Yours truly in the Turkish media

As you could read here, I have been to Gülyazi village for eight days last week. This sparked some interest from the Turkish media. It started with a column by my friend and colleague Amberin Zaman, who writes for The Economist and for daily paper Habertürk. She wrote a column about me on Tuesday, under the title ‘The journalist that makes me feel ashamed’, (in Turkish), about my journalism work here in the southeast.

Soon after that was published, a journalist from Habertürk called me for an interview for Wednesday’s paper. We talked some time on the phone, I didn’t see the article yet since I am now in a village where no newspapers are available. I hope to put a link to it later.

To my suprise, then also the huge Turkish TV channel CNN Türk called, if I was interested in appearing in the famous show of talk show host Cüneyt Özdemir. Also, to talk about my experiences in Gülyazi. Of course I was, and soon a regional camera team was on the way to Balveren village, some ten kilometers from Şirnak city, where I am staying now. Lights and camera were set up in the house of the family where I was staying, some neighbors came to curiously watch what was going on, very exciting indeed. See a pic here.
The interview on prime time was in Turkish, and apparently, I spoke a bit too open about the Uludere massacre and the Kurdish question. Several people told me Cüneyt Özdemir got rather uncomfortable with my open answers. Well, what else can I do than speak what’s on my mind? I didn’t dare to watch it back yet, but here it is.

11 thoughts on “Yours truly in the Turkish media”

  1. Your Turkish is very cute Frederike.
    I watched the whole interview and I am little bit skeptical about “Well, what else can I do than speak what’s on my mind?” since when Cüneyt Özdemir asked about the presence of PKK there your mood changed and you told that you did not talk much about PKK with people in Uludere or so…
    How can it be ? You tell that you want to write a book about Kurdish issue and you have not talked about PKK with the people there… I really did not get that !
    There can be two cases IMHO :
    1. A cross on “Well, what else can I do than speak what’s on my mind?”
    2. Epic fail in terms of writing a book about Kurdish issue 😉

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  2. Great job Frederike. Although I can understand only a few words, I appreciate your bravery. Of course you can’t speak about PKK. If you do, you will end up in jail and the people of Uludere will end up slaughtered.

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  3. @candide, you are always skeptical about Frederike’s opinions. if you have read Frederike’s blog for a while you should have understood that she is especially interested in human rights, minorities and women rights. Being opponent is (or must be) in the nature of journalists. She lives in Turkey and the picture she points to us almost the same as i see. Here (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?dynamic_load_id=186414) is human rights report released by US. If you dont like to hear Turkey from foreigners close this page and read star, sabah etc. newspaper, you will see the news as you wish.

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  4. Candide, to be honest, you are the one talking as if you know what you are talking about when in fact in general your comments make really no sense whatsoever. I was in Uludere to see daily life, and it’s in fact true we hardly talked about the PKK. Do you think the daily life of people there evolves around the PKK? No, it’s about a broken sewege system, about six goats that were killed by a wolve, about the kids going to school and about the only good electricity plug in the house breaking down. You have no idea about what I do and what researching for the book I want to write is about, you don’t want to understand, you base your opinions about me on assumptions you create in your own mind. Like elceto, I wonder what you are doing here if you don’t want to hear anything you don’t like. You think your comments are smart or funny or both, but in fact, they are ignorant and very tendentious.

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  5. I can imagine the life in Uludere is not evolving around PKK. That is totally a different thing. I am just questioning how come that you did not talk about PKK with people there… That’s the question Uludere or any place in Turkey people have something to say about PKK. That’s my point. If we talk about Kurdish issue PKK is one dimension…

    Let me answer to Elceto and to you at the same time. I read Hurriyet, Zaman, Cumhuriyet (that covers enough of Turkish media), some independent writers, I browse international media and follow blogs of some cool intellectuals. My background is based on positive science but I am interested in politics, history, sociology etc because it gives me some opportunity to give a break when I am a bit tired of my job or what I am doing.

    I am not looking for news or articles that would make me happy. I am an avid seeker of truth and quality information. I ended up with this blog by my friend’s suggestion. Found it interesting mostly in the sense of how journalism can be fundamentally wrong and biased… Same feelings for the Turkish media but less interaction there. Here I have an opportunity to criticize things and throw some ideas. It seems that only the response I receive is how “ignorant and tendentious” my comments are. I wonder why ? It is easy to accuse but hard to explain it seems…

    I will not get into bladiblada of I care about human, women, minorities, animal rights etc thing… I do try to understand, I have no assumptions. However I have some ideas now that you created by your articles. What kind of / how ? Let me summarize once again :

    1. You draw conclusions very fast with lack of sufficient knowledge about the cases or issues you are talking about. It is not necessary to be a professor (I tell that since you call me or my comments ignorant) that most of the things you tell is just a part of the truth that you prefer to copy and paste from. Therefore I am sorry but it seems you are the one who base opinions by some kind of belief system (I try to understand that and criticize it).

