Somehow, We Can’t Succeed In Communication!

At the end of a rather busy week, I was cleaning my mailbox and arranging my weekly schedule as a routine Sunday work in the hotel room I was staying in America. In the meantime, I was watching the interviews at the 84th Oscar Academy Awards Ceremony, which was about to begin. Right at that moment, an e-mail caught my eye.​

When I read the article of Azime Acar, whom I consider an expert on media communication in our country and whose weekly articles I definitely read, during the Oscar ceremony, which to me is the world’s best organized PR event, I should frankly say that I got deeply sad. Summarizing shortly, Mrs Acar had analyzed how the face transplant surgeries that took place in Turkey were medical successes but how disastrous they came out in terms of PR. In one part of the article, she quoted from Rahşan Gülşan’s column in HaberTürk:

Rahşan Gülşan was highlighting the situation in her column in HaberTürk on Friday, with the title “There’s blood running out of the kid’s mouth!”:

“It has been a month since the kid had a surgery. But apparently he didn’t fully recover.
How do I know this?
Of course, from the photos published in the newspapers.
Because, for a moment, blood ran out of Uğur’s mouth during the press conference that took place the day before.
Clearly it’s an organ that’s transplanted within a very delicate process.
Clearly the wounds didn’t fully recover; they bled when Uğur tried to talk.
When I saw the photo, my heart sank. I turned into a mess.
Isn’t it a pity for the kid?

Fine, it’s a first in our country.
Fine, this story is a success of Turkish doctors.
But they didn’t even let us enjoy it. Besides, is there anyone thinking about what this kid will do with the reputation he had to gain unwillingly? Is there anyone to remember that behind the transplanted face, there was a 19 years old boy who was knocked about until this age?

What kind of a job does the Prof. Dr. İsrafil Kurtcephe, the Rector of Akdeniz University exactly foresee for Uğur, when offering him a job in front of the press?
Is he considering him as a doctor or as an administrative staff?”

Rahşan Gülşan reacted against the situation by saying: “We managed to change a success story successfully into Turks’ banal pampering of themselves. Congratulations to all of us!”

The Rector of Akdeniz University offered a job in front of everyone with the winding up of the cameras. It was neither the first, nor the last example of how the appeal of the cameras could result in media accidents.”

When we look at our country’s current situation, there are incredible personal success stories. Believe me; we have worldwide doctors, engineers, academicians, bureaucrats, sportsmen, artists and businessmen. However, all of these are personal successes. Because of the problems in our system and our mentality of pulling each other down, no one can rise to the places they deserve. A lot of people unjustly occupy the positions that they don’t fit into. I will continue to address this deformity and I will have surprises about this issue in the future.
To me, all parties involved in this face transplant issue have their own mistakes. The hospital, the university, the media, the doctors who try to save the situation and others involved in it. Within this chaos and deformity, I think that we couldn’t announce these successes to the world as much as they deserve and we oversimplified the heroes of the issue, meaning the doctors. It’s truly very sad.
While I’m writing these words, the film “A Separation” of Iran won an Oscar in the Foreign Language Film category. To me, how our neighbor Iran, who stands out with her mentality and personal successes like us, will respond to the award is an object of curiosity. It’s for sure that this issue will be talked about a lot from now on. I think, if there’s a winner here in this case, it’s the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that gives the Oscars, who showed its hats-off vision with what it did in terms of communication. Besides, even before these face transplant surgeries took place, the film Face Off that first told us about this issue shows how Hollywood and therefore the Academy is way ahead.

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