Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A culture of silence in Turkey

Turkish press did not cover the massacre of 35 civilians from Roboski (the indigenous name of Ortasu, the village of the civilians who were massacred -- the closest town to this village is Uludere [Qılaban]) on Wednesday, December 28, for twelve hours after the event. Since then GIT - North America filed two reports (here and here) about censorship in Turkish press about this massacre.

So far the government's only contribution to the available information about the massacre was Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan's condemnation of Mehmet Baransu, who writes for the daily Taraf -- Baransu had claimed that the responsibility for the massacre belonged, to a large extent, to the National Intelligence Agency (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT; you can read his reports in Taraf here and here -- one should note, however, that Baransu's reporting also receives criticism from the Turkish press in the context of a much larger debate; for a recent view in Turkish, see BirGün).

Howard Eissenstat, a member of GIT - North America, comments on the response of the Turkish press, calling it a "culture of silence." Read the full text on Human Rights Now (the Amnesty International USA Weblog).