Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Those photos

The Boss has written on EUReferendum about the photos from Mavi Marmara. The most interesting story is not the cropping of the picture by Reuters but the fact that the full photos first appeared in the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet. Could this mean, I wondered, that there is some sort of a power struggle going on in Turkey? After all, not everybody is happy about the AK government's move away from secularism and traditional pro-Western foreign policy or about its support for Hamas.

Der Spiegel gives an account of how those pictures got to the newspaper and why they were published as well as reactions in Turkey and Israel. I was not too far wrong: there are strong feelings that the government has gone too far. It should not have supported Hamas or become embroiled in a very messy situation.
The fact that "the moments when the Israeli soldiers were beaten up," as Hürriyet put it, were published in a Turkish newspaper of all places is the climax of a bizarre war of interpretation that pro-Palestinian activists and the Israeli government have been waging against each other ever since the deadly raid.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan railed against Israel's "banditry and piracy." But Hürriyet belongs to the media group of entrepreneur Aydin Dogan which has been critical of the government in the past. Initially, Dogan's newspapers had criticized the Israeli raid just like Turkey's pro-government papers. But since then they have been warning against excessive Israel bashing and against the prime minister's increasingly authoritarian style of government.
There could be some very serious developments in Turkey in the near future.

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