Friday, July 29, 2011

Stop the presses

In a room full of journalists, there's nothing unusual about avid monitoring of one of the numerous newsroom TVs. But sometimes there's a obvious change in the air, and it's immediately clear that what's being broadcast is not just the latest football score.

One of those moments hit today at deadline, sending me scrambling to open my online Turkish-English dictionary to translate the one, crucial word I didn't understand in the TV tickertape: "istifa." As in Genelkurmay Başkanı Orgeneral Işık Koşaner istafa etti. Turkey's top general has resigned.

Even before the rest of the top brass followed suit, this was big. Though Gen. Koşaner may have held roughly the same position as U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, the latter tendering his resignation would not have nearly the same impact. Turkey's military has long been a powerful counterbalancing force to its government, a contentious relation that has seen the armed forces mount a handful of coups when it felt the country needed to be set right, and numerous high-ranking officers more recently jailed as part of controversial coup-plot investigations -- what prompted the top commanders to quit in protest late Friday.

There was no time to think about the potential ramifications with new stories to write and edit, new photos to find, breaking news to be posted on the website, and a good chunk of the front page to be redesigned. An hour later, the paper was out the door, flawed, most assuredly, but not missing the story everyone would be talking about tomorrow, and for some time to come.

* Photo by waferboard / Creative Commons.


LoNeSTaR said...

Dear Jennifer, this isnot the first time this kinda things happen in Turkiye, and it won't be the last. You'll get used to it :)

The Turkish Life said...

Actually, I've worked at a daily Turkish newspaper for two and a half years now -- through Ergenekon arrests, the Mavi Marmara killings, closing down the DTP, the constitutional case against the AKP, various attacks, the charter referendum, a general election, the Syrian refugee crisis, kasete skandalı, şike soruşturması, falan falan. So I am pretty used to it. Just wanted to share a bit of Turkish politics and newsroom atmosphere with friends/readers elsewhere.

LoNeSTaR said...

Ohh I see :) You're really in it :) welcome Turkiye again :)