Talking Turkey II

The last time we talked Turkey like this was just over two years ago with yours truly pointing out a marked increase in coverage of that wondrous country by the LATimes. Then, Id attributed it to progress by Turkey on the European Union front and attendant U.S. State Department activism. This time, I suspect the relatively massive coverage (see the table) stems from two other factors. Imagine! Turkeys presidential election, a relatively closed affair, conducted within parliament, got arguably more coverage than Frances countrywide popular vote for its president. Both were conducted around the same time. Based on this, are we to assume the LATimes thinks these two countries hold roughly equal relevance in the world? Lets not even probe how pathetically little coverage Armenia’s parliamentary election was given by a newspaper serving the worlds largest Armenian expatriate community of about half a million. Then theres the anaemic coverage of Genocide issues around April 24th: two op-ed pieces, an article (the replacement for Mark Arax piece), and a picture of the demonstration at the Turkish consulate. And what of Hrant Dinks murder? Other than a brief burst of coverage, it has become a non-issue. I rather think the roots of this inanity are to be found in staff. Now that we know about the Turcophilic tendencies of Doug Frantz (the villain in the Mark Arax saga), the pieces start falling into place. Twenty pieces over the course of 45 days average, almost one every other day. And, you probably noticed Im including an advertisement in the count. You might deem this unfair, not I. Why? Typically, ads with political content make newspapers quake in their boots, so they prominently mark such items as paid advertisement. I saw nothing of the sort on this one. Its another case of familiarity breeding comfort. Frantz approach may have been, initially, to simply drown out any discussion of Genocide recognition and reparations. That may well have been his contribution to the Genocide without consequences policy that Turkey and its U.S. sponsors are pursuing. Remember those words in quotes. That phrase is becoming a term of art in our struggle. Substantively, what it means is, Turkey will say Sorry. Oops. Naughty us. Well never do it again. Never will Turkey suffer consequences. Clearly, thats unacceptable. Then Frantz got lucky. The bogus democracy of Turkey handed him a golden opportunity for more Turkey promoting: the bungled presidential election wherein Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul couldnt muster the quorum needed to conduct an election, even though he had a majority of the votes. And by way of a frightening parallel with the U.S. in 2000 Turkeys supreme court ruled invalid the election precisely because of the quorum issue. Coverage of this farce accounts for a number of the pieces running in the times. For good measure, the list includes an op-ed piece by Ayaan Ali Hirsi, the woman who has earned much scorn and hatred in the Islamic world because of her writings about that religion. In case you doubt all this could have happened in an American newspapers offices, consider one more factor. How much time would Arax have needed to research a piece about the anti-Genocide resolution efforts in Congress? Two? Three? Four weeks? Well, I first heard of Frantz dirty doings on April 20. Count back from there. Remember that Arax had gotten approval to work on this project. Now notice the date of the first article in the attached table. With all this noise, Turkey got something of a free pass in the LA basin this April. Now that we know the pattern, lets preempt it next year. But even earlier, lets get that Turkey-worshipping, poor-excuse-for-a-journalist Doug Frantz fired. That means everyone must keep punching away at the Times. Let them know how you feel. Date Title April 9, 2007 World in Brief- TURKEY- 17 dead as army battles Kurd reberls April 10, 2007 Turkish premier warns against ethnic meddling April 13, 2007 Turkish push urged against Kurdish militants April 15, 2007 World in Brief- TURKEY- Second-graders killed in bus crash April 15, 2007 Secular Turks rally to send a message to prime minister April 19, 2007 3 men’slain at Bible publixhing firm in Turkey April 23, 2007 advertisement by Turkish Embassy April 30, 2007 Secular Turks draw a political line May 2, 2007 Turkish high court voids vote May 3, 2007 World in Brief- TURKEY- Premier calls for parliament vote May 4, 2007 World in Brief- TURKEY- vote scheduled in bid to end standoff May 6, 2007 World in Brief- TURKEY- Thousands rally in favor of secularism May 7, 2007 Turkey’s Gul ends bid for president May 8, 2007 Turkish army takes its place in race May 9, 2007 (op-ed) Hearts and minds in Turkey May 11, 2007 More ballots may help fuel Turkey’s religious tempest May 17, 2007 Turkish party grows loyalty at grass roots May 18, 2007 World in Brief- TURKEY- Coalition forms to unseat ruling party May 21, 2007 World in Brief- TURKEY- Turks keep up pro-secular momentum May 23, 2007 Shopping mall bomb kills 6 in Turkish capital


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