By Tevhid Nazmi Baştürk
In the eyes of the western the portrayal of the Gezi Park protests have been manipulative and one-sided. From the very beginning of these protests, from an advertisement placed the New York Times, to the CNN's Gezi Park marathon, since the very start when it came to these "peaceful protests" the western media took a biased stance which more often than not involved publishing and broadcasting manipulative coverage that couldn't be farther from the truth. The ad formulated to resemble a letter to the Turkish Prime Minister aired in the Times in late July once again fell true to this trend.
This new advertisement placed in the Times, the information in which has little to no factual basis, has fit the mold of the earlier manipulative broadcasts, as well as its predecessor, the advertisement placed in the New York Times. Though the form factor has changed, the fallacious content has not.
The letter with its content leaves much for suspect, lacking any academic content, leaves the reader with no doubts as to why none of the signers are from an academic background. The letter has an element of irony, in that being signed and put forth by a group of Hollywood writers, actors and directors; it allows for the reader to realize that just like their other products, this letter is one of fiction.
The letter claims that the governance in Turkey is a fascistic one, drawing parallels between the government in Turkey, to the one in place during the Third Reich. Drawing parallels between the staged Nazi support rallies to those that took place in Turkey without considering one obvious truth. The truth that the supporters of Erdoğan took to the rallies by choice, asking for the western media to acknowledge the legitimacy of their democratic right, asking that their voice too be heard. Though this fell on deaf ears, as outlets such as the Times chose to misinterpret it, manipulating the rallies intent depicting legitimacy as fascism.
The letter claims that the rights of equality for Turkish citizens are being shunned as a growingly authoritarian presence in government proactively acts to deny them their rights. How could this possibly be the case in a country where the supposedly dictatorial Erdoğan's own daughter cannot enter employment as a civil servant due to the sole reason that she chooses to wear a headscarf, a symbol of devotion to her religion?
Even though the AK Party during their 10 years in office has passed many regulations to further democratize the country, the Times still felt it fit to publish this entirely slanderious advertisement. The AK Party continuously worked on new laws and legislation, adding more freedoms in such issues as the removal of the head scarf ban from public buildings such as hospitals and universities, the removal of the ban on Kurdish language in institutions of learning and government, and last but not least the once again allowing for the teaching of the Qur'an within schools and universities. Of course, the letter failed to mention any of these, and instead focused on the new regulations that are were passed regulating alcohol sales (though the laws on these issues still remain more relaxed than those in place in the United States).