The Power of Social Media over Man-made Gods: Mediaocracy Vs. Democracy in Turkey

by Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai

The Rubicon between democracy and dictatorship is crossed unwittingly, silently and without proclamation.
It is true that the Turkish Prime Minister has patriotic credentials and leadership qualities. He has the ambition to take Turkey into the European Union.

In this pursuit, he seems to have gone over the top and over the bend. This ambition “made of a sterner stuff” has brought him into disrepute. The resistance against what the people perceive to be authoritarianism, arrogance and man-made god traits, has brought Turkey into turmoil and rebellion.
Erdogan probably meant well by seeking to erect a mall in a public square, which the media twits characterized as an imposition. They protested that he unilaterally took the decision, without consulting with the people.

It is manifestly clear that there is more in the protests than meet the eye. The power of the media against the designs of a man-made god was laid bare to the world.
Not only have the people expressed their dissatisfaction WITH POLICE OVERBEARING HANDLING OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE, the potency of mediaocracy came to the fore.

In political life, no matter how patriotic people are, they tend to be pushed to revolt, when dictatorial traits in their leaders manifest.

There is a fundamental problem, which the Turkish Prime Minister seems not to reckon with. There is an ideological dimension in the Syrian crisis, which the Turkish opposition is unhappy about and which they think that the Prime Minster does not seem to understand.

The Prime Minister should find out where the real discontent lies.
The Turkish people are worried that the Prime Minister believes in the “political doctrine of complete state control by a single party, which embraces the regulation, supervisions and co-ordination of all aspects of life.”

Some vocal Turkish scholars are worried that their state has become authoritarian and absolute. That the individual is now at the mercy of such agencies as the police and military intelligence.
The government needs complete political solidarity with the people, so that political mal-contents do not commit further atrocities.

It will not help matters if he casts himself as “Optimus Princepts”.
His almost paternal, though, autocratic care for the people has become irritating to the populace.
Erdogan left for visits to North Africa in the height of the protests. Instead of putting his mall project on hold, he has vowed to go ahead with the construction. This is a gum-like exudation on the sensitivities of the people.

On June 7, 2013, a senior official of the European Union criticized the Prime Minister for the police crackdown of peaceful demonstrators in Istanbul and other Turkish cities.
Erdogan replied in characteristic undiplomatic way by saying that EU states could have reacted more harshly.

Erdogan should know that “a fault confessed is half redressed”.Total conceit could be his problem, as events unfold in Turkey.

It is not his rhetoric that is offensive but it’s excess. We shall see, who shall win and by how much. The people can remove the leader but the leader cannot remove the people.
The events in Turkey are drama, but if not adroitly handled can dovetail into a tragedy.
In the Roman Empire, the Caesar caused a man to hold triumphant barbed leaves over the head of the returning, victorious general saying “remember you are only a man” and this was repeated many times.
Mr. Prime Minister, remember that you are only a man! Your insistence on having your way could be a case of pride goeth before a fall.

Since the 1920’s, Turkey has had the fortune of being ruled by strong leaders, among them, Sultan Vahid ed Din, Abdul Mejid, Mustafa Kemal, Bayar, but Ataturk was very influential.
Ismet Inonu, in 1950 became both President and head of the Republican Party.
In 1960, the Prime Minister was assassinated during a military coup although the Democratic Party was returned to power.

Long ago, Turkey “broke away from Byzantine-Ottoman traditions embodied in Constantinople and discarded imperial trappings”

There had been only one Ataturk; any other Ataturk is a counterfeit.
In spite of the present turmoil in Turkey, Britain France and the US still hold Turkey in high esteem. Turkey has been a member of the Council of Europe, NATO and CENTO and its ambition to join the EU remains undiminished, so help him God.

Erdogan may wish to learn that he should not deal with people, who have nothing to lose. Even if he silences the populace, they will be of the same opinion still.

Perhaps a new humanism is what Turkey needs now. “There is no rose without thorns”.
In a world, where people have moved from innocence to crime and terrorism, governments must avoid creating situations, which political mal-contents could exploit.

In contemporary world society, there are two types of terrorists- the good and the bad rebels. It is left to the big powers to tell us the difference.

Erdogan spoke eloquently upon his return from North Africa, calling the opposition groups terrorists just like Assad in Syria. According to Machiavelli, “The object of oratory is not truth but persuasion”.
When governments say that they are maintaining law and order, they may be advertently or inadvertently suppressing freedom.

The crisis in the world calls for a WORLD CONFERENCE ON PEACE. The dialogue will considerably lower the tensions in the world.

We use this forum to congratulate the Government of Kenya for obtaining an apology and some compensation from the British Government for the Colonial regime’s brutalities against the Mau Mau freedom fighters in Kenya.

Certainly, there is some bright diplomat in Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who remembers that in 1949, the British Colonial regime ordered the summary execution of 21 miners, who worked at the coal-mine in Enugu. Many more died from gun wounds later.

I am sure that the British Government would react accordingly using the Kenyan precedent as a case study. Let the diplomatic negotiations begin without further delay. “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”.

The Middle East must be saved from further misery.

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