Thursday, October 21, 2004


Language Edition Variations

There are only a few newspaper that have English online editions, and the ones that do have amusing differences with their Turkish counterpart. For example, the socially conservative Zaman has Erdogan's France visit as the main story but its English edition heads with the guilty plea of a US soldier in the Abu Ghraib scandal. It also has a headline that states the Muslim contingent support for Kerry in the US elections, absent from the Turkish front page. The Turkish edition, on the other hand, has a headline that informs the reader that a Hollywood movie about Fatih Sultan Mehmet is being made. The subtle difference in covering homosexuality is also amusing. The Booker Prize winner, Hollinghurst, along with his "gay novel", is mentioned on the front page in the English edition, but left for the Culture section in the Turkish version.
Hurriyet's English online edition is less detailed than Zaman's. However, it contains a story that Zaman does not mention:

While in France, P.M. Tayyip Erdogan gave liberal messages. He said that gays had their own law and that there should be no fear from an idea that made no "Actual harm."

I guess when he says "an idea that makes no actual harm," he's referring to gay sex. I have no idea, though, what he means when he says that "gays have their own laws." What, in God's name, does that mean? Laws that protect them (I highly doubt it)? (I am reminded of the Christian provinces of the Ottoman Empire which, though they were taxed, were not required to follow Islamic law--but what Turkish laws nowadays do not apply to homosexuals?) This headline is also completely absent from Hurriyet's Turkish online edition, which leads me to believe that Hurriyet does not want to cause a minor domestic controversy, but at the same time hopes to show off our "cosmopolitan" prime minister to foreigners. How thoughtful of them, if only the story made sense....


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