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HomeExpertsAn Example of Resistance; Distinguishing Fact from Fiction

An Example of Resistance; Distinguishing Fact from Fiction

Master Bediüzzaman Said Nursi has a saying that we understand better these days: “Politics that revolves around self-interest is a monster.”

In other words, the master wishes to convey that politics driven by selfishness, cruelty, and injustice for the sake of personal or group interests will turn into a monster, just like a beast, and become cruel and ruthless. The term “self-interest” refers to positions, reputation, fame, money, pride, and other such things, either individually or collectively.

The statements made by politicians in recent weeks in response to the massacre in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, women, and the elderly, as well as the lies told and the emotional speeches, are a lesson in how politics and politicians can turn into monsters. The lies spoken by politicians beneath the helpless images of children who died after the hospital in Gaza was bombed and the injured people do not add any meaning to the suffering but rather exacerbate the pain.

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Unfortunately, lies have become normalized with the support of politicians and the media. One of the worst consequences of the normalization of lies is the loss of trust in society and the disruption of social cohesion. It would be wonderful if politics were not conducted anywhere in the world based on deaths, if people’s suffering were not used as a means of self-interest, and if societies were not manipulated with lies to harm people. However, these things will continue until the majority of individuals in society have a sense of responsibility and understand the difference between reality and fiction, and react accordingly.

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In our country, incidents continue to occur where children die, innocent people are injured, the elderly and the sick are sent to prison to die, and pregnant women are arrested and thrown into prison. Of course, like most people, we want and expect these deaths to end as soon as possible. However, it’s worth adding that if politicians who want to find a solution for Gaza are sincere, they should also seek solutions for the crimes against humanity in our country. At the very least, they should be in search of solutions. Otherwise, it would not be wrong to say that they are insincere, speaking for political gain, and only giving speeches.

The Ankara Central Train Station Massacre on October 10, 2015, which is recorded as one of the bloodiest attacks in Turkish history, resulted in the loss of 105 lives. What do you think is the most memorable aspect of this tragic event?

It was the statement made by then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in a television program, saying, “After the terrorist attack in Ankara, we conducted a survey, and there is an upward trend in our votes.” This statement, which showed that the politician’s view of the incident was motivated by self-interest, given the tragic nature of the event and the loss of so many lives, became etched in people’s minds as a painful example of how politics based on self-interest carries great danger.

The statement made by the AKP Provincial Chairman about the plight of over 100,000 people who were dismissed from their jobs through emergency decrees, saying, “If we think about what these people will eat, it’s unthinkable. Let them eat tree roots,” when read in conjunction with the words of Israeli politicians about the people in Gaza, makes it possible to see the heartlessness, cruelty, and injustice more clearly.

Recently, when some politicians attacked human rights activist and YSP Member of Parliament Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, who was protesting from the parliamentary podium about the arrest and imprisonment of a couple with quintuplets, with statements like, “Talk about the 250 martyrs, tell us their crimes,” they not only showed the cruelty and injustice of politicians but also demonstrated how they deceive both themselves and others with a fiction they created rather than the truth.

If you ask what the main danger that all these events should teach us is, I can say it is ensuring that the idea that what is useful is more important than whether something is true or not prevails. In other words, individuals who have the ability to understand the difference between fact and fiction or fact and lies, rather than people who are convinced. This is the kind of person that politicians desire.

Unfortunately, there is no longer trust in politicians, and even the judiciary, which should be trustworthy, has also lost its credibility. Politicians and members of the judiciary who act under the control of politics have been caught manipulating the truth so much that it is now difficult to expect anyone to trust what any politician or member of the judiciary says. Those responsible for this may not be aware, but in societies where lies dominate or where lying is not condemned, personal trust is eroded alongside institutional trust. Just like the Religious Affairs Directorate, which is supposed to inspire trust, is now considered an untrustworthy institution.

Despotic regimes like Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot were defeated and all met with a bitter end, but it should not be forgotten that the phenomenon of lying is still very much alive and widely used. Our main struggle should be to have individuals who question and can distinguish between reality and fiction, rather than expecting political actors to be sincere or not lie, knowing this truth.

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NURULLAH ALBAYRAK
NURULLAH ALBAYRAK
Nurullah Albayrak is lawyer and columnist at TR724.com
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