While babies die in Gaza, we must continue to discuss the insensitivity of sending greetings to the home-abandoned dog Loli during an award speech. I had stated that I closed the celebrity chapter, but knowingly, I am writing using celebrities as a highly engaging and triggering tool. The more people it reaches, the more room it opens in consciences for this absurd situation.
Even those who have never uttered a sentence about Gaza have reacted to the indifference to the killing of children while showing sensitivity to street dogs. In this regard, it can even be said that they have provided a space for conscientious people. The unmasking has indeed been accurate.
From what is written on social media, I also noticed that by sending greetings to her dog Loli on stage, Ecem Erkek actually gave more voice to Gaza. It ignited angry and resentful new outbursts. Because, even to those who say, "What can I do?" it made them say, "This is too much." Let me underline this as well; my intention is never to target anyone. On the contrary, witnessing a genocide, asserting that we are human, carrying a conscience, and foreseeing that we will face very serious accusations in the future, I am trying to warn modestly by writing and speaking.
Look, the European peoples are making a moral revolt against the Gaza genocide. They are on the threshold of a historical questioning and confronting the society they live in. While such an awakening is taking place in the centers of the secular world, and the world has entered a period that will never return to pre-October 7, seeing a significant part of Türkiye, where human values are prioritized, has not seen, spoken, and persistently considers the dogs and cats in homes and streets more valuable is a sign of collapse. It is proof of helplessness, lack of freedom, and the trampling of the profession of art.
I personally do not accept the silence of our celebrities, who are assumed to belong to the public, highly valued for their actions, rewarded, even seen as opinion leaders, against what is happening in Gaza. I cannot digest it. They did not come to this world as weeds. They do not live like weeds. However, we see that they act like weeds. There will be those who say, "Are they forced?" Yes, they are forced! Why? If a celebrity, an actor, or an artist is conscientious enough to think about street dogs, - and Ecem Erkek has shown that she has such a conscience - if the sense of mercy has not abandoned her, she must be obliged to remember the children in Gaza, to feel sorry for them, to mourn, to shed tears, to think about how they are when bombs rain on their city, to feel the loneliness of a girl whose brothers are killed, and to scream all these things.
If we replace Gaza with street animals or Mount Ida, Northern Forests, in a natural obligation, there will be a great competition result from a mandatory race due to agency instructions, manager impositions, or great emotional tension. This is why I say "forced." But our celebrities, I don't think they are very aware of what they are forced into. I am writing this article for this reason.
Ecem Erkek loves her dog very much. We can see this from her Instagram account. She has called for street animals many times before. Frankly, she seems sincere in her sensitivity to street dogs. However, while children have been dying every 10 minutes in Gaza for 60 days, the dogs and cats of Gaza have also perished. Couldn't she at least see them?
I looked at Ecem Erkek's accounts; she hasn't made a statement despite all the reactions. She hasn't defended herself either. Maybe she is very regretful. I also took a look at her posts about the Golden Butterfly Awards. On that night, she shared everything from the hairdresser who did her hair, the tailor of the dress she wore, to the brand of the earring on her ear. Moreover, she tagged the brand of the car that took her from home to the red carpet. In other words, she announced all her sponsors one by one on that night. It is important for a celebrity to be preferred by sponsors, of course. Let's look at the sponsor of the 'wonderful night,' then.
The main sponsor of the Golden Butterfly was the Pantene brand. Pantene is one of the leading global companies that support Israel, owned by P&G, the main source feeding the occupation economy. In the displayed indifference, in Cem Davran's mentioning Gaza's children without saying "Israel," in Ecem Erkek's starting with her dog Loli and publishing a manifesto for street dogs but not saying a word about what happened in Gaza, except for drummer Sanlı Akgün and little actress Ada Erma, and other celebrities who received awards, not even making a sentence about the children who died, how much influence did this sponsor have? Has this sponsor advised Ecem Erkek, who is already sensitive to street dogs - and she showed that she has such a conscience - to focus on the agenda? Did they say to her, "You already have a dog... You are very sensitive. It would be great if you bring street dogs to the agenda on stage"?
Sponsors and celebrities... These relationships have always existed. But this time it's different. In the age of social media, it is not possible for celebrities to act like "weeds" when it comes to certain events. It is known that in all reactions given and not given by celebrities, the influence of sponsors, agencies, and even scriptwriters is there. In other words, our celebrities are not really free. Many of them have no will. They are incapable of even uttering a sentence. Therefore, they can take on roles based on their Instagram follower numbers and manageability. In summary; the celebrities, who are assumed to be indifferent, irrelevant, and indifferent to the public, are not as free as Gaza. We saw this. What will we see next?