This article was published on 5 June but the call is still valid.
A call to the media from Okan Bayülgen
“I call on the media to do their job. Don’t leave us ignorant of what’s happening in Rize and Ankara,” says Okan Bayülgen
Police have begun responding to protests in Ankara and Rize with tear gas, as demonstrations continued alongside protests in Taksim Square throughout the day.
Okan Bayülgen called the media to do their duty by tweeting “I call on the media to do their job. Don’t leave us ignorant of what’s happening in Rize and Ankara. Listen to the voice of conscience in these solemn days”
Tensions rose in Rize after a group of 25 Turkish Youth Union members (Türkiye Gençlik Birliği – TGB) clashed with counter-protesters opposing the TGB. The subsequent brawl saw counter protestors’ numbers quickly rise to over 500, after which the police began responding with pepper spray. The protestors finally dispersed when the Rize Municipal Mayor, Halil Bakırcı, arrived at the scene to negotiate with the protestors.
Meanwhile in Ankara, the largely peaceful protests throughout the day saw tensions rise when the police called for the protestors to leave, claiming that there was a group among the protestors getting ready for an attack on the police. When the protestors refused to disperse, the police responded with water cannons and pepper spray. The events in Ankara were also captured live by Habertürk, who were reporting from the scene.
“The Social Media is a place for fun and communication, but has also shown its uses during earthquakes. I call on the “big media” to do something useful – both the papers and television” said Okan Bayülgen, in sharp contrast to an earlier statement delivered by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who called the social media a “menace” and claimed that it was the root of all lies surrounding the protests. He also claimed that photoshopped images of dead bodies were being shared on social networking sites.
Other celebrities who have also tweeted to the Prime Minister:
Singer Yavuz Bingöl: “Both sides must stop. We have to talk. Otherwise there will only be more blood spilt and more casualties. Why won’t the Prime Minister just apologise?”
Singer İbrahim Tatlıses: “Yes, we understand, but where will this all stop? I call on the Prime Minister to withdraw our police forces. You are this country’s PRIME MINISTER. I really can’t get treatment!”
Journalist Aykut Işıklar: “A few people have been severely wounded in Taksim, from reasons ranging from the lack of attention to the Prime Minister’s cringing.”
Singer Onur Akay: “Whether or not the Prime Minister apologises, the people will be protesting for the foreseeable future. If the Prime Minister thinks Twitter is a menace, why is he still tweeting? He should close down his account.”