Last week has been a very busy week. So much so that it took 8 days, including the Sunday of the previous week. On Sunday, September 18, Emre Olur, who is claimed to be one of Sedat Peker’s close team, was brought to Turkey, and multifaceted signs and results began to emerge that will spread layer by layer throughout the week. Let’s evaluate this ‘long week’ by looking at the aspects that concern the Media Politics column. Because, putting the tip of the compass on ‘media’, a circle can be drawn covering a range of appetizing topics, from troll activities to Süleyman Soylu, from the friction areas within the AKP and/or the People’s Alliance to some situations in the judiciary and security bureaucracy. It’s like a Chalk Circle!
On the day that Emre Olur was brought in, Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu had sent a message to Twitter saying “I congratulate our Police Department for bringing another rascal with close follow-up to our country”… Turkey in 2022 is too angry even for the minister a style. Perhaps this is the moment of discharge of tension that has lasted for almost 17 months, since May 2021. Yes, Soylu went as far as declaring a protesting teacher a ‘terrorist’ with a photo taken at a party rally at another time, which did not contain any criminal elements, on the day his police officer was criticized for beating and detaining teachers who were seeking their rights. There was neither custom nor ethics that was not ‘farsa’ there. But in this case, despite the high risk of ‘personality’, control seemed to have slipped.
As a matter of fact, Soylu was the person most targeted and worn out in Peker’s publication, which started in May last year and continued with various vehicles. Peker’s insult to the young ‘press consultant’ was interpreted mostly as a nervous breakdown and accumulated anger, perhaps for this reason.
It’s been said, but it’s worth repeating here: When Peker’s publication touches only President Erdoğan and his close circle, there are ‘fav ban’, ‘digital isolation’ etc. was subject to time sanctions. It wouldn’t be strange if we exaggerate a little: It’s almost as if Soylu was free to shoot… Journalists and media organizations close to him were also battered. Those who wanted to walk were mined. Özışık brothers, TGRT habitat, Habertürk units…
The first part of the long week was the enthusiasm created by this operation, which would relieve Soylu to some extent, even if it was not for his own survival, but with the steps taken for another survival.
But of course, it was inevitable that this ‘survival’ issue would not attract attention. While very heavy allegations and words were made about Soylu, channels that did not work were operated and one of Peker’s men was ‘taken’. As the first wind passed, questions began to arise as to what this meant. Moreover, such a risk must have occurred to the ‘concerned persons’: Why shouldn’t Emre Olur provide a favorable position not only against Sedat Peker’s disclosure, but also against Süleyman Soylu?
It should be asked more clearly: Wouldn’t the known tension between a part of AKP components and Soylu not be disturbed by a ‘trump card’ that will come out of the Olur file? Moreover, two days before Emre Olur was brought in, Ümit Özdağ told Soylu, “You continue to work within the framework of two offices in Ankara and Istanbul to establish a new party. While he posted a video where he said “You are trying to get in touch with the USA”…
The response was quick—perhaps even a little ‘hurried’. One of the Özışık brothers, who did not make his jubilee, briefly said the following on his YouTube channel on September 20:
“Süleyman Soylu has no intention of founding a party. Whoever says he will stand up to Erdogan and do politics as long as he lives is lying… If Erdogan is re-elected in 2023, Soylu will withdraw from politics and bid farewell to the AK Party…”
Özışık also said, “This is not a sensation, this is certain knowledge,” referring to his well-known closeness with Soylu. Even if “Erdogan was entrusted with a new task”, Soylu “would have thanked him and stepped aside…”
Well, a statement made so ‘closely’ should have had wide repercussions when announcing the Interior Minister’s decision to quit politics. He woke up. But only in the ‘opposite street’… The ruling media either never got into the ball or counter-attacked like Akit: “The sedition of Süleyman Soylu from Hadi Özışık, detonated by Sedat Peker!”
It wasn’t enough… Despite this ‘return’ on September 20, the government’s media is whistling by looking into the distance; The claims of “Nobles are gone” in the opposition media continued.
