Erdoğan’s desperate PR gathering exposes ‘parallel journalism’

Seeing no way out from his political and legal impasse, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s latest move was to gather a group of journalists to a hastily arranged meeting in his office in Dolmabahçe Palace, İstanbul. 

No doubt this was an act of growing despair. The prime minister proves, time and again, that when strongly challenged the only way he knows is to assemble a package of imaginary enemies and elaborate on them without any convincing evidence.  

He uses his ammunition of loud rhetoric, as he did after the Gezi Park protests, when he managed to repair a decline in his voters to a certain degree. This time, though, he is facing a very different problem: one graft probe, along with a second one (which has been blocked), and two ministers’ sons plus the CEO of a public bank and others in detention, with a seemingly powerful collection of evidence. This makes Erdoğan’s swim against the current much more arduous.  

And the more powerful the current is, the wilder his rhetoric becomes.  

“Parallel state” has remained a favorite term. What distinguishes it from the “deep state” is, we have learned, that the former is the “deep state without the military.”

In the early stages of the graft probe’s public appearance, he extensively used the term “global assault” to enrich our knowledge but, as we understand from the PR event in Dolmabahçe, this did not really cut it. So he used a new term, “global assassination” — which was against his person, his government and, of course, Turkey. These global assassins — who, we might hear soon, may have been inspired by telekinesis methods from outer space — are a blend of business formations, shadowy forces, media (what else) and enemies in disguise at home and abroad, in a lethal combination.  

Here, to clarify what he meant, he received help from Numan Kurtulmuş, deputy chairman of the AKP; the new phrase was the “chaos lobby.”

Another term which tops his list is “dependent judiciary,” as opposed to “independent.” He is like a soccer player who thinks referees are redundant. He told his PR group, sorry, the “journalists” at the meeting, that he will not only do his utmost to fight back against the “dependent judiciary,” but also lashed out at “some prosecutors” who he accused of travelling abroad too often and excessive skiing. He also informed the “PR group” that he “ordered the Justice Ministry to seek possible ways for the retrial of army officers suspected of coup attempts.”


The despair he feels for his survival has been revealed by the fact that he no longer has any idea what he is doing: He is frantically lifting the lid on every possible hole that can take Turkey back to its despicably malevolent factory settings. It is no wonder that all the undemocratic forces are now waking up from their hibernation.

The saddest part was…

To read the full article, click here.



About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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