When you are in opposition in this country you immediately become "independent," "liberal" and "a champion of righteousness." Those who were arch enemies yesterday have become the best of friends and allies and have joined in lambasting the government from all angles, most of the time spreading false news and disinformation, or at least unconfirmed reports.
The giant Doğan Media Group, with the flag ship Hürriyet newspaper, is notorious for its strong opposition to all governments with religious sensitivities. It was an arch enemy of the Necmettin Erbakan government in 1996 and 1997 and openly helped to topple the government in the notorious period that is popularly called the February 28 Process.
In 2002 it started by trying to court the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but then made a U-turn as soon as it saw an opportunity and joined forces with the military in 2007 when they felt that a military intervention could topple the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government. After that, then Prime Minister Erdoğan went out to get the Doğan Media Group, but after a period a truce was declared and once again Doğan was "forgiven."
During those days the Doğan family made sweeping gains and profits making the best of Turkey's boom period and doubling its assets.
But they never learn. Doğan was again out to get the Erdoğan administration in 2013, first when there were the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul and then as the prosecutors linked to the Gülen Movement moved to topple the government exploiting corruption charges brought against four cabinet ministers.
Until then the Gülen Movement, with its flag ship Zaman newspaper and its TV stations, was staunchly behind the government and for a decade opposed the Doğan Media Group and defended government programs more than the pro-government media. The Doğan Media Group and the media groups owned by the Gülen Movement joined forces to lambast Erdoğan and his administration.
So this is the true face of these "sincere people" who are the champions of democracy, democratic values and the proponents of free speech. For them, freedom of expression is in their monopoly and everyone else speaking out are undemocratic and Erdoğan's pawns.
Today we see that the cruelest accusations are produced by these two media groups, yet we also see that while they talk about supreme journalistic values, they do not publish stories that may give some credit to the government even if they have major news value. They are hitting the government, especially in education, and the Zaman group is going out of its way in a systematic manner to undermine National Education Minister Nabi Avcı.
Turkey and Turks support the cause of the Palestinians, do they not? These media groups are supposedly sensitive to the plight of the oppressed people, are they not? The news that the religious leader of Turkey gives a religious sermon at the heart of Jerusalem, at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and challenges Israel in front of a massive Palestinian crowd is of massive news value, is it not? Yet we see how they give coverage to the four-day trip by the head of the Presidency of Religious Affairs, Mehmet Görmez, to Al-Aqsa Mosque, his incredible speeches there and his visit to Palestine. Is this journalism? Is this how you become a champion of freedom and liberty?
Those who have supported and, at times, even taken part in past military coups, are still on the same course. This is a great shame.