Decoding Turkey: A Personal Journey through Media, Bias, and Perception
Reflecting on the shift in my perspectives regarding Turkey's current affairs over the past few years and more expansively, the past decade.
Reflecting on the shift in my perspectives regarding Turkey's current affairs over the past few years and, more expansively, the past decade:
Until a year ago, my understanding of Turkey's news landscape was predominantly influenced by English media sources.
Since then, I have broadened my scope to include Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic news in my regular consumption. The difference in coverage, priorities, and subtle nuances across these sources have significantly enhanced my comprehension.
In addition, I have adopted a more comprehensive analytical approach, taking into account the context and broader geopolitical trends in the wider region before forming any conclusions.
While my extensive travels to the country, notably living there for over a year in 2012-13, have undeniably influenced my perspective, I recognise the considerable impact of news and social media. Twitter, in particular, often presents information without sufficient context, impacting the perception of events significantly.
It's indisputable that personal background and upbringing play a crucial role in shaping biases, a consideration that should never be underestimated.
I've realised that my Turkish acquaintances profoundly influence shaping my perception of the country. My friends from diverse backgrounds, including Kurdish, secular, and conservative Turks, each offer a distinct lens through which to interpret the nation's ongoing events.
Without the constraints of a specific workplace, I experience a newfound liberty in expressing my views. Mainstream media outlets, which publish what aligns with their narrative, often favour pieces by think tank contributors, who are themselves bound by numerous considerations. This freedom from professional restrictions allows me a more authentic expression of my perspectives.
Finally, while I continue to consume mainstream media and consider the perspectives of think tank contributors, I now do so with a nuanced understanding of context. I've observed that some foreign observers struggle, perhaps unwittingly, with accepting certain realities about this part of the world. Deep-seated prejudices persist, for instance, those held even by long-term Middle East correspondents like Charlie D'Agata, who view the region as 'uncivilised.' Naturally, such prejudices influence their perceptions, reports, and analyses.