    2. I have never seen any article so far (sorry I did not check all of them) that shows some interest or effort to check other side of Kurdish issue : opinions, feeling of regular people in Turkey about Kurdish issue. So let’s say no background about how things were marginalized, why things are happening like this. Besides I have never seen your human caring part when it comes to families of soldiers that have been killed. When I tell that I am afraid you think I am a person who cares more about soldiers than Kurdish fighters (terrorists or whatever). Well I will not tell my opinion there because it does not matter. However it matters if you just go a bit wide range when it comes to Kurdish issue and observe, talk to or whatever you do with the other parties that is involved in this problem. Related to this one, about your book : sorry but it is my opinion and I am very strong about it that if you just continue as it is, by recording the stories of people in the Kurdish area you will just write a book that will satisfy the wishes of Elceto and the others with similar standing (accuse people with the things that you do yourself in first place kind of mentality – same goes for you Frederike, I am sorry)

    3. From your articles it is not hard to understand that you have some connections with Kurdish political party, their members or whatever. Besides it seems like you are somehow sponsored to write about Kurdish issue from a certain perspective. Correct me if I am wrong but my gut feeling says (with some strong evidence from your articles) you are not much independent at all. That probably explains why you are approaching to the issues from a certain direction. It seems like you have to satisfy readers which tells things like “Of course you can’t speak about PKK. If you do, you will end up in jail and the people of Uludere will end up slaughtered.” or even worse, readers claim that there was a Nazi Concentration camp in Turkey (recall your article Where Turkey’s Coming From or so). So it really does not bother me that my comments are called “ignorant” when I compare of the comments here. Most of them are like wow great job Frederike, that’s what we want to hear or some nonsense like I mentioned above. Keep going what can I say 🙂

    I will maintain my position as it is since I am quite independent. Can learn, think and understand (hopefully). I understand your situation and your effort of building a career. At least here I do what I believe is right. Spend some time and actually promoting your blog (natural consequences) even though I criticize. It is a good exercise for me and I am not really requesting your respect… So no problems 😉

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  6. I can imagine the life in Uludere is not evolving around PKK. That is totally a different thing. I am just questioning how come that you did not talk about PKK with people there… That’s the question Uludere or any place in Turkey people have something to say about PKK. That’s my point. If we talk about Kurdish issue PKK is one dimension…

    Let me answer to Elceto and to you at the same time. I read Hurriyet, Zaman, Cumhuriyet (that covers enough of Turkish media), some independent writers, I browse international media and follow blogs of some cool intellectuals. My background is based on positive science but I am interested in politics, history, sociology etc because it gives me some opportunity to give a break when I am a bit tired of my job or what I am doing.

    I am not looking for news or articles that would make me happy. I am an avid seeker of truth and quality information. I ended up with this blog by my friend’s suggestion. Found it interesting mostly in the sense of how journalism can be fundamentally wrong and biased… Same feelings for the Turkish media but less interaction there. Here I have an opportunity to criticize things and throw some ideas. It seems that only the response I receive is how “ignorant and tendentious” my comments are. I wonder why ? It is easy to accuse but hard to explain it seems…

    I will not get into bladiblada of I care about human, women, minorities, animal rights etc thing… I do try to understand, I have no assumptions. However I have some ideas now that you created by your articles. What kind of / how ? Let me summarize once again :

    1. You draw conclusions very fast with lack of sufficient knowledge about the cases or issues you are talking about. It is not necessary to be a professor (I tell that since you call me or my comments ignorant) that most of the things you tell is just a part of the truth that you prefer to copy and paste from. Therefore I am sorry but it seems you are the one who base opinions by some kind of belief system (I try to understand that and criticize it).

