Disciplining journalists the Turkish and Palestinian way

We are bedazzled by the economic success of Islamic Turkey when we compare it with Islamic Iran. At the height of this success we tend to ignore or rather not hear disturbing news coming from Istanbul.
As we say this, we focus on Turkey’s natural beauty, its tourism and cuisine and of course the TV soap opera Muhannad (its return has been proudly announced by some TV channels) because millions of Arab viewers are eagerly waiting to see Muhannad’s strawberry blond curls and blues eyes.

There is another Turkish TV serial ‘Harim Sultan’ which was criticized by one of the new Arab leaders for tarnishing the image of one Muslim ruler (Mohammed Morsi), and after the return of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan from his auspicious visit to Egypt (the Muslim Brotherhood), ended up attacking ‘Harim Sultan’ which otherwise was won praise in the Arab world.

Our topic today is based on the recent announcement made by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on 10 countries which have the worst record in the world for putting journalists behind bars. Our bedazzled Turkey occupies the top spot followed by Iran and China and to the surprise of all Syria is in fifth place.

The report issued by the CPJ states the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is waging one of the fiercest wars on the freedom of the press in contemporary history.

One eye-catching aspect is that, most journalists who are jailed by Turkey are Kurds. They are accused of terrorism. The accounts and reports from the CPJ affirm they are mere prisoners of opinion.

To add insult to injury the Islamic government of Erdogan has officially cemented that trait. Erdogan summoned the editors-in-chief of newspapers and ordered them to discipline their reporters.

In one incident Erdogan called one of the Kurdish journalists a ‘traitor’ for writing an article which did not go well with him and the next day he was fired by a hypocrite editor-in-chief of that particular newspaper.
Here in Kuwait, we thank Allah the Almighty because we don’t see any journalist behind bars. And also people did not protest when some tweeters were arrested for committing crimes against the state security, violating the law or when one tweeter was jailed for infringing on the entity of HH the Amir.

It looks like the narrow-minded opinion about others has become the trait of radical Islam.

The Hamas government has decided to cut off the source of sustenance for some Palestinian journalists and correspondents. According to the British Guardian newspaper they are prevented from either working for or cooperating with the Israeli information media.

They are also prevented by the Hamas government from conducting interviews with the Israeli information media, something which proves the narrow mindedness of this authority.

It is in the interest of Palestine to allow the news of Gaza to reach Tel Aviv so that the Israelis can know the size of the sufferings of the people of Gaza on one hand due to the blockade imposed by Israel and on the other, the dictatorship and corruption practiced by the radical leadership of Hamas, something which Hamas fears Israel will disclose to the entire world.

e-mail: ali-albaghli@hotmail.com

By: Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli Former Minister of Oil

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