The Independent newspaper claimed on Monday that “relaxing rules on hair in the Armed Forces [was] sparking concerns over creeping Islamisation.” By running this story, it did not rush to Hürriyet’s defense or even mention the Turkish newspaper at all. It would be more accurate to argue that The Independent interfered in the tug of war over the Turkish military on the establishment’s behalf. The reasons why the reforms were implemented, the paper argued, were quite clear: To undermine the military, which is the guardian of the secular order established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and to create a religious force loyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
These are the kind of lies that the Western media has been telling the world about Turkey for the past five years. Citing false evidence, they seek not only to spread misinformation but also to shape the Turkish government’s policies and to meddle in the country’s domestic affairs.
To make matters worse, some opposition parties in Turkey have been trying to shape public opinion citing Western media reports. Ironically, it was a mistake for them to assume that this was the essence of politics. In truth, politics is about understanding society’s needs and coming up with solutions that are in line with popular demands and expectations. Fortunately, nobody in Turkey cares about the Westerners’ message anymore.
Nowadays, stories akin to what The Independent published earlier this week represent an effort to gain leverage over Turkey. The country’s adversaries desperately wish to incite trouble at home. But no one is buying into their claims.
For years, they exploited our country, as coup plotters and the guardianship regime made the Turkish people pay a heavy price. Under their watch, thousands of people died as Turkey wasted its time and energy with violent clashes between fellow citizens. Today, we are on the brink of a great transformation. And the axis of evil wants to prevent this great leap forward at any cost.
Our message to them is clear: Let them come at us with whatever they have. Let them reveal themselves and take a side for everyone to see. This great nation will go to the polls on April 16 and give them the answer they deserve. As the vote count ends, their latest plot will be foiled.
[Daily Sabah, March 10, 2017]