As coronavirus continues to shut countries around the world, panic seems to be spreading faster than the disease itself. We do not know how many people will be infected by the virus; however, it is clear that everyone will be affected by the panic it has caused and its consequences.
I am not just talking about the economic devastation, contraction and downsizing that the crisis will lead to. This issue will also have social and psychological implications. Already, vulnerable groups such as those suffering from panic disorders and the elderly have been pushed into deep pessimism. Quarantine practices and disaster projections are also fueling skepticism in societies. This could push politicians to populist policies that would have more widespread consequences, such as xenophobia.
Famous author Noah Harari says this process could even lay the groundwork for totalitarian regimes with surveillance measures in the pandemic.
For instance, it is not a bad joke or a Freudian slip that U.S. President Donald Trump called the virus “Chinese virus” on Twitter and named it after China. Trump is creating a new ideological backdrop to his isolationist rhetoric by identifying a scourge – that is the common enemy of humanity – with a race.
As a matter of fact, the situation is no different in the European Union (EU), which is building a “Trump Wall” for Syrian refugees on Turkey's border with Greece. Because European leaders care more about political correctness than Trump, they are announcing their pandemic measures in softer terms, that is all. It is likely that EU countries will toughen new anti-migrant policies and measures in the coming days because of the coronavirus outbreak.
It is not so surprising that politicians have strayed into populism. However, xenophobia with Orientalism sauce adopted by some of the “prestigious” actors of the U.S. and European press in the coronavirus days is simply appalling.
For instance, media outlets such as The New York Times, The Associated Press, CNN International, the BBC and the BBC Turkish are constantly using the images of Turkey in their news about coronavirus. Even though Turkey is not included in the U.S. flight ban imposed on European countries, they present the news to their readers with photographs of Istanbul and mosques.
What do you think might be the reason for them to use the images of Turkey even in the news about the closure of businesses in Italy, the deaths in Iran and even the positive coronavirus test of the Spanish Prime Minister's wife? Out of ignorance? It would be ludicrous to say yes.
They are all very aware of what they are doing. There is only one reason for this “systematic” distortion: To identify coronavirus with Turkey, which is fighting the epidemic very effectively and has seen 97 cases so far, one of which has resulted in death.
However, all Turkey has done – just as it has done in the Syrian refugee crisis – is to maintain its humanitarian policies in the face of coronavirus.
Turkey has offered Italy medical aid when all other countries have backed out. It even offered humanitarian support to Iran, against which embargo has not been eased even under the current circumstances.
Humanity will overcome this crisis in solidarity. But they will neither forget coronavirus nor the xenophobia of the hypocritical Western press in the days of the pandemic.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.