Why Politicians Are Not Funny

Dear Mr. Prez of Turkey,

Please take a page from any successful politician’s playbook, and let it go. Obama, Bush Sr, and Clinton (both Mr.&Mrs.) have all been lambasted on a fairly consistent basis. If you fight everyone and every publication opposed to you, how can you have time to effectively run the country. Silencing dissent through fear and force is not a sustainable method of conflict resolution.

“In March, Bahadir Baruter and Ozer Aydogan, cartoonists for the satirical magazine Penguen, were sentenced to nearly a year in prison for a drawing that prosecutors said featured a hand gesture suggesting Erdogan is gay. Their punishment was later reduced to a $2,700 fine.”

What kind of homophobic behavior is that anyway….it’s difficult to comprehend that the president of a country would lower himself to actually prosecute someone attempting to make a joke at their expense. Presidents cannot be exempt from criticism and humorous jabs. They absolutely cannot be placed above reproach as they are an extension of the people’s will….elected by the people, and only there to fulfill the needs of their country and people. Presidents are the ultimate public servant, not a demigod.

When you sue people, and raid the offices of the press for criticizing and making fun of you, you look desperate and guilty. Hearts and minds will remain the same, and it will just infuriate, increasing the vitriol.  

“An Istanbul prosecutor’s office banned the latest edition of Nokta magazine from being distributed and ordered raids on its offices over charges of “insulting the Turkish president” and “making terrorist propaganda” after the cover was published online, the magazine said in a statement. The cover displayed a mocked-up “selfie” of the smiling president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with the coffin of a soldier – an allusion to comments that families of soldiers killed by Kurdish rebels could be happy about their martyrdom.” Perhaps the cartoon was in poor taste, and perhaps it wasn’t, but that is for the viewers to decide on their own, because its the right of all humans to be free to decide for themselves how they wish to express themselves, and what they choose to be exposed to. If Mr. Prez is blameless, than why is he running around suing cartoonists and imprisoning journalists…What is he so worried about?
Throwing the label “terrorist” on those who strongly disagree with you will only water down the charge. That is a serious and dangerous accusation to make.

It’s incredibly disingenuous on the one hand to send the Turkish Prime Minister to participate in the Charlie Hebdo solidarity rally, which was held to condemn violence over satirical depictions, and then on the other hand imprison those who satirize in your own country.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/world/europe/turkish-leader-traces-a-new-internal-threat-the-way-hes-drawn.html?_r=0

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/4/turkeys-humorless-ruling-party-cracks-down-on-satirists.htmlOn

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/15/turkish-magazine-nokta-raided-and-copies-seized-for-mock-erdogan-selfie

Images courtesy of AndrewDavidCoxArtist@deviantart.com and Abode of Chaos

 

 

 

 

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Megan

Coffee. Beer. Climbing Tall Things.

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