Last week, Turkey got a momentary respite from the heavy political agenda that has dominated media of late, and turned its attention to a rescue operation in Istanbul's Beykoz district.
Two weeks ago, a puppy, which was later named Kuyu, had fallen into a 70-meter-deep and 30-centimeter-wide waterhole. Once its plight was reported to authorities, volunteers, animal lovers and concerned citizens on social media turned their attention to the rescue operation and waited desperately for the good news.
However, as the days passed while the rescue operations lingered on, most of the mainstream media caught up with the situation and got many of the public hooked.
After 10-days of hard work from municipality and other officials, firefighters, volunteers and animal rights organizations, Kuyu was rescued in the early hours of the 11th day of the rescue efforts, amid sounds of jubilation and celebration.
The news came as a pleasant surprise for everyone, and acted as a great way to improve personal morale before setting off for daily activities. The dog was taken in for medical examination as the eager press followed the development closely. This break from current news trends, dotted with political campaigning, gave people from all walks of life a common goal and victory, irrespective of their political identities.
Even though the rescue operation was celebrated as a cause untainted by divisive factors, events that followed, revealed this apparent show of unity to look like wishful thinking.
Just hours after the rescue, the hard work of numerous organizations and people was turned into ammunition for the endless political debates on social media; and the media, unfortunately, also played a role.
In the morning hours, when the exact nature of the successful rescue operation was not widely known, a tweet from the account of a robotics club of a science and technology high school appeared. The tweet, with several photos of a robotic arm and Kuyu, claimed the robotic arm's success in the rescue operation.
Then in came the congratulatory tweets for the club and praises for the country's youth. A news agency, reporting on the rescue, cited the high school club as the rescuer while many other major news websites, morning news shows and media organizations followed suit.
By that time, discussion on social media turned violent, with many, coming out of the woodworks to use this piece of news as ammunition for a potshot across the aisle. Oppositional views, accusing each other of a lack of attention to the country's future and numerous other sins related or unrelated to the subject.
Different views accused others of using the kids as political capital or blaming universities for falling short, where a high school robotics club managed the rescue. Even many journalists jumped in to the fray. It was a mess on both sides where the rescue itself did not matter anymore and facts were only useful when helpful for rhetoric.
By midday, the principal of the high school in question released a statement saying that the robotic arm was present during the operation but was unsuccessful. But though it was not them who rescued Kuyu from the hole, their efforts deserved appreciation nonetheless.
Later on, news agencies and other media organizations corrected their articles, stating that they were misled by the ambiguous nature of the original tweet. And for those who had jumped for a quick bit of a moral high ground quietly stepped back, without even acknowledging the deception, until next time.