Democratic Opening, Martyrs and Journalism
The leading political party of Turkey, AKP (Justice and Development Party) has launched a series of solutions to the problems concerning the Kurdish minority in Turkey under the title of “Democratic Opening” by November 2008. Whilst the project was called “Kurdish Opening” at the earlier stages, the Government announced that the Democratic Opening was the first part of the “National Unity and Fellowship Project” which is a wider project that aims to provide more civil liberties for all society in Turkey.
As the mass media is known to be the fourth power (some cases in Turkish history showed it was even the first, for more see ‘February the 28 Post-modern coup’), the Government’s first guests to whom they would give some information about the project and ask for suggestions about the Kurdish problem were journalists. To think in a rational way, the very first people to persuade were journalists since they have the power to convince society. Thus, Besir Atalay, Interior Minister and Coordinator of the Democratic Opening, invited a number of journalists who were believed to be “reasonable” people. Later, Devlet Bahceli who is the leader of opposing Nationalist Party labelled the journalists as “12 evil men” a term which the media highlighted more than the opening itself. Meeting with the journalists did not achieve the government’s purpose because of the intense pressure put by the opposition parties and some media groups.