‘Cheer the violence and it will all blow up on your face’

“We politicians are responsible for the murders committed in our country…”

‘His Excellency’ will be reminded of this statement every day.

He deserves much more than this; he deserves a loud, sonorous, collective reminder.

His country reeks of police violence and male violence.

His Excellency is busy with trying to boss everyone in line. In his mental world he puts everything in order of rank and conceitedly advises each leader to partake in condemnations concerning injustices dealt to those he considers as “one of us”.

The women, who want to join the funeral of a fellow female and show their emotions like any other citizen, are driven practically mad by the urban shopkeepers on the brink of explosion, and they are arbitrarily taken into custody – how can you expect calm, domestic peace or mutual trust in a country like that?

The end-result is clear.

Look how the number of women killed at the hand of male violence has increased in the last six years:

2009: 80

2010: 180

2011: 121

2012: 210

2013: 214

2014: 294

Meryem Yılmaz, aged 27 and mother of three kids, was stabbed to death by her husband.

The whole country is shocked by how Özgecan Aslan fell victim to male atrocities.

Have no doubt that the numbers will grow.

For politicians here are not responsible or anything of the murders committed in their country. They don’t care to show any response, and more important, they don’t care to stop and think to do something for peace and safety.

If any citizen gets killed, they first check his/her social identity.

If s/he is not “one of us”, they forget to show even a minimum of human sympathy and prefer to crack down on the victim.

This is a country where children fall victim to state violence and their mothers are jeered at – in a hysterical way unseen in even the darkest regimes.

If you think of it, it is an enormous moral decay.

They don’t let you say “woman”, they insist on “madam”.

The whole place is full of “ma’am”s.

So much so that you would think, “Wow, apparently this country has a great male sensitivity towards gender equality.”

Yet, the fact is that the expression “ma’am” is a symbol concept of an extremely fake, sneaky and ostracizing kind of moralism that has overtaken the country. It is the emptiest word that belongs to a male rule running rampant.

Irmak Yenişehirlioğlu, in a tweet where she shared her deep sorrow for Özgecan, said, “We are a moralist, immoral nation. They need to put us in quarantine.”

His Excellency’s discourse of “order” is built on anger, but the “wrapping” is enviable.

It makes you think of a passion for an “ideal society”.

However, the inside of the wrapping is all pus.

It is true, yes; you politicians are responsible of the murders committed in your country.

You are there on the very top to serve all the people of this country, the people you are representing; and if those people have slid into a state of fear, oppression and unrest the responsibility is yours.

Each murder, each arbitrary arrest, each suffering that violates the law adds a new tick on your checklist of responsibilities.

We are at a stage where thousands of women angrily take to the streets in various cities and it can only demonstrate that we are at the brink of explosion.

This is because in an unfortunate nation like ours, women have a much more intense feeling for the social schism, polarization, mutual enmity and fear that we are living in.

This pouring into the streets and this wave of fury has been the strongest alarm signal so far. If women are standing up and defying security officers, it means the threshold has become very clear.

A domineering rigidness paved the way to the Gezi Park protests. And it was the same challenging and derisive attitude towards Kobane that led to uprisings in towns and cities.

Now it’s the women.

You are making yourself a target of their resentment.

The newspaper of a so-called journalist, whom you have on your plane like a fixture each time you go on a visit, reflected the Özgecan incident as if it served her right.
You impose a lumpen politics on the country.

This won’t go away. Cutting the country open like a watermelon, slicing it like a pear is not what one would call responsible leadership. It is something else.

Just stop.

Or you will blow it all up.

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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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