The entire world is currently talking about the massacres committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the al-Sham (ISIS) in the region. But no discussion on the subject goes beyond resembling a poor civil society initiative. For the U.S. and European countries, the incidents in the region means nothing other than backward Muslim Middle Eastern communities throttling each other. For this reason, in the region described as a "swamp" by the West, they only confine themselves to be regarded as if they were doing something without getting involved in this smear. This is why the U.N., founded to preserve peace in the world, has not issued even a single proper announcement of condemnation while thousands of civilians are being killed. After all, we do not expect such a "radical" attitude from the West. But couldn't they at least fulfill their financial obligations on the humanitarian side of this ongoing tragedy? Within the last few years, more than 200,000 civilians have been killed in the wars going on in Syria and Iraq, while 8 million civilians have had to seek asylum. Some 1.6 million of them have taken refuge in Turkey. The number of refugees that passed through Turkey's borders in only three days was 180,000.
Welcoming these helpless civilians without hesitation, Ankara has spent nearly $4 billion (TL 9.14 billion) so far according to data from the U.N. As the war is likely to continue, this number will grow. Turkey also fights the integration problems caused by these "foreigners" on its own. So, how does the West, which accuses Middle Eastern countries of being barbaric and claims to hold the patent on social harmony, modernity and human rights, exhibit its difference? How and to what extent does it undertake this burden that is on the shoulders of all humanity? The figures prove the level of evolution which society or state is at. Europe has so far spent only several million dollars on Syrian refugees. Boasting the signatures they have under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or refugee law, European countries and the U.S. did not open their borders even for 4,000 or 5,000 of these refugees. They are trying to choose engineers or doctors from the refugees, a word synonymous with "helpless" in every language. In other words, even at such a hard time for humanity, the West still pursues its own interests and tries to benefit from the helpless people instead of providing assistance. We call such opportunism "dead robbery" in the Middle East.
So, what about Western people? Of course the people living in Europe and the U.S. could not be held responsible for the double standards of their governments in the Middle East. I also criticize many of the activities implemented by the rulers in my country. However, this does not constitute an impediment to object to a massacre and unlawfulness anywhere in the world. Therefore, why are our fellows, most of whom are doubtlessly sensitive to universal values and common traits of humanity, silent now? It would not be true to answer this with an essentialist approach such as "Western people are selfish" as it is claimed of Middle Eastern people and Muslims. But sure there is someone in charge of this.
As a journalist, I am aware of the media's influence on shaping and manipulating the reactions of people. Consequently, I think media's disinformation is in charge of the Western public's insensitivity and unwillingness to press their governments for at least some kind of humanitarian aid. The same media outlets also represented Turkey, which has recently secured the release of the 49 Turkish Consulate workers held hostage by this organization, as a country that supports this radical Islamist terrorist organization. There are many instances of manipulation by Western media outlets that deceive the public. I could illustrate my concerns more clearly if I share a recent instance that caught my attention.
As it is already known, ISIS is fighting to take Kobani, a Kurdish city along the Syria-Turkey border. About 200,000 Kurds fleeing from the city took refuge in Turkey. So, how was this incident depicted to the public by a "prestigious" news agency such as Reuters, which provides news reports from the region to the international media? Under a report titled "Kobane under siege," the agency used an image of Turkish tanks positioned along Turkey's border. This is not a journalistic mistake - this is a sheer smear attempt. In this case, Turkey was clearly represented as an ally of ISIS even though Turkey recognized ISIS as a terrorist organization and hosts the civilians escaping from ISIS's mass murders. What is more, this report was released when NATO issued an announcement that said they will defend their ally Turkey against any ISIS attacks.
Another recent instance was a photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu outside of a mosque in a New York Times article on ISIS's recruitment in Turkey, implying that they support ISIS. The newspaper then issued a correction and apologized for the photograph. But we do not know how many of the people reading the first misleading report saw the correction. Of course, those people whose perceptions are manipulated with such news reports are not expected to mold public opinion for the creation of the buffer-zone Ankara has demanded to be home to refugees or put public pressure on their government for it. You are being deceived!