Bekir Coşkun, Habertürk newspaper columnist, visited Bilkent last week on Wednesday March the 17, to share his opinions on the role of media in Turkey. The conference, organized by the Genç Aydınlanma Kulübü, was a great opportunity for students to interact and discuss the issues related to the topic.
“Everyday I get a chance to express my opinions in my very own column,” Bekir Coşkun said. “Therefore, today, rather than making a very long speech, I want to focus on what you think. For that reason please, don't be shy and ask me about everything you want to know; because what you think is what actually matters.”
Referring to his childhood and his life experiences, Coşkun emphasized the difficulties of growing up as a decent person and the tricks of maintaining a career as a journalist. Coşkun encouraged his audience saying, “I believe Bilkent is one of the best universities in Turkey. Therefore, if I managed to turn into who I am today, you all are capable of doing the same, if not better.”
As he began sharing his experience as a journalist, he talked about the risks, responsibilities and ironic situations his occupation had brought along. Pointing out the importance of media as a source of information for the public and its key role to influence people, Coşkun argued the significance of publishing accurate news, even though it might cause one to make compromises regarding comfort and safety.
The conference continued with questions directed to Coşkun by students. As the issues regarding democracy, secularism, and the role of the military were being discussed, Coşkun made two important points. He pointed out that it was up to society to question and shape its future. He added that it was every state's faith to build the environment they deserved to live in.
“Equilibration is the key for civilization,” he added, meaning that a content society could only be achieved if the sources available match the needs of the people. He argued that so far both society and the Turkish media has failed to achieve equilibrium.
As he made his concluding remarks, Bekir Coşkun reminded everyone that it is necessary for Turkish citizens to form a united and strong body to help the Republic of Turkey survive the conflicts of the present day.
Çiğdem Ataman (POLS/IV)