    2. I have never seen any article so far (sorry I did not check all of them) that shows some interest or effort to check other side of Kurdish issue : opinions, feeling of regular people in Turkey about Kurdish issue. So let’s say no background about how things were marginalized, why things are happening like this. Besides I have never seen your human caring part when it comes to families of soldiers that have been killed. When I tell that I am afraid you think I am a person who cares more about soldiers than Kurdish fighters (terrorists or whatever). Well I will not tell my opinion there because it does not matter. However it matters if you just go a bit wide range when it comes to Kurdish issue and observe, talk to or whatever you do with the other parties that is involved in this problem. Related to this one, about your book : sorry but it is my opinion and I am very strong about it that if you just continue as it is, by recording the stories of people in the Kurdish area you will just write a book that will satisfy the wishes of Elceto and the others with similar standing (accuse people with the things that you do yourself in first place kind of mentality – same goes for you Frederike, I am sorry)

    3. From your articles it is not hard to understand that you have some connections with Kurdish political party, their members or whatever. Besides it seems like you are somehow sponsored to write about Kurdish issue from a certain perspective. Correct me if I am wrong but my gut feeling says (with some strong evidence from your articles) you are not much independent at all. That probably explains why you are approaching to the issues from a certain direction. It seems like you have to satisfy readers which tells things like “Of course you can’t speak about PKK. If you do, you will end up in jail and the people of Uludere will end up slaughtered.” or even worse, readers claim that there was a Nazi Concentration camp in Turkey (recall your article Where Turkey’s Coming From or so). So it really does not bother me that my comments are called “ignorant” when I compare of the comments here. Most of them are like wow great job Frederike, that’s what we want to hear or some nonsense like I mentioned above. Keep going what can I say 🙂

    I will maintain my position as it is since I am quite independent. Can learn, think and understand (hopefully). I understand your situation and your effort of building a career. At least here I do what I believe is right. Spend some time and actually promoting your blog (natural consequences) even though I criticize. It is a good exercise for me and I am not really requesting your respect… So no problems 😉

    With kind regards,
    Candide 🙂

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  7. Candide, you are so blind to your own silly, to say the least, reasoning. You are not tendentious, you say, at the same time you say you can see here how journalism can be ‘fundamentally wrong and biased’ – thats tendentious, for your unformation. I tell you I didn’t talk much about PKK with the villagers, you still seem not to believe me or at least find that strange, which only proves my point that you dont know how I do my book research and you’re not open to finding out about it. And it proves you just don’t believe me, whatever i say – very tendentious of you, again.
    I am researching the whole year, and do you really think I will forget about the pain of soldiers families? You assume that, based on your prejudice about me. You call it the pain of the other side, I don’t think that way, it’s part of the way humanity is crushed by this conflict for everybody in this country. I could explain as a freelance journalist it’s not easy to get to a soldiers funeral since its usually in some Turkish town on the day after the soldier got killed, and that’s practically hard to organize for a person who works alone and has no network of colleagues around the country, like big news stations. But it’s always on my mind, when a soldier dies I immediately check where he was from and if I can go. Besides that, I see it as a task of journalists to give voice to people who are in general not heard. In Turkey, those are not the soldiers or the people in power. And: I have written about this, you just didn’t see it yet, or you chose to ignore it. My twitter account is another place where I report news, I always mention dead soldiers and always wish they rest in peace.
    I know you’re not open to any reasonable explanation, but I try anyway. I won’t allow another comment of you on this post. On others posts, go ahead if you really want, but keep it short, usually I delete lengthy comments like the one you just wrote and recommend people to start their own blog. Keep it short(er). And stop being blind, but that’s a harder advice to follow for a person who’s just blind, I realize that, sorry.

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  8. Keep up good work Frederike. I’ve thoughts, a lot of… But I’ll keep them to myself for my future politic plans… What can I say… You have a clear mind to see facts openly. I admire your analytic approach even I hate feminism 🙂

    Cheers aunt Frederike!

    :From a former Kemalist, nationalist and feminist… I know, strange enough, in fact Kemalist feminism is only seemingly, because Kemalism always promoted patriarchal society (by paternalism and militarism). Also note that, I not a female.

    I hope you spare sometime to visit Rize again (I guess you came once, when I didn’t know anything about you). Maybe we can have a bit chit chat about decaying Laz language (below 150 000 speakers)…

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  9. Umm, I am coming late to this conversation but…my impression of Cuneyt’s reaction was that he found it refreshing if a little nerve racking that you ignored certain tabooos you didn’t know anything about (or didn’t know to be careful about at least–he was particular about how you need to be careful about calling something the P KA KA or the P KE KE, which is something that has been explained to me a hundred times and I still don’t get it. As for asking about the PKK——ugh. Anyway, a good job. I was very impressed.

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