Turkish Prime Minister Blames Twitter For Mass Social Unrest, Because It Sure Beats Blaming Himself

from the try-again-please dept

You may have heard a thing or two about the protests going on in Turkey. If you haven’t, you really ought to read the news a bit more, because it’s a pretty big deal. What started as a small protest swelled into a very big one, with much of the anger being directed at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan’s response? Blame Twitter.

“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.”

If you wanted to demonstrate just how out of touch you are, and how in denial you are to complaints from the public, I’d have trouble thinking of a much better way to express it than those statements right there. It’s certainly not going to stop the anger and the protests. No one is hanging out near Taksim Square hearing that, and saying, “oh, gee, I guess it’s time to go home now.”

Mocking the tool that people are using to communicate and to organize is a strategy that’s never going to succeed, and can only serve to make things worse. It also makes clear how out of control the situation really is. When things are under control you don’t make statements like that one, which simply demonstrate a Prime Minister in denial.

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Comments on “Turkish Prime Minister Blames Twitter For Mass Social Unrest, Because It Sure Beats Blaming Himself”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I used to believe it was too, until I realized that everyone is ignorant of something, somewhere.

So I changed my views a bit, the real danger to any society is the lack of fundamental simple rules to guide it.

Bees and ants don’t have government and still manage to create gigantic colonies all governed by very simple rules.

Sometimes I believe people overcomplicate things.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I subscribe to Kittering’s principle of intelligent ignorance. The menace of ignorance is not its existence. Ignorance is simply unknowing, and we are all ignorant of most things.

The menace is not being aware of your ignorance — thinking you know when you don’t. Everyone does this, too, but it is this that causes actual, palpable damage.

Ignorance is inevitable. Intelligent ignorance is being able to keep an awareness of what you are ignorant of and what you aren’t.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: @ "To me, ignorance is the worst menace to society."

To me, falsehoods are far worse than ignorance. The latter can be informed, but falsehoods once accepted are clung to and often almost impossible to remove.

Examples: Piracy promotes sales. Google is a service. Violent video games are just good fun. Mike is an authority.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: @ "To me, ignorance is the worst menace to society."

Piracy promotes sales.
Well it doesn’t hurt them, source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/131005609/JRC79605

Google is a service.
It is a service, you are the commodity.

Violent video games are just good fun.
They are, unless you can actually link a source providing evidence contrary to:

Mike is an authority.
Considering he has been used as such by other researchers and the media, though you don’t accept him as such.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: @ "To me, ignorance is the worst menace to society."

“To me, falsehoods are far worse than ignorance. The latter can be informed, but falsehoods once accepted are clung to and often almost impossible to remove.”

Examples: OotB is an intelligent, honest person who simply wants to improve mankind’s lot.
OotB knows what he/she/it is talking about.

At least one person, probably OotB’s mother, believes it!

RyanNerd (profile) says:

The Ruling Class

The procedure of killing the messenger by the oligarchy of the ruling class is a tradition that has existed for centuries. But directly blaming the messenger… this is a different tact. We’ll have to see how this strategy works out for him. Perhaps he could have taken a different tatic like this one below:

Sheriff of Rottingham: Sire, I have news!
Prince John: And what sort of news do you have? It’s not bad news, is it? You know I can’t take bad news. The day started out so good. I had a good night’s sleep, I had a good B.M. I don’t want to hear any bad news. Now, what kind of news is it?
Sheriff of Rottingham: Well, to be perfectly frank, it’s bad.
Prince John: I knew it! I knew it would be bad news. Wait, I have an idea. Maybe if you tell me the bad news in a good way, it wouldn’t sound so bad.
Sheriff of Rottingham: The bad news in a good way. Yes, yes, I can do that. The bad news in a good way. Well, here it goes. [hysterically] Ha! Ha! Ha! W-wait till you hear this! I just saw Robin of Locksley, he’s back from the crusades. [laughs] You know, he just beat the crap out of me and my men. [laughs] He hates you and he loves your brother, Richard! [laughs] And… [laughs] … he wants to see you hanged! [laughs and snorts loudly] We, we’re in an awful lot of trouble! [laughs]
Prince John: What, are you crazy?! Why are you laughing?! This is terrible news!

?Robin Hood: Men in Tights

out_of_the_blue says:

He's not in de Nile, he's in Instanbul.

Maybe now he’ll stop aiding the CIA-backed “rebels” trying to overthrow Syria. That’s another crazy notion: that all the “revolutions” in the region are spontaneous by the natives without outside help.

And in the report I read, Erdogan also blamed Facebook. Why omitted here?

BearGriz72 (profile) says:

Re: He's not in de Nile, he's in Instanbul.

To: Out_of_His_Head

Paranoid Schizophrenia treatment is usually guided by a psychiatrist familiar with and skilled in treating the condition.
Do you have such a person to speak with?

