CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, anchoring the coverage of the ongoing Turkish protests for her network, delved into analysis on Tuesday in an effort to isolate why the young, secular Turks had taken to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the government in Ankara. She noted that the nation had just recently curtailed the use of images of alcohol in public, but found that move roughly equivalent to the restrictions on alcohol imagery in the West. Oddly, Amanpour did not find it worth mentioning that those restrictions are made for public health reasons in the West but for religious reasons in Turkey.
“The Turkish government has said over and over again that it is not an Islamic government as you might find in Iran,” Amanpour began. “You can see that. We know that it has no plans to make Turkey into an Islamic Republic in the way that you see in places like Iran or elsewhere.”
She added that there has been some concern over Turkey’s shift towards “political Islam” among Western powers, but mentioned that many of the West’s democratic leaders are comfortable with the leadership of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.
“Recently, what has upset the young, secular, urban, professional classes of Turkey is the potential fear – because that was what was raised with this restricting of alcohol recently,” Amanpour continued.
She said that restrictions on the display of images of alcohol in public spaces was controversial, but it is not something unique to Islamic countries.
“This is something that takes place also in many other Western democracies,” she added inexplicably. “You can’t always see alcohol on television or on billboards.”
True. Often, advertisements of intoxicating or harmful products that are nevertheless legal are often curtailed. Russia, for example, bans alcohol advertising because of the overwhelming number of annual emergency room visits and fatalities attributed to the excessive consumption of spirits in that country.
But Amanpour seems to view the restrictions of alcohol advertising for public safety roughly equivalent to banning that advertising because it offends the religious sensibilities of a minority. This is a distinction lost on no one, nor is it an appropriate equivalence.
It’s enough to make you want to strap on a gas mask and head to Taksim Square.
Watch the clip below via CNN:
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