In Praise of ERDOĞAN, the President of Turkey
Western Media got into the habit of putting down Mr.Erdoğan at every opportunity they can find. He hardly gets praise for anything good he does.
Judging by what’s reported by the Western Media, one gets the impression that he only does things that are wrong and bad, worthy of constant disdain and harsh criticism.
Here, in order to bring some fairness and balance to this situation, I’ve decided to give praise to Mr.Erdoğan for his good and positive deeds that have been consistently overlooked and/or vastly under-reported by the Western Media:
1- Mr.Erdoğan has been one of the most outspoken moral-voices asking for justice in the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudis.
2- His humanitarian policies have helped settle about 3.5 million Syrian refugees within Turkey who have been fleeing war and devastation in their own country, during the last several years.
3- He has been a very reliable ally of the West and US in the fight against ISIS. The contribution of the Kurds in this fight is often mentioned and praised (as it should), yet Turkey’s contribution to the same fight is mostly ignored.
4- His reported influence on Mr.Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from Syria is generally presented as a self-serving, wrong and even a devious act. Contrary to these negative characterizations is the fact that a thoughtful and honest politician like Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democratic Presidential Candidate) in the US, and many others like her, also think this withdrawal is a very good, positive decision.
Most (including myself) agree that it should not be carried out hastily, but that’s exactly what Mr.Erdoğan states he suggested to Mr.Trump as well, an important qualification left out of Western Media’s reporting, from the start.
More recently, Mr.Erdoğan wrote a detailed article on the subject in The New York Times (Jan 7th, 2019). Kudos to this newspaper for publishing it, but it was pretty much ignored by the rest of the American Media since.
The incorrect assumption (repeatedly asserted by John R.Bolton, the National Security Advisor) that the lives of the innocent Kurds in Northern Syria would be in grave danger due to an impending attack by the Turkish Military (as soon as the US ground-forces withdraw from the region) has now become an established mantra of the American Media.
Mr.Erdoğan clearly refuted this incorrect assertion at many forums including his aforementioned NY Times article, but to no avail, as far as being able to correct the reporting of the American Media on this issue is concerned.
This section below is not a praise for Mr.Erdoğan, but a further criticism of the Western Media which does not always report the facts right (sometimes intentionally):
Turkey is routinely presented in the Western Media as the country that jails the largest number of journalists in the world, yet it is not even close. The error in these presentations comes from a lack of proper understanding of how the science of statistics works. Let me explain:
Many countries around the globe don’t even have anything resembling a free-press (Turkey does, albeit imperfect). Therefore, the number of the jailed-journalists in these countries is, by definition, zero. In other words, they don’t even have any journalists (other than those employed by the government for propaganda purposes) who would contribute numbers to any meaningful statistics as “jailed journalists”.
By analogy, this is similar to saying US has a worse safety record for air-travel than a Country-X which does not even have any air-travel whatsoever over it’s skies. Sure, nobody gets hurt or dies flying in Country-X because nobody does fly in that country to begin with.
Lets hope and pray that one of the compassionate acts of Mr.Erdoğan in 2019 will be to work, in collaboration with the Judiciary, towards drastically reducing the number of jailed journalists in Turkey. This will do wonders towards a more positive image of him and his beloved Country, everywhere.
NOTE: Why did I say “sometimes intentionally”, above? Because it is sometimes intentional, and not just out of ignorance, that the West puts down the East. Please read Prof. Edward W.Said’s seminal work “Orientalism”; it is as valid today as it was in1978, when it was first published.
May peace be upon us all.
Celik Kayalar, PhD.
Writer, Director, Producer of THE TRAFFICK
Former research associate and faculty at MIT, UC Berkeley and UCLA,
in chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOĞAN
President of Turkey