Firstly, I directly want to say what I think. For me, freedom is essential. However, Freedom House does not have even the slightest significance.
The notion of press freedom and recent developments in Turkish media are very important to me. I am not really concerned about what is written about Turkey in the 2014 annual report issued by Freedom House. With all due respect, I would like to recall a few things from the recent past. It sounds like a tasteless joke for an institution, whose board of directors has recently included names such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Samuel Huntington, Jeanne Kirckpatrick, Mark Palmer and the former CIA director R. James Woolsey, to talk about the freedom of the press.
Freedom House was founded in 1941 in response to the Nazi war propaganda effort and became prominent during the Cold War period. When the liberal figures who had worked for this NGO are considered, it is evident that they are either the politicians who were outstanding in their anti-communist stances or recognized Kremlinologists in the academia. What really worries me is the fact that the institution, which attempts to teach a lesson about press freedom to the world, participated in the whole process of legitimizing the invasion of Iraq from the very beginning.
So, how can one regard Ken Adelman, who encouraged the White House to take immediate action by writing "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk," in the Washington Post in 2002, as someone in favor of liberties? Is he a member of Freedom House only because he is an expert on Shakespeare? Or is it due to the relationship he has with Rumsfeld, Cheney and Wolfowitz?
Another tragicomic aspect of all this is that some names regarding themselves as "leftist" sang praises to Freedom House merely because it criticized the Turkish government in its 2014 report.
No such example can clearly point out that the leftism in Turkey has such weak grounds and lacks principles, which is a case even Freedom House should be ashamed of.
A newspaper praising Bashar Assad at every chance applauded the report. The Turkish opposition has already run out of honor and morals but I wonder whether the left-liberals in Washington would be ashamed of this picture?
And I am asking all those shrewd people trying to infer "shame" for Turkey due to its rank on the report. In countries such as Tanzania, Indonesia and China, which are in the same league as Turkey in the report, do they ever utter the phrase, "they'll spit on your grave," about their prime minister?
Could their leading five newspapers be opposed to the government?
I would like to say "Let aside all these lies, let's only talk about the bare truths." However, I don't really think they could understand this, either.
I favor the release of all the imprisoned journalists even if the institutions they serve belong to marginal political organizations. I am really concerned about the fact that the journalists are always working with a fear of the future. But I cannot discuss these issues with an institution that has a dubious past and suspicious intelligence sources.