straight orange – ayşe düzkan

for me, sendika.org expresses things that readers might not pick up on at the outset. this platform has become an arena where different views from different viewpoints can find a place

you open a new window on the computer, but instead of the page, you’re confronted by incy wincy, dark-blue script on a blue background. almost everyone that follows the media online now knows that you have to go add another number to the url in the address box if you’re going to access the page. özgürlükçü demokrasi adopted its 41st iteration today, and sendika.org hit 61. congratulations to both of them.

in the internet age, this censorship is an effort in vain; instead it is more an economic pressure that tests patience and results in a lot of labor. that’s because while readers just have to change a number in the address box, the labor of the site’s workers isn’t that easy.

it’s been more than 16 years since sendika.org was formed. it was an era in which questions of labor, paid labor and unions had fallen from the agenda to the extent that they weren’t even an object of nostalgia. that’s why i think the choice of name was important.

guerilla journalism

later, sendika.org authored work that went beyond labor and unions, drawing most readers’ attention during the gezi resistance. since then, it has earned a place in the mainstream among leftist sites. that’s why i think it’s commendable that it talks about kurds at the risk of losing readers that began reading during gezi, as well as its position in the “center.”

but even more than this, i think its stories on the syrian war are more important. at a time when some were trying to palm off takfiris as the opposition and assad supporters as more assadist than assad himself, a publishing ethos that never moved to stigmatize the kurds – while also not holding back from criticizing them – and which relied on news rather than comment was just what the doctor ordered.

this medium, which started during gezi with çapul.tv before transforming into hayır (no) tv and adalet (justice) tv (even if i wish that it would provide more news from the ongoing justice and conscience watch) is one of the most important – if not the most important – example of guerilla journalism that can be achieved with technology. that’s why its promise to broadcast the fall of the palace is no empty boast.

where everyone gets equal treatment

for me, a writing laborer who occasionally seeks a place to publish her articles, sendika.org expresses things that readers might not pick up on at the outset. this platform has become an arena where different views from different viewpoints can find a place. it’s a site in which everyone gets equal treatment or, more importantly, in which every piece is subjected to a meticulous editing process. to see how important it is that this is accomplished with volunteer labor, please take a look at the internet sites of mainstream outlets, which employ professionals, are professionally run and which also publish paper editions of their work. most of them are riddled with spelling mistakes and phrases that could hardly be called turkish.

on the subject of the mainstream, there’s one thing i’d like to note. in past years, when the press more or less resembled a press, a significant number of the most ambitious journalists from the big papers got their start in the “alternative” media, at evrensel or especially the kurdish media, for instance. it’s no longer like this, unfortunately. as it is, the mainstream media doesn’t require journalists. in such an age, sendika.org is one of the most important schools for raising journalists.

instead of welcoming the “celebrities” of the age

there’s something else i’d like to draw attention to. a number of oppositional media organs have chosen to create and welcome inconsequential talk as well as celebrities who use sleight of mouth that is actually more appropriate to social media. sendika.org does almost the polar opposite of this, always according equal treatment to the first piece of any “renowned” writer. in fact, it’s a platform that sometimes even exaggerates anonymity. careful readers, however, will have figured out some of the bright ones of the bunch, but i don’t want to embarrass them by revealing their names.

even if long in the future, these days will pass like a severe illness that caused great suffering but was not ultimately fatal. what will remain will be the experience, labor, intellect and wisdom of this period. at a time when everything is simmering down and the opposition is creating something new, sendika.org will continue to be a valuable platform, whether it is around or not.