MuMTAZER – Lost intellectuals

Lost intellectualsIn his column in the pro-government Yeni Iafak newspaper, journalist Ali BayramoIlu, known for his leftist and liberal views, tried to defend the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the face of mounting pressures from Europe and the United States about the freedom of the press and the pressures against Zaman newspaper and Samanyolu TV network as follows: andquotThe West fails to make sense of a and#39state of internal siegeand#39 and the efforts to confront it, a rare incident in its own history. It focuses on the formal faults of these efforts, ignoring the essence.

andquotThe fight, BayramoIlu argues, is between the andquotlegitimateandquot and the andquotillegitimate.andquot Such defenses that mean nothing actually hold true in reverse.

In a country where the executives of a newspaper and TV network were taken to custody in compliance with the instructions given by the president, the ruling party loses its legitimacy. In such a case, the essence of the matter is that democracy and the rule of law is eliminated.

As is seen, any defense of the ruling party can be reversed using the same logic and thesis. Like BayramoIlu, Etyen Mahupyan has been penning articles that send mixed reactions for Turkiye, another pro-government newspaper andquotThe governmentand#39s involvement in corruption is obvious,andquot he wrote one day, but accused of those who voice the same argues of being andquotfoolishandquot the next day.

Another day, he indicated that journalists cannot be arrested on charges of membership to an armed organization. Then, he rushes to note that the matter cannot be reduced to the freedom of the press.

Turkeyand#39s intellectuals have been effectively silenced. The attack against the Zaman newspaper signifies the tipping point.

Just like what Vladimir Putin did in Russia, President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan has established very tight control over the media via oligarchs. Putin distributes certain privileges regarding oil and natural gas resources meanwhile, in Turkey, these privileges are distributed via public tenders and urban rent.

Thus, capitalists are taken under the ruling partyand#39s yoke through threats or privileges. A person who receives instructions directly from ErdoIan, like the Soviet Communist Partyand#39s commissary, is appointed to each newspaper or TV network.

As such, no room is given to dissident or critical journalists.All of Turkeyand#39s reputable journalists who can be considered opinion leaders are currently unemployed.

The rest, like BayramoIlu and Mahupyan, are trying to survive the repression by voicing self-contradictory views or theses.The total circulation figures of all newspapers is around 45 million.

With a circulation figure of 1 million, the Zaman newspaper is the best-selling paper in the country and grabs the lionand#39s share of the total circulation. If the Zaman newspaper can be silenced, it will spell the end of the critical media in Turkey.

ErdoIan cannot tolerate any dissenting media outlets because his power is extremely vulnerable. Despite relentless efforts to silence the press and control the judiciary, ErdoIan is unable to cover up the corruption allegations.

His only choice is to take everything under control, as is the case in North Korea The lack of the freedom of press and the independence of judiciary also inhibits equal and fair competition among political parties. We can hardly say that rule of law and democracy is operational, at a minimumThose intellectuals who lend support to the ruling party despite these anti-democratic conditions are in pursuit of their individual interests.

The remaining intellectuals are heroically using all their might and main to maintain their opposition with determination. Social media networks perform a major function in filling the gap and counterbalancing the pressures on the media, but this is not enough.

These venues are still out of reach for the broad masses, including the supporters of the AK Party.Thus, the Zaman newspaper is the last bastion of the democratic opposition to ErdoIan.

It provides a good venue not only for its own columnists, but also for diverse intellectuals to express their views.Turkeyand#39s intellectual capital has been crushed by ErdoIanand#39s repressive policies.

Some have become lost as they near the ruling party, while the majority is sticking to ethical values.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman