Are you still looking for proof?

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  • 11:44 25 September 2020
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ANKARA - Mesopotamia Agency have been publishing photos, documents,  reports and witness statements about Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut since September 13. Despite all evidence, not alone the mainstream media, but the 'alternative' media has kept quiet, not 'seeing and understanding', which is quite pathetic..
Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut were detained in their field where they were working by the soldiers on September 11, put in a chopper, tortured and thrown out of the chopper. Mesopotamia Agency (MA) have published at least 20 articles about it between September 13 and 25. It is quite understandable that the mainstream media, controlled by the government, haven't seen or published it, but the media that defines itself as an 'alternative', started discussing the issue finally at September 20.
By publishing the "hospital epicrisis report", which MA received on September 20, it was proved that Şiban and Turgut were thrown out of the helicopter.  However, MA had announced a possible violation to the public on September 13 with the article titled 'They turned up at the hospital two days after their detention'. But the article was not seen by almost all other media outlets.
On September 14, MA published an article titled 'Brother of villager in ICU: He was perfectly fine when they took him'.  The brother of the victim asked if he was tortured, but according to the media, that question was not newsworthy.
Two days later, when the torture was proved with a medical report, MA reported it too. But it did not attract any attention again.
Until September 20, MA published articles titled; 'Assault report of villager thrown out of a chopper: He fell from a height', 'Torture Şiban subjected to was photographed', 'Criminal complaint against torture: Soldiers threatened to shoot everyone', 'Tortured Şiban was discharged from hospital'.
The news titled 'Torture Şiban subjected to was photographed' revealed everything. The bloodshot eyes of Şiban was seen by the social media, but the written and visual media played ostrich. They were blind to the bloodshot eyes of Şiban.
On the evening of September 20, the article of our reporter Cemil Uğur was published with the title, 'Medical report confirms: They were thrown out of a chopper', which finally made the news in the media. Because the article contained all the evidence the 'alternative media' needed. 
The photos of two people tortured was not newsworthy for 7 days. When there was nothing to hide or covered up, what Şiban and Turgut went through was covered by the media with the expressions 'contradictory statements and claims'. 
This situation was not an exception for the newsrooms of the "time", but the usual way of ignoring the torture inflicted on people in Kurdish provinces. 
he vast majority of the "alternative media" distanced themselves from the news by calling it 'contradictory statements and claims', ignoring the fact that the two men were tortured and thrown out of a chopper.
As a universal rule, a journalist looks at the source of the news and uses it if appropriate. If there is insufficient information that makes you use the word 'allegation', as a journalist, you go to the source of the news to find out more about what happened, to access more data, to obtain documents. If that is not possible, you find other sources, reach other information and publish it. You, as a journalist, get in touch with people involved in the incident some way. This wasn't done. 
Instead of doing their work as a journalist, they waited for an official statement.  That 'alternative media' waited for the statement of the Van Governorate and based their news on it instead of going to the source, investigating the 'claims'. The question 'what happened' was ignored and unanswered. 
Headlines such as "Statement by the Governorship of Van about the citizens allegedly thrown from the helicopter" was preferred by the opposition media. The alternative media in question that did not feel the need to question the statement made by the Van Governorate, was not able to question the reason for the obvious torture.
The media that did not doubt the that the governorship was manipulating the facts or spreading disinformation, preferred to use the statement of the governorship in a positive manner. The 'alternative media' that did not fulfill their duty, used the expressions 'it was claimed' and 'allegedly' freely.
Despite the fact that the truth about the violations of rights, torture, deaths and massacres have always been covered up by 'official statements' in Turkey, the media kept using these statements as a base to their news. The most obvious example of this was the statements made following the murder of Kemal Kurkut, who was killed by a police bullet during the Newroz celebration in 2017, in Diyarbakır.
Academic Ulus Baker once wrote in 1995, under the title 'How to resist the media': "Contrary to what the dominant media and officials claim, systematic, institutionalized torture may stroke root. Many things that will spoil the game of the disinformation may be used by the 'anti-media', the 'alternative media' to the extent permitted by legal pressure and threats. From the reports of Amnesty International to the tabloid press, 'incidents of torture' can be mentioned as 'cases'. But whatever you do you can not make them understand that there is a naked fact called 'torture' and especially it is systematic and institutional."
The suffering of the news MA have been publishing since September 13 lies in the words of Ulus Baker; documents, witness statements, reports..Non of them are sufficient enough for them to understand...
The defense of the media outlets' failure to understand the news coming from Kurdish provinces is generally based on the demand for "concrete evidence and official documents". This demand can not be met even if the document is given on a silver plate.
Let's answer the unending demand of document with a disputed story from the region: A fight breaks out between two families in a village in Muş. Eno, who talks big before the fight, Eno that invites everyone to the fight, can not be found at the town square for some reason, he was not involved in the fight. His family searches for Eno after the fight. They later find him digging a field far away from the village. They ask Eno where he has been. Eno says: "I am looking for a stick to fight with'.
The document sought by the alternative media today is buried in that field Eno digged.  That document that could not been found despite reports, eyewitnesses, photos of torture, is the literary expression of the fact of “being thrown from a helicopter by torture”.
MA / Deniz Nazlım

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