Why is the Turkish press resisting the Presidential system? - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

Why is the Turkish press resisting the Presidential system?

The debates over the Presidential system arise from Turkey’s need for change. Some people, who are of sufficient age, might remember that the same debates were continuing during the late President Turgut Özal period. In those years, the country experienced a serious change, and it had been said that the political mold that Turkey was jammed into was not conducive for Turkey to compete in the world. During that time, the Turkish press had shown a serious reaction to the debates on the Presidential and state court systems, and the late Özal had been placed right in the center of the criticisms. Remember, the press also drew a picture of him wearing a quilted turban and a robe, in an effort to mock him.


The columnists, who lead the reaction and almost devoted themselves to this resistance, created two artificial fears in that period:

One; by saying, “If the Presidential system takes place, then monarchy will return,” they tried to cast fear between the Secular and Kemalist segment. Two; by saying, “If the state court system takes place, then the country will be disintegrated,” they attempted to scare the nationalist segment. In the end, they had fed this matter with so much fear and hypochondria that they’ve turned it into a taboo.

Today, while experiencing the biggest post-Özal change and transformation, the same debate has been rekindled in Turkey, and a part of the Turkish press has taken up a resistance. All of their arguments, which they wanted to turn into a taboo again, became lodged on two points; Monarchy and the Kurdish state.

With their new Presidency complex, attempts in making Erdoğan and the new presidential palace resemble a monarchy carry the objective to resurrect the fear they’ve planted in the previous periods. As the Resolution Process advances, the objective behind “We are losing the country, we are disintegrating” broadcasts, by clinging onto the provocations, is to fuel subconscious fears.


The Turkish press is forming mutual fronts, as if they are establishing a defensive line in order to bring back the crooked order of the Old Turkey. Behind this resistance front there are parties that are resisting to the change in the Turkish politics, and pressure groups, who possess foreign capital and whose feeding spots are unknown.

The debates are being churned in the press with an unbelievably extreme, aggressive and low-leveled language. Why? Actually, while a courteous debate could be conducted with the public administration, and the terminology of sociology and political sciences, why is the matter being argued over fears, taboos, apprehensions, accusations and funny monarchy illustrations?


The press in Turkey is the most old-fashioned institution that resists change, reforms and innovation.
The media manager and columnists, who dominate these debates, preside over them and lower the tone, are always the same people and they haven’t changed since the Özal period.
The Turkish press is on the verge of a downfall, which is rotting from within and had lost its quality. Instead of accepting this, it is trying to postpone this fact with artificial arguments.


Nobody wants to talk about the serious depression, regression and even the downfall of the press. Like grumpy patients, who don’t acknowledge that they are sick and constantly refuse talking about it, they think that they can parry the sickness by keeping other topics on the agenda. Since they don’t open their own pages and screens to this argument, nobody is aware of them.

However, the newspapers, which had been shut down, the journalists, who had been removed from their work, unpaid salaries, the gradually decreasing circulations, increasing financial losses, wasted reputation and plausibility, are all showing us that the press is experiencing the biggest crisis of the recent years.

The press is having death throes because of a roster, which had surrounded the newspapers and TV Channels for years and doesn’t want to let go of the power in their hands and doesn’t understand Turkey. Don’t be fooled by the Editorial changes or the transfers of columnists to other newspapers. The press has its own “congregation”, and that congregation has its own unique doctrines, rules, followers, sympathizers and sheiks. No matter where they go, they all follow each other and provide the continuity of their established order. A matchless system had been set in order to replace an open position with a member of the congregation. Thus, no matter how many executives change, the old-fashioned, unethical and cruel system will continue in the press.


However, we have reached the end.  It’s not possible for a sector, which is making this much loss, to resist even further. The more crucial thing that worries me is the lack of new attempts to raise new journalists, who are honest and professional and understands the world and Turkey.


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