Excessive public adulation of ErdoIan leads to conflict among pro-gov’t journalists

The recent praise of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered in emotional, public expressions of devotion for him, usually from male columnists and businessmen who are close to Erdogan, has sparked debate among members of the pro-government media, as some of them have said such exaggerated expressions of affection only harm Erdogan.
Abdandulkadir Selvi, a columnist at the pro-government Yeni iafak daily, criticized Yiiit Bulut, a top aiser to Erdogan who recently claimed that he has two guns and hundreds of bullets and that no one can touch Erdogan without killing him first, saying such comments do not benefit Erdogan but hurt him.
In his column published on May 25 in the daily, Selvi wrote: andquotYes, there are two guns, but both are leveled at Erdogan. When Erdogan gets into trouble, they [Bulut and others who excessively praise Erdogan] will be the ones who first kick Erdogan aside. Didnand’t we experience similar cases during the terms of [former Prime Minister and President Turgut] andOzal and [former Prime Minister Tansu] andciller? When these types of people found new masters, they stabbed the old ones in the back. Donand’t sacrifice Erdogan and [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoilu for your short-term interests.andquot
and”I have two registered guns and hundreds of bullets, thanks to my [legal] rights. Until I die, [whether by] being shot or being hanged, no one can touch this countryand’s elected president. The president cannot be a martyr before millions [also] become martyrs,and” Bulut, chief economic aiser to Erdogan, said in televised remarks on TRT Haber on Tuesday evening.
Prior to Bulut, Ethem Sancak, the owner of the pro-government Star Media Group, also expressed his feelings for Erdogan recently in another example of this kind of complimentary comment, using a phrase that resembles the praise for the Prophet Muhammad given by one of his companions.
Sancakand’s earlier expressions of devotion to Erdogan also received considerable attention. When discussions about the production of a Turkish-made car were on the public agenda, he was recorded as saying: and”I am in love with Erdogan. I will be a national hero [by producing Turkish-made cars].and”
After certain individuals in the pro-government media criticized Selvi for damaging the AK Partyand’s image in the eye of the people through his warnings about those who expressed excessive adulation of Erdogan in public, another pro-government journalist, Elif andcakir, who was fired from the pro-government Star daily, defended Selvi.
In several tweets posted on Tuesday, andcakir argued that some members of the pro-government media were ordered to verbally attack Selvi due to his comments slamming exaggerated expressions of affection for Erdogan.
andquotIt is easy to strike at Selvi if the instruction comes from a certain address [in reference to Erdogan]. How will you be able to look at Selvi in the face tomorrow? Guys, look in the mirror! Declare me a member of the and’parallel stateand’ during programs you attend on TV from now on. Hey! You [Yiiit Bulut] who speaks of bullets! Do whatever is required to discredit me!andquot andcakir wrote in her tweets.
andcakir also posted several tweets over the weekend slamming both Bulut and Sancak. In her tweets, andcakir described such exaggerated expressions of love for Erdogan as a horrible dream she hoped would end as soon as possible.
andquotLoveandhellip Bulletsandhellip Let all this nonsense be a nightmareandhellip Letand’s wake up and say they were nightmaresandhellipandquot andcakir recently wrote.
andcakir is now often referred to as the andquotKabatai liarandquot because she publicly, and apparently knowingly, supported fabricated accusations used by the government that a headscarved woman had been assaulted in Kabatai during the Gezi Park protests of 2013 in Istanbul.
Cem Kanduandcanduk, another pro-government columnist at the Star daily, also joined the bandwagon criticizing Selvi on Tuesday, writing: andquotBrother Selvi put us in a difficult position by questioning the adulation for Erdogan. We should not fight each other. He was not right, nor did he do the right thing. If you [Selvi] criticize Sancak, this means you criticize Erdogan.andquot
Another pro-government journalist, Akif Beki, who writes a regular column for the Handurriyet daily, has also complained about the extravagant tributes to Erdogan offered by certain pro-government flatterers.
In his column published on May 19, Beki, despite considering being a partisan of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) as not problematic, defined Sancakand’s stance and words about Erdogan as something going beyond the limits of being a partisan and becoming a andquotdishonorable henchman.andquot
Bekiand’s article, titled andquotThe harm of exaggerated partisanship,andquot claimed that being partisan has some prerequisites, like being overt in your support, not deceiving people by wearing the mask of impartiality, being honest and not putting oneand’s own interests first.
andquotThese partisans should avoid situations such as declaring love for the president and the prime minister, making an analogy between the relationship between [Sufi philosophers] Mevlana [Jelaluddin Rumi] and iems-i Tebrizi and love for state officials, and [using] words praising them that resemble those which praise the Prophet Muhammed,andquot Beki noted.
In addition, a staunchly pro-government columnist told Erdogan during a live interview with several other pro-government journalists in attendance that the president is as and”sweet as honey,andquot another controversial expression of admiration for the president.
and”You are a president who is different and as sweet as honey,andquot Sabah daily columnist Mehmet Barlas said as he addressed Erdogan during a live TV interview on ATV Thursday night.
Barlas is among the journalists who frequently attend such interviews of the president, and is often mocked on social media for his comments and words of praise for Erdogan.
Another journalist who vehemently supports Erdogan and the AK Party, Star daily columnist Ahmet Taigetiren, also joined the cohort of those lauding Erdogan and described him as a andquotman of loveandquot in his recent column.
Taigetiren recently said in his column that he andquotfinds it meaningless to suffocate Erdogan within the routine protocols of the presidential palace,andquot adding, andquotLet this horse run toward the sky.andquot
Fehmi Koru, who is also a vocal supporter of Erdogan and the AK Party, warned about the forthcoming danger for the AK Party in his column published on Tuesday by Habertandurk, saying: andquotI think the government is approaching the end. The AK Party already consisted of a coalition. But now this balance has been damaged since it has lost and’common sense.and’ Todayand’s stereotypical rhetoric is not embraced by voters.andquot

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman