Güngör Mengi

Warning of surrender

20 Şubat 2009
The Treasury fined Doğan Publishing 826 million Turkish Liras the other day. Everyone can easily see that this serves to keep silent the media companies under the Doğan umbrella. As the understanding of freedom at this age is trying to have more supporters the government in Turkey is putting efforts to create a media that has dropped the reins of control and criticisms. We are facing now a rude warning of "surrender"! It is called the cruelty of the state to apply the power unevenly. The fears originating from the government terror is spreading rapidly in the society.

This is the method to stop the challenger institutions. What about the Judiciary? What will happen when judicial bodies determine that this is injustice? People being targeted will be revealed to be those who are loyal to democracy, rights and freedoms, and virtuous, as always. But then what will the mindset that sees despotism as a way of taming people do?

The government is in an unfortunate plot harming both its interests and the image of Turkey. This is the revelation of an ill thought because the tax fine targets the newspapers which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once asked people "not to read" them.

The person to be punished is a distinguished entrepreneur who has the honor of being named as tax-payer champion for many times. And that’s a real contradiction. ThenÉ One should ponder about if it is worth it to plant doubts that Turkey is not a secure place for foreign investors and that prestigious institutions may be subject to the wrath of the government any time.

Fines that turn the authorities of the state into fury are of course serious but they are more serious and closer danger for the mindset believing that it is possible to form the desired media environment through similar fines.

The future of this country demands intellectuals who will courageously advocate democracy and the freedom of press as its indispensible!

Güngör Mengi is a columnist for the daily Vatan in which this piece appeared yesterday. It was translated into English by the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review's staff
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