Can Dündar presented his latest book ‘Erdogan’ in the UK Parliament
Journalist Can Dündar, who has been sentenced to 27 years and 6 months in prison in Turkey over the news about MIT trucks, met with Labour Party Member of Parliament Feryal Clark in the UK Parliament to discuss democracy issues in Turkey and answer questions.
During the event that took place last Monday, Dündar answered questions about Turkey’s struggle for democracy and shared details about his biography of Turkish Republic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, titled ‘Erdoğan.’ The biography, published in graphic novel format, focuses on Erdoğan’s life and political history from childhood.
Journalist Can Dündar, who was sentenced to 27 years and 6 months in prison in Turkey due to the news on MIT trucks and left the country during the trial, answered questions about his life in exile. Dündar, referring to his documentary background in the book ‘Erdoğan,’ stated, “Through this graphic novel, I had the chance to tell things that I might have difficulty showing in a documentary, like some childhood secrets.”
“Imagine writing a book about someone who ruined your life.”
After Labour Party MP Feryal Clark admitted feeling sorry for Erdoğan’s childhood tragedies, Can Dündar touched on the emotional struggle of writing this book: “Imagine writing a book about someone who ruined your life. Controlling your feelings is not easy. You have to be as objective as possible. So, I was in a very tight spot. I was very careful and tried not to add my emotions. This book should be read by him, and even if it comes from an enemy, it should be stated that it is an objective book.”
“Reporting on a country you don’t live in.”
Sharing his feelings about being in ‘exile,’ Dündar said, “In exile, you cannot get the scent of the country from your audience. Right now, I am shouting in another country. Thanks to the internet, distances are not what they used to be, but still, viewers are digital, and as a journalist, you are not there. It is reporting on a country you do not live in. I don’t even have the opportunity to verify the news on the spot.”
“Many countries that have experienced disasters like the recent earthquake in Turkey have voted for similar leaders.”
Answering questions about Turkey’s current political situation and position, the journalist said that the earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş in February were a big test for the government and that the government actually failed due to late intervention. Dündar continued, “The government won the election after all the crises and tragedies. But when I investigated afterward, I saw that many countries that have experienced disasters like this earthquake have voted for similar leaders. Because they are desperate. People who have lost everything know the government more or less. However, there are 6 parties constantly fighting on the other side. In such a situation, they cannot trust them, protecting the government seems safer. Under these conditions, people need to protect themselves and need urgent interventions. They cannot wait for another year. I have seen similar examples in many countries, governments that turn such crises into advantages…”
“NATO is Erdoğan’s playground.”
Referring to the recent crisis between Turkey and Sweden within the NATO framework, the journalist said, “Forget the sanctions, NATO is Erdoğan’s playground, and he plays very well there. He has a card, and he uses it very cleverly. When you look at the crisis he created, it makes no sense for NATO. But whenever he creates a problem, he sits down to negotiate with NATO. Initially, they laughed at him, but then they saw that he was serious, and they had nothing to do. Because of him, they changed the constitution in Sweden. Erdoğan presented this as a great success, and he did not step back.”