Blame It On The Tweeter Tube

The Turks are acting like their Greek cousins and rioting. Yes, I said cousins, they may not be kissing cousins but the Greeks are more like Turks and vice versa than either will admit. Some of my ancestors may have just rolled over in their graves but what can I say? I’ll send you some Turkish Greek Coffee and baklava…

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is having a bad week and he knows what’s behind the street violence in Istanbul

“There is now a menace which is called Twitter,” Erdogan said. “The best
examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst
menace to society.”

Lies on Twitter? Sure, but snark and hyperbole are really what the Tweeter Tube is all about. That, and instantaneous communication. Turkey, of course, has a “free press” problem:

The dramatic events also exposed the complicity and almost complete
government control of mainstream Turkish media, which has largely failed
to report the protests.

“The Turkish media have embarrassed
themselves,” Caliskan said. “While the whole world was broadcasting from
Taksim Square, Turkish television stations were showing cooking shows.
It is now very clear that we do not have press freedom in Turkey.”

Human
rights groups have repeatedly expressed their concerns about the lack
of freedom of expression in Turkey, and Erdogan routinely criticises
media outlets and journalists who do not agree with his views and those
of his ruling Justice and Development party (AKP).

State dominated media inevitably leads to a social media explosion and there’s not a helluva lot that can be done about it even in a more authoritarian country than Turkey. The Turks have been flirting on and off for years with joining the EU, which takes a dim view of repression. Erdogan should suck it up and stop acting like a Sultan in the glory days of the Ottoman Empire. If he doesn’t, Turkey may regain the title of the “sick man of Europe.” The Greeks would like that: they’re the current title holders…

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