Dicle Müftüoğlu: Gurbetelli destroyed perceptions in the media
- 14:29 3 October 2023
ANKARA - DFG Co-chair Dicle Müftüoğlu, who welcomed the Kurdish Women Journalists Day in prison, said that Gurbetelli Ersöz destroyed the perceptions in the media where the male mind is dominant. Dicle said, "Nagihan Akarsel, Nujiyan Erhan, Deniz Fırat, Ayfer Serçe showed us, female journalists, what kind of path we should walk, both with their struggles."
As 26 years have passed since the death of Gurbetelli Ersöz, who made history as the first female Editor-in-Chief in Turkey, on October 7, 1997, this day was declared as Kurdish Women Journalists Day on October 7, 2014. Promising to fight to announce the truth despite all the pressures, Gurbetelli said, "As much as fighting against men, I will beautify women by starting them myself", becoming the first female Editor-in-Chief in Turkey, and adding, "Of course, it is very important for a Kurdish woman to be an Editor-in-Chief, in recent years the Kurdish woman has become more prominent than men." He's come a long way. "Where I am today is related to this as well as my own special efforts," he explained. Kurdish women journalists, who are the successors of Gurbetelli Ersöz and Ayfer Serçe, who dreamed of a women's news agency, continue to carry the flag they inherited.
The inherited legacy continues
Kurdish women journalists continued the legacy they inherited by establishing the first women's news agency in Turkey, Jin News Agency (JINHA) on March 8, 2012. JINHA, which had a major role in the Kurdish press, was closed by Statutory Decree (KHK) on October 30, 2016. Journalists continued their broadcasting life with Gazete Şûjin on December 19, 2016. The government, which wanted to hinder the struggle of Kurdish women journalists, closed Şûjin with a decree on 25 August 2017. Kurdish women journalists, who insist on women's journalism, continued their way with JINNEWS on September 25, 2017, with the motto "On the trail of truth with the pen of women". Not content with just that, women founded JIN TV on January 9, 2018. Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) Co-chairman Dicle Müftüoğlu, who was arrested on May 3, World Journalists' Day and held in Sincan Women's Closed Prison for 6 months, made evaluations to our agency on the occasion of October 7, Kurdish Women Journalists' Day.
'They fought both with men and with themselves'
Dicle, who started her words by saying, "I commemorate Gurbetelli Ersöz, who was a guide and teacher for us female journalists, with respect and gratitude," said that Gurbetelli destroyed the perceptions of the male-dominated media. Dicle said, “She became the first woman to be the editor-in-chief of a newspaper in Turkey. Of course, the 'Özgür Gündem' newspaper, which is one of the important areas of the free press, was one of the areas that created real journalism without hiding behind definitions such as 'alternative' and 'opposition' in journalism. She wrote what was not written, and despite all the obstacles, she did it. At this point, the free press's women's libertarian perspective revealed itself. Of course, the struggle of pioneering female journalists like Gurbetelli was effective in shaping and perpetuating this perspective. Of course, in a very suitable environment that does not have a field of knowledge and power like journalism, Gurbetelli and his successors struggled both with men, with the new masculinity, and with themselves in order to create the new. In this sense, they reversed many perceptions in the general media perception. It revealed that women can achieve their best in the kitchen (news center) management and in the face of the mentality that tries to keep women only on the screen of the business. Journalists, especially Kurdish women journalists, gained serious strength from their perspective and determined stance. Since then, a press organ that focuses on women has been opened, from agencies to production companies, from television channels to magazines. "Women showed their colors by taking part in all areas of this institution, from the kitchen to behind the scenes, from in front of the screen to the news center.”
'It pioneered the development of women-focused journalism'
Emphasizing that Gubetelli pioneered the development of women-oriented journalism, Dicle stated that the firsts achieved affected the whole world and enabled the formation of a language in the sense of journalism. Dicle said, “The mentality that justified violence and massacres against women yesterday, blamed women, and made them a tabloid has started to get its act together a little bit. We can state that all of them can be transformed in parallel with social transformation and women's struggle. Again, a resource was created for women's journalism. Journalists, myself included, feel the need to look at JINNEWS and see how that type of news is processed while reporting a news story. Or many newspapers and TV channels now report not only when women are killed, but also when they struggle. "She prepares women's pages and newsletters.”
'The truth is wanted to be prevented'
Noting that in countries where anti-democratic, despotic and fascism is in force, such as Turkey, the people are put in a situation where they cannot breathe, Dicle said: “Many problems such as economic crises, war, the deadlock in the Kurdish issue, and massacres of women, of course, cause the freedom of the press and expression to disappear day by day. In this context, access blocks to news and sites, different forms of censorship, and screen blackouts are implemented on the internet. Those who work as reporters in the field are prevented from following the news through violence, detention and death threats. In an environment where attacks against women have increased so much, female journalists are of course becoming more targets and are being attacked a lot. All of this stems from the fact that the male mind, which wants to destroy women, is in power. Women, whose gains are taken away from them one by one and who are murdered every day, continue to speak out against all this. The biggest dynamic of society in Turkey is women who speak out on the streets. For this very reason, female journalists who reflect their voices are also targets. The aim is to prevent women's freedom struggle and the truth from spreading and echoing around the world. We saw this in the arrest of the journalist who interviewed the family of Jîna Emînî, who tried to reflect the 'Jin Jiyan Azadi' resistance that feeds Rojhılat. There are many examples.”
'We could not popularize women's journalism'
Stating that Kurdish women journalists have 30 years of experience, Dicle pointed out that this struggle is long-lasting and that many things have emerged with this struggle. Dicle said, “Press institutions influenced many journalists. However, we could not ensure that a common language became widespread in all areas. Of course, a resource was created, but we could not ensure that this resource was used by the general public and treated as a guide or dictionary. We must look for ways to further popularize women's journalism in this sense and to ensure that the common language is adopted by more segments of society.If the massacres of women are still reported in tabloids and affect society, this has an impact on our inability to master this language. However, there is still a lack of organizing and growing a common response to attacks such as violence, arrests and censorship in the field. We can eliminate this by increasing common platforms and terms. "Otherwise, it would not be possible to popularize the female perspective in journalism, which is one of the fields where the male-dominated perspective is very dominant.”
'We will continue to speak out under all circumstances'
Dicle sent the following message to Kurdish female journalists: “Once again, I commemorate all female press martyrs in the person of Gurbetelli Ersöz. Female journalists Nagihan Akarsel, Nujiyan Erhan, Deniz Fırat, Ayfer Serçe showed both their struggles and us female journalists what path we should walk on. They carried on the struggle for truth throughout their lives, putting their lives on the line. As their successors, we try to speak out under all circumstances. Through you, I salute all the female journalists who follow the path paved by the Gurbetellis. Happy day.”