If so, primary treatments for paranoid schizophrenia include; medication, psychotherapy, hospitalization, and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Might I recommend all of the above (especially ECT).

Joe irt says:

Re: Re: Re:

Like the way, Obama and his administration are into their 5th year and still blame the prior administration for everything?

Like calling a political party racists with no basis in fact?

Like targeting groups of a certain political bent for extra scrutiny by the IRS?

Like spying on reporters and accusing them of aiding espionage?

Like prosecuting a whistle-blower as a spy?

Like forcing everyone in the nation to purchase a product against their will? (obamacare)

Please be a little more biased next time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

To be honest what you describe is a blanket statement where you can change parties and politicians at random and still end up with a meaningful statement.

It is the name of the game in politics. I do not think any politician from any party is shying away from throwing massive amounts of mud.

Anonymous Coward says:

his attitude is common today. almost all heads of government blame whoever they can for their own failings. it’s a typical action of someone that hasn’t got a clue as to what it is that he is doing wrong or what those he is supposed to be representing want. again like so many other government heads, he has a direction in sight, has no idea what is going to be found at the end of the road but is determined not to be swayed from his course. he has probably be told many times to get a grip of the situation but because he basically hasn’t got any idea of what to do, he just blames all the errors on to whoever is handy.

Johnny Shade (profile) says:

Welcome to the 21st Century

What is shaking the foundations of our social compacts (now doesn’t that just sound pretentious)is the fact that human communications have reached a real time reaction speed to our world/environment that is faster than our institutions can respond to.
In the 1969, Laurence Peter & Raymond Hull published a book called “The Peter Principle” which is most often expressed as “Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle)
The issue is that governments do NOT see themselves as “employees”, per se. Members of a government have a tendency to see themselves as, somehow, indispensable, to the continued existence of their polity.
What they can forget is that their power was is not some inherent gift, but a function of the process that got them power in the first place.
Now, technology gives the governed the ability to implement process change on a basic level, bypassing the classic channels of control that governments traditonally use to maintain themselves.
This comment by Erodogan is a knee jerk fear response to the governed populace registering a protest in a manner reminiscent of the start of the “Arab Spring”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Welcome to the 21st Century

What is shaking the foundations of our social compacts (now doesn’t that just sound pretentious)is the fact that human communications have reached a real time reaction speed to our world/environment that is faster than our institutions can respond to.

That is not what is shaking the compacts, as this was available ever since the telephone was invented. What is shaking the compacts are the many to many channels enabled by the Internet.The Internet is driving a social change as profound as the Invention of printing.
Printing allowed a few people to put the views to the public, which drove the reformation, and then the various revolutions that overthrew monarchies.
Social media is allowing people to engage with strangers, often on an anonymous basis. This gives them much more power over politicians, because they can find out if there is sufficient support to oppose what the politicians are proposing. his will have a profound effect on politics, as it requires politicians to engage with and represent the people. This will turn politicians, whether elected or aristocratic, into servants of the people, greatly increasing democracy.

Gak Guk says:

This is not new

Here’s another story with Turkish PM and the internet:

On February 19th, a Youtuber with the username Said Tutar, uploaded a video consisting entirely of clips from several speeches given by the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The individual clips are completely unedited, spoken by the prime minister himself and accompanied by no commentary whatsoever.

The clips demonstrate without any room for doubt that Erdogan categorically contradicted himself over and over on vitally important political issues ranging from whether the Turkish government should negotiate with the leaders of the Kurdish separatist movement PKK, to whether European Union is a ?league of Catholic States? that predominantly Muslim Turkey has no business becoming a member of.

Before being blocked for access in Turkey on Feb 28th by Youtube ?due to a legal complaint from the [Turkish] government?, the video and its mirrors went viral very quickly, links flooding various social media sites including Facebook and Tweeter. The role of social media was especially important, because the prime minister’s party AKP has recently silenced virtually all opposition from the conventional media sources by imprisoning scores of dissenting journalists and intellectuals. In the absence of criticism from conventional media, Turkey is in danger of sliding into a police state, evident from the fact that relatively recent clash between the leftist student protesters from the Middle Eastern Technical University and some 3000 police officers accompanying the prime minister during his every domestic visit. The average Turk’s ability to find a dissenting voice on Youtube and social media is arguably the last thread the only predominantly Muslim secular democracy of the world is hanging by.

In this light, it is highly worrisome and puzzling that Youtube has chosen to collaborate with the Turkish government to help its efforts to silence dissent. Despite its rocky road to democracy through the second half of the 20th century and its mixed human rights record, the Turkish state has been the beacon of hope in the middle of a geography of fundamentalism and oppression. If the West lets Turkish democracy degenerate into a theocratic dictatorship the prime minister apparently envisions, it will lose a valuable ally in its struggle with Islamist extremism.

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