Just as the Turkish State’s attack on the Kurdish town of Cizre was beginning to get more attention in the Western media, Ankara decided to ease its siege. But while the Guardian reported on the reduction of the curfew in Cizre on 2 March, it paid only secondary attention to the many dozens of civilians killed by Turkish authorities in the town.
The paper faithfully reported government propaganda, surely in an attempt to create ‘balance’. For example, it spoke about how the peace process between the PKK and Ankara “broke down” – without mentioning the important point that it was Turkey’s President Erdoğan who consciously destroyed this process.
By blindly echoing the official rhetoric coming from Turkey’s fascist regime, the Guardian highlighted once again the bankruptcy of trying to treat fact and fiction equally. The Turkish government has forfeited any right to be considered honest or reasonable by taking increasingly authoritarian steps in the last few months. Yet the Guardian and other Western papers still treat it with a respect it does not deserve.
To be fair, the paper did publish the words of one Cizre resident, who described the scenes of destruction that Turkish forces had left behind them:
Those who did this are not human… What took place here is a second Kobani
This citizen was comparing Cizre to the Kurdish town of Kobani in Rojava, which was assaulted by Daesh in late 2014.
But while the Guardian should have focused on civilian deaths at the hands of Turkish forces and on comparisons between the Turkish State and Daesh, it instead weakened its respectability by failing to challenge the official rhetoric coming from Ankara.
Featured image via İhsan Kaçar
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