asks them: ‘Has anybody got a question?’
One person steps forth and tries to get an answer: ‘My name is Socrates. We’ve been fired from our jobs. And, we can’t get our rights. My whole family is hungry… If we’ve got the best of everything, why are we under these conditions?’
In the same country, not a long time late, the same dictator speaks to the people: ‘We are living in equality, democracy, solidarity, and with human rights. We’ve got the best of everything.’ After the loud applauses, the last question comes: ‘Has anybody got a question?’
A man comes forth breaking through the crowd and nearing the platform. He asks: ‘He was my friend; we can’t hear any word of him. Where is Socrates?’
… What a great illusion it is to think that truth and questions fade away or evaporate when those who speak out, question, and criticize are taken into custody. Questions actually explain the situation. They might not come with the answers right away but eventually lead us to truth.