Interview with Ece Temelkuran: how to confront the ‘post-truth’, the Turkish lesson

Turkey did not turn into an authoritarian regime in one day, the Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran states. On the contrary, the current situation in the country is the result of an ideological process, which, albeit ignored for a long time, had begun even before Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became President. This ideological work lies in the constant use of the so called ‘post-truths’, which is nothing but lies, in order to ensure the intellectual legitimisation of the Government’s actions. And a similar process has already started in Europe and in the United States, Ms. Emelkuran warns.

Populists aspire to represent those who do not care about politics. Therefore, populists only exist within an ignorant society, Temelkuran defends. A society that not only ignores the truth but that actually does not even want to know it, and this is very dangerous. These politicians work towards the polarisation of the society, in order to establish an intellectual atmosphere in which, if you criticise them, you are anti-democrat. This is why the use of facts against the populists’ narrative does not work anymore.

Ece Temelkuran believes this situation is reversible. However, from her point of view, this is not a journalistic issue but a political problem. Journalists are afraid of being political. But given this is a global political issue, the only possible answer should be a political counter-narrative, Temelkuran defends. And as this is a global concern, the only possible response should be a collective action.