Understanding and giving meaning to election language

The Turkish elite, large proportion of which are intellectuals with leftist backgrounds, have failed to accept and understand the values of the general public.

Understanding and giving meaning to election language

Akif Emre

As the Turkish local elections approach, everyone can see the rising of tensions and excitement. After all is said and done and the election campaigns come to an end, the politicians then choose to ignore the extreme language used during the elections. Should they take this extreme talk seriously, all political relationships would have to be severed.

The people do not always agree with their political choices, and may oppose them. However, no matter what political ideology one may ascribe to, one must accept the general will of the people. The Turkish elite, large proportion of which are intellectuals with leftist backgrounds, have failed to accept and understand the values of the general public.

On the contrary, instead of trying to understand them, they have not hesitated to work on engineering the society and have done this considering it to be their responsibility as intellectuals. In a mystical way, they have seen it as their job to enlighten the people.

We are living in a time when the increasingly distant elite's resistence to understanding the people is very clear. For example, in the Hurriyet newspaper on Sunday, we saw Nowruz celebrations being portrayed as a threat by them choosing to focus on one sign. To what extent could it be said that that sign represents the entire minority?

At the same time, it could be said that their choosing to focus on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's electoral campaign meeting from the Twitter ban angle was a publisher's choice. Hwoever, the photographs that were selected from that meeting displays their prejudice and how it has an affect on its audience.

In one picture they showed two men in thobes and white turbans, in another photograph they showed two men wearing fezs, another picture featured a woman praying and the fourth picture showed a headscarved woman waving the Turkey flag.

The fact that these pictures of people who dress in a similar fashion while ignorant the hundreds of thousands of others who dress differently not only shows what impression is trying to be made but also how the meeting was seen.

On one hand the page portrayed a separatist threat, and on the other it portayed the real face of the reaction. There is one thing that has not changed about this selective viewpoint, and that is its use of degrading language. In other words, it is an arrogance that prevents understanding and giving meaning.

This makes the generally conservative population of this country feel that even if their votes are bringing their chosen party to power, there will always be a class in Turkey that will look down on them. Even when their party is in power, they are made to feel as if they are the opposition and give them the impression that they are constantly under threat.

I am neither of the conservative concept of putting the nation as the only value, not am I of the leftist tradition of glorifying pro-people cliches. Societies can become corrupt and immoral. We should not degrade an entire people for not responding to secular attempts to mould them. This prevents the conservatives from correcting themselves and only leads to a bad outcome for both sides.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Nisan 2014, 14:28