Most people who will read this article probably thinks that the press in Turkey does not have high quality as in the most other areas. They are not wrong at all, but it certainly should not be related to the cause of press freedom in Turkey. In this case, the biggest reason of this is although there are a small number of journalists who oppose to Erdogan and supports its opponents in Turkey, they are much more capable and have an international vision than Erdogan and government supporters. Opponents do their job successfully, describe Turkey as they want, they tell stories to the world from their perspective. I certainly do not define myself as an opponent, but to be objective, I can say that the people I know in this area is insufficient in journalism and their visions are very narrow.
One of the most important deficiencies in Turkey is not being able to tell what happened here in the international media correctly. For example; Turkey cannot explain itself correctly in the topics such a fight against FETÖ and PKK terrorist organizations, Turkey’s Syria strategies, relationships in foreign policy, democracy in Turkey, other many important issues such as freedom of the press in the international media. President Erdogan and a number of men in government fight against this issue in their overseas trips, in the organizations they attend, in the interviews and the statements they give, but this is certainly not enough. The main reason for this is the inadequate people near Erdogan. Most of the journalists who accompanied Erdogan and ministers on official flights does not have a name in international press organizations. However, unfortunately, these people think they are doing their job properly by frequently criticizing the western media in their turf. There is nothing else they do.
President Erdogan is a politician who cares and knows the power of the media. Under these circumstances, the most important media institutions are under the control of the people close to Erdogan in Turkey. But it is important to remember that media and political relations are the same in most countries of the world today and it was the same in previous periods during the history, the people who come into power and their opponents have a certain power on media. So I want to touch on a different topic.
President Erdogan often notes the importance of press freedom, but because of the people who are more royalist than the king, it is so hard to criticize Erdogan and its government in many newspapers published in Turkey, the state channel TRT and many other private television channels. However, I certainly do not think that this happened with a direct order from President Erdogan. Most administrators and writers who work in these media institutions are unilateral, far from objective, and quite repulsive to show that they are close to Erdogan, and I think that they do not know that criticism is an essential attitude.
Erdogan cannot be a world leader with this kind of people
We do not see the writings or thoughts of these people who always say that they dedicate themselves to Turkish issues, support Erdogan and its government, be a nationalist and a patriot at every opportunity in the international media. Those who criticize foreign press at every opportunity and who do not even share their thoughts in a foreign language on the social media are surely so inadequate that they cannot be trainees in international media institutions that they criticize. These people always react sharply to the bad news of international press about Turkey in the domestic press and Twitter as if it is of benefit for Turkey. This is as frustrating as it is funny because these people occupy the positions they do not deserve sit in the seats they do not deserve and earn high sums. At the same time, they cause journalism in Turkey to dumb down. Of course, journalists do not have an obligation to tell what is going on in Turkey, but then they should not respond the critical news in the international media by chauvinism and heroism in the local press.
These people both fail to explain what is going on in Turkey and give an opportunity to opponents and unfair journalists. In this case, they also cause a big problem except not to support the values they believe in and fail to contribute to Erdogan. I think this is a big strategic mistake for them, too. This foolishness of Erdogan’s consultants and journalists around him also gives great damage to President Erdogan. The biggest reason for Erdogan’s policies to seem repulsive in Turkey and the world is these people around him. Because of these fools, many people think that there is no press freedom in Turkey and Turkey supports terror organizations. The situation is not exactly, as what people think, but if you cannot tell yourself to outside, it does not matter anymore.
Today, there are so many managers and writers of Iran and Russia working in the international media institutions despite the fact that they do not be loved by the West and while they support this with the right foreign policies, sad but true Turkey is approximately equal to the countries such as Madagascar and Togo in this area. Not only that, there is no newspaper or website that has effective English publications. Moreover, Turkish newspapers, which are at a level to compete with the US and the UK media in terms of sales values, are just another example of the inadequacy in Turkish because they just have publications in Turkish.
As a result, Erdogan must change this. As a journalist who has worked in international media organizations, it is my natural right to demand Turkish President to dismiss these inadequate and incompetent people working in the most important seats and corners in the media sector. Also, there is a serious oligarchy in the media sector; the President should eliminate the oligarchy in Turkish media and should choose the right people as advisers. I think there are many inadequate people in his team and he needs to eliminate all of them. Otherwise, neither Turkey will be a significant power nor Erdogan will be a world leader.