Media hate speech targets Alevis most, report reveals

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- The Alevi community was the most targeted community in articles or news items that are considered to be hate speech between September and December 2013, according to a recent report from the Hrant Dink Foundation released on Thursday.

The Hrant Dink Foundation regularly monitors the media for stories that target religious and ethnic minorities, or other disaantaged groups such as the disabled or non-heterosexual individuals. The number of headlines and news stories that vilified specific groups on the basis of ethnicity, religion or other characteristics steadily rose in the timeframe, the report has shown.

Turkey’s non-Muslim communities — Christians, Armenians and other groups — were the target of hate speech in the Turkish media, as was the case in previous reports. Kurds and Turkey’s Greeks were also the victims of hate speech, albeit to a lower degree this time.

Out of the 25 samples that were examined, 15 included elements of hate speech against male and female homosexuals, the report revealed. According to the findings, challenges faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)ommunity in Turkey are still festering and need to be addressed by the authorities.

The report consists of two chapters, with the first focusing on hate speech on a broader scale that includes stories, headlines and various content against certain groups or individuals. The second chapter was specially prepared with an exclusive focus on Turkey’s Alevis. The report was prepared by Nil Mutluer after a detailed discourse analysis of a number of newspapers, including Bir Gun, Haberturk, Hurriyet, Milliyet, Özgur Gundem, Star, Sözcu, Yeni Iafak, Yurt and Zaman.

The report reveals that newspapers which appeal to different segments of society due their political affiliation or social tendencies in a broad political spectrum produce the same discriminative language towards Alevis.

After conducting a detailed analysis of the newspapers’ coverage of various events concerning Alevis, such as the joint mosque-cemevi (Alevi house of worship) project the government’s Alevi opening and a conference on Alevi issues held by the Abant Platform, organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) the report said the media continue to use discriminatory language.

(CihanToday’s Zaman)