On September 22, Shamil Tayyar said, “Our noble Minister is a successful person who does his job well, and has a high public perception. In politics, this situation is often a source of strife. In private conversations with friends, he always says that his only political goal is to get our President re-elected and then quit politics.”
But Tayyar’s words did not find an important response in the government media. Nobody was shedding tears, saying, ‘Oh my minister, will it be like that?’
He probably did not expect to receive favor from the noble opposition. Another Hadi Özışık video was released on September 22 against the comments like “She will run away”; Maybe Özışık was patching, “He is not even a deputy candidate, he will not have immunity.” But rather than the expected foam in the opposition press, the secretiveness of the government plazas must have bothered us. Couldn’t the Minister of Interior convey his message, whether Hadi Özışık or Şamil Tayyar relayed it?
Then, on September 24, the claim of Milli Gazete’s Ankara correspondent, Bünyamin Güler, that “The name that is thought to be the place where the noble will go, Faruk Çelik” suddenly spread. In fact, Güler’s “Noble [Faruk] Steel claim!” The news titled “Milli Gazete” was published on September 21, but it came into the agenda late on the evening of September 23, when this claim was repeated in the TV5 broadcast. Combined with the other ‘silence’, it was no consolation that the insistence on the ‘Soylu is going’ claims only bubbled up in the opposing media.
But on the same day there was another ‘test’ chance. The Minister of Internal Affairs was in his hometown Trabzon on September 24.
He opened mosques, government offices and schools in the city center, in Sürmene, Ortahisar, Araklı and Köprübaşı, and visited many places. He spoke at length. But again, the most popular news was the intervention of a citizen who listened to him under the downpour while speaking at the opening of the Araklı Government House and opened an umbrella in the colors of ‘rainbow’!
Soylu’s ‘Trabzon landing’ also did not attract the attention of his side.
On September 25, in addition to the pro-government Hürriyet, Sabah, Yeni Şafak, Akşam, Milliyet, Akit, Milat, Calendar, Diriliş Postası, the ‘allied’ newspapers Aydınlık and Türkgün, and even Soylu, Turkey, which was the target as the closest channel. Even the newspaper did not include Süleyman Soylu’s ‘Trabzon landing’ on its front pages. Not a single line of title appeared on the front pages of their speech, which lasted four hours.
OK, Sunday newspapers are a bit ‘cold’, Saturday newspapers are not fully staffed. Come on, so be it. Well, wasn’t it a good opportunity to go to Diyarbakir the next day and visit the Mothers of Diyarbakir, which has become a very important symbol for the ruling party, to ‘protect’ a minister who has so many claims about him?
He was only able to enter the front page of Aydınlık and Türkiye newspapers on Monday. Turkey, just below Erdogan’s ITO speech, with the title “Noble morale for mothers”; Aydınlık, on the other hand, greeted Soylu with the headline “Our future is not in the USA, but in Anatolia”…
Others saw the news ‘inside’.
5 QUESTIONS TO SOYLU
In such a busy week, there must be shares to be taken from this relationship between the Minister of Interior and the media of the government to which he is affiliated. For the press, stock means a question, in a way. So let’s raise five questions:
Under the conditions in which Emre Olur was brought in and Peker was put in solitary confinement, if it is no longer a priority to have a front that should be punched instead of Erdogan, is the ‘cost’ of this formerly battered front a matter of debate? Let’s put it more clearly, is this being discussed: Is the wear and tear of the 17-month-old Peker lightning rod, Soylu, a burden worth carrying before the critical election?
While Soylu is announcing that he will quit politics in 2023 through journalists close to him, is he sending a statement directly to these discussions?
Obviously, Peker, who is trying to stay afloat, is making an effort against the wind only destroying him?
On the other hand, is the indifference of the overwhelming majority of the ruling media both a sign of this debate and an indication of Soylu’s loneliness in the media-communication field?
Is it a sign of weakness that a politics that ‘overthrown the Prime Minister’, in more unfavorable conditions, with an unsigned article, plays a silent film in front of everyone at a time when they are now much more dominant?
Or is Soylu an actor who is not easy to beat for other reasons despite all his weakness in the media?
We’ll probably talk more about them…