Imagine you have just been born from your mother. What kind of a world were you born into? One in which we think it is very okay to express ourselves and in which we feel free to tell our opinion on human rights, politics or other topics? Or, have you been born into a world where we do not feel comfortable to say what we think, where it’s dangerous to touch upon certain subjects or in which we feel pressure when saying certain things or sharing certain opinions with the outer world? Which one do we think we have been born into? If we tend a little bit to the second world, then there is a problem. It is not the world we were supposed to be born into. Because, people are first born into their free opinions.
What happens next? We little by little will become fearful of saying certain things or sharing certain ideas. Unfortunately, our fear will not limit itself to ourselves. Chances are it will become epidemic. The next time or the next day, other people will fear to say certain things or to share their ideas. This is because they have sensed it previously. Slowly the climate of fear can rise, even for media people and journalists. Only few can stand tall and will dare to do what is necessary. The ideas and opinions of the rest will disappear little by little. This is why freedom of expression, freedom of the media and democracy are essential: they all are medications to get rid of fear.
Author: Prof. Nezih Orhon