December 16, 2014

Criticism of police raids continues to trend on social media

Two days after the police raids on Hizmet-affiliated media groups throughout Turkey, criticism of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) continued to trend on Twitter on Tuesday.

A Turkish flag and a hashtag is hung outside the Zaman daily building in İstanbul.

The hashtag #DoğruYoldaDimdikYürüyoruz, or "marching on the path to rightness," was trending on Tuesday due to social media users aiming to defend the innocence of those taken into custody from Hizmet-affiliated media outlets, including Ekrem Dumanlı, editor-in-chief of Turkey's highest-selling daily, Zaman, and Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca.

“Although [President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] wants everybody to submit to him, we'll keep criticizing his unlawful, authoritarian actions #Turkey #DoğruYoldaDimdikYürüyoruz,” shared user ‏@FarukGur. The same user also went on to tweet, “Nowadays, it is difficult to convince democratic nations that #Turkey is still governed according to the rule of law. #DoğruYoldaDimdikYürüyoruz.”

Twitter users like @FarukGur are using the social media platform to criticize Erdoğan, who has made a target of the Hizmet movement inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

“WE ARE PROTESTING TRT [Turkish Radio and Television Corporation] #DoğruYoldaDimdikYürüyoruz,” tweeted user ‏@oncevatan81. Many are critical of the state-run TRT for coverage with a bias against the Hizmet movement and other opposition groups, accusing the broadcaster of the unethical use of public resources.

Another user, @61incipencere, tweeted: “[Main opposition Republican People's Party] CHP Trabzon provincial chairman Yavuz Karan: We are with the public in the struggle for democracy.”
Many citizens feel the detainment of Dumanlı and Karaca is unjust. The two were detained for allegedly fabricating evidence about an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group known as the Tahşiyeciler (roughly translated as "annotators").

“In this country, there is a price to be paid when being honest, telling the truth against lies #DoğruYoldaDimdikYürüyoruz,” shared user @fatihalanresmi.

In further criticism on social media, a user noted: “Erdogan's hate speech towards its own citizens has put a hold on the EU process!! #DoğruYoldaDimdikYürüyoruz #ÖzgürBasınSusmayacak [FreePressCannotBeSilenced]," in reference to the announcement made by the European Parliament (EP) that on Wednesday it will debate freedom of expression in Turkey and a recent media crackdown.

At one point on Tuesday, TopTrends WORLDWIDE, a group that tracks social media trends and publishes its findings on the Twitter account @TopTrendWW, shared that #DoğruYoldaDimdikYürüyoruz ranked sixth in worldwide trends for social media.

Published on Today's Zaman, 16 December 2014, Tuesday