Help! Somebody is being beaten up!

My friend Ozan is a little crazy. Here, I use “crazy” as a tribute.

We are friends with him from Izmir, from middle school. Even though we hadn’t met for so many years, thanks to social media, we met again and had great conversations, mostly in the virtual world.

Almost everyone on my Facebook list knows Ozan because he’s a social media monster.

Here I use “monster” in a cute way.

He writes comments on each post, he posts a lot, often adds “risen” exclamations to these posts that surprise me and perhaps other friends: “Boo!” “Whoa!” and so on… You know, sometimes those who don’t know him can find him unappealing. But he is very cute. For example, I will send this post to him first and I know he will just laugh. As I said, he’s crazy. So, his ego is not very active, he knows how to laugh away.

Recently, it came to my mind, or rather to my intuition. I examined the recent past in my mind and realized that he hadn’t been on Facebook much for a while. He is in some excitement with his family. I called him worrying for a moment if something bad had happened.

“You wondered, right?” he said.

It turns out that he has decided to suspend his relationship with social media.

We said goodbye after my reaction saying “Oh well, it takes a lot of time already, you’ve had too much of it as well” and we hung up the phone.

The next day, towards noon, I opened Facebook. A post by a friend (!) of Ozan’s time tunnel: “Ozan, lady X blocked you” …

Let’s look at what lady X wrote: in her post, where Ozan’s profile picture is also used, she states “This man is harassing me on all kinds of social platforms” and says that if he does one more thing, she will sue him.

I was angry at first. Then I thought it was a joke. Reading the comments below, I made sure it was a social media experiment. I was even going to write something like “You can’t fool me, isn’t this an experiment, I can’t believe it” but I felt suspicious. Fortunately, I felt so because otherwise, I would be ashamed.

I called him and asked, “Did you volunteer for the experiment on how people get boiled over in the virtual world?”. As he was drawing Turkey’s road map again, as usual, he said from the speakers “I was very happy you said that because this is not an experiment, it is real. Fortunately, people who know me call me immediately”.

I learned that these two people, who did not know each other at all, had a text chat with each other about the accuracy of one or two pieces of news shared by lady X. Once again when they disagreed on a news story, Ozan got a little angry. I also told him that I found this unnecessary. I kept the question “Did you think you’d get away from Facebook like that freely?” to myself.


Let’s get to the main issue… In other words, the issue of lynching in social media.

A few comments that appeared after this statement of lady X were as follows:

“He doesn’t look like a good person anyway.” (By the way, his photo was really weird, I teased him as ‘the guys are right’ and we laughed a lot.)

“I looked at his profile, he is so lonely.” I laughed a lot at that too; a lot.

“He has already made some absurd posts.”

“Look, he shared this recently.” Here, it is seen that Ozan shared an article titled “Don’t get boiled over on social media”. One would say every advice to himself first, and Ozan seemed to have done so, but then he didn’t listen to himself much.

“Lady X, I can beat him if you want”. What a creative idea!

The comments with abundant prejudice went like this and got uglier.

Among all this unpleasantness, what struck me the most was the profile picture of one of these commenters: Ali Ismail Korkmaz!

You know, Ali Ismail participated in the march in Eskişehir, Turkey on July 10, 2013, in support of the Gezi Park protests, was beaten by policemen and attackers with sticks, and died at the age of 19.

Ali Ismail, who still makes me cry every time I look at his picture…

Why was he killed?

Because those who did not agree with him did not even tolerate his existence. They didn’t know him, they did not know if he had a family, would they be upset, whether he had hurt a person or a living thing until that time, whether he had a good heart or good intention. But they all killed him together because he wasn’t one of them.

And three years later, a person whom I think is fair to still keep Ali İsmail in his profile picture, is lynched because of an incident between two people that he does not know the details of, whether it is real or not, or whether it is true or not; maybe he trusts his friend very much and becomes a part of virtual lynch. They hit and hit him with virtual sticks. They don’t know Ozan; they don’t know whether he has family, children, or they are upset or not, whether he has hurt somebody until today, whether he has a good heart or good intention or not. But people are included in the lynching choir and hit from the screen because Ozan is not one of them; they don’t know him.

And they are not at all aware that these two are the same thing.

Is it just that?

Almost none of us is aware of that.

Every day, on the street, on public transport, at work, at home, among family, I hear prejudiced comments, judging those with whom they don’t agree with.

I get out of bed every morning not to judge anyone, and I keep catching my judgments all day long.

We are working “fully automatic” about this subject.

We do not realize that each of the bitter truths of the country come out of our hearts and minds and rain down on us.

We can hardly show anyone the understanding, compassion, acceptance, and democracy we want from those who attacked Ali İsmail.

Unless we change as “individuals”, the same movie keeps spinning around on the giant reel …

We watch and watch and cry.


what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *