‘Think globally; act locally’. Remember that slogan? Nobody could accuse me of not acting locally, but I’ve always tried to briefly escape the local madness by focussing on the international madness, just to keep things in perspective. I do that mainly via early morning television news broadcasts from various countries on SBS. This guilt channel urges you to send money to various causes; too many causes, but I take comfort from the idea that SBS viewers must have an unusual degree of conscience and awareness. That’s me all right.
Anyway, readers may not be aware that about a year ago SBS stopped broadcasting the official Chinese news because it was too full of obvious propaganda. Fair enough, but what about the Turkish news channel TRT? This is obviously a government-funded and government-censored outfit designed to promote the interests of that control freak, Erdogan, by suppressing dissent and by promoting said autocrat as an alleged international statesman.
TRT’s main bogeyman is the PKK/YDG Kurdish independence movement, which it describes ad nauseum as a ‘terrorist’ organisation. In one recent press release a Turkish bureaucrat issued a two-line, one-paragraph statement repeating the word ‘terrorist’ four times. Apparently if you’ve got a handful of bomb-makers among millions that makes the entire body a ‘terrorist organisation’.
But it’s not even about bombs anymore; it’s about publicly expressing opinions not shared by Mr Erdogan. The recent broadcast showed clearly that even opinions expressed in faraway countries are ‘verboten’.
At the moment, of course, Finland and Sweden are trying to join NATO; they felt understandably threatened by Putin and they want protection.
Problem: Any existing member of NATO can veto any new applicant. Turkey has been a member of NATO for 70 years, so now they are pressuring Finland and Sweden by trying to get them to ban the strong Kurdish exile groups in those countries.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this on television before, not even involving Iran; pictures of demonstrators in Helsinki were pixelated so that their signs were unreadable!
And SBS broadcast it without comment. Furthermore, proof of the ‘terrorist’ nature of unidentified males scuffling and shaking fists at other unidentified males is pathetic.
I think it’s about time SBS at least published a disclaimer. Preferably, they should decline outright to broadcast such blatant propaganda, bearing in mind that there’s quite a large Turkish community in Australia. Kurds, I don’t know.