BURAK BEKDİL > Mais non!

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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would probably be a much happier man if the Jews, the French as well as the secular, Shia and Alevi Muslims lived on Mars. As I argued/anticipated in this column more than once, his presumed honeymoon with French President François Hollande, the enemy of his one-time enemy Nicolas Sarkozy, ended before it even began.

Moreover, for Mr. Erdoğan, Mr. Hollande can become the new Mr. Sarkozy as more and more French tend to see Turkey’s democratization under Mr. Erdoğan’s government as a big farce, and especially if the French president decided to revive the now-defunct legislation to make denial of the Armenian genocide illegal.

In possibly one of the funniest of his rants ever, Mr. Erdoğan angrily demanded Mr. Hollande explain why he had met one of the three Kurdish militants shot dead in Paris. Earlier, Mr. Hollande had said that he knew one of the three women. And Mr. Erdoğan roared, “The French president should immediately disclose to the public why he met with members of this terrorist organization, what was discussed, to what end he was in communication with these terrorists.”

In the first place, Prime Minister, the French president did not meet with any terrorist, although he may have spoken to “Gare du Nord,” just like your government has categorically refused to talk to Kurdish terrorists and their political extensions but is now in talks with “İmrali,” or with “the island.” If Turkish officials can speak to “İmrali the island” why should French officials not speak to “Gare du Nord the train station?”

Secondly, Prime Minister, you had to admit last year that “the Turkish state,” but not “the Turkish government,” had been in secret talks with the PKK after the tape recordings of these talks had been leaked. So, think positively, it should be the French state – not the French government – that had met with one of the Kurdish militants. And do you not always say that it is normal for the government to employ the state’s intelligence and other assets as instruments for constructive dialogue with the terrorists? Think positively again, Mr. Hollande must have employed the French state’s assets as instruments for constructive dialogue with the PKK.

Not yet convinced? Ask your own party’s MP, Nursuna Memecan, why she met with Fidan Doğan, the same lady with whom Mr. Hollande said he had met. And remember, Ms. Memecan recalls the deceased as “an always smiling, positive and pro-dialogue woman.” So why should a French politician refuse to speak to someone a Turkish politician from your own party speaks to, and remembers with admiration?

Not yet convinced? Perhaps you should start by explaining first why you so merrily meet with the leaders of Hamas and embrace them with every possible feeling of fraternity? The parallel? Both the PKK and Hamas carry labels with international recognition that read “terrorist” in bold letters. Perhaps you should “immediately disclose to the public why you met with members of this terrorist organization, what was discussed, to what end you were in communication with these terrorists?” But we know that you believe an entity that publicly pledges to annihilate an entire nation through violence may or may not be a terrorist organization, depending on the target nation.

So, never mind, Prime Minister. Even this columnist, who has never hidden his dislike of your governance, fully supports the new peace process with the PKK you bravely launched. In this tough task you will have the wholehearted support of most Turks and Kurds. Blessed are the peace-makers! Good luck.


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Notice on comments

Oz_man .

1/22/2013 5:06:41 PM

Mara did the UK give Northern Ireland to the IRA? The only way to end terrorism is by talking to the alleged people in question first. Most Kurds live in Istanbul than the traditional Kurdish areas. As for giving up parts of Turkey the PKK must decide for themselves which team they'd rather be on. A losing one or a winning one. So far PKK populated areas include low literacy rates, childbrides, poverty and high unemployment. So far as I'm concerned not much of a future is on offer.

mara mcglothin

1/21/2013 8:59:48 PM

OZMAN The only way to completely end terrorism by the PKK would be to give part of Turkey to the Kurds. Are you up for that? It is a proven fact that NOT negotiating is the only way to keep the terrorist from gaining legitimacy.

Oz_man .

1/20/2013 4:25:12 PM

Who Koksuz?

Köksüz Kosmopolit

1/20/2013 3:18:36 PM

@Oz_man, you know who else never lost an election?

Oz_ man

1/20/2013 6:56:41 AM

Mr Bekdil maybe you and your buddies need to live on Mars. It is a known fact that Mr Erdogan has won every single election since 2002 and is so far undefeated. France has denied all extradition suspects to Turkey for the last two decades listing phoney arguments. The death of PKK militants in France is an embarassment to France. As for meeting with terrorists are you going to stop terrorism in Turkey? I wait to hear your plan to end terrorism without talking to terrorists

A. Oger

1/19/2013 10:55:00 AM

As a French, I particularly appreciate your paper. The first question that went through my mind just a second after having finished to read it was "When will Burak Bekdil be put in jail for terrorism?". Keep on the good work and your freedom of opinion!

mara mcglothin

1/19/2013 1:40:49 AM

Good one R OZEL! And perhaps a rep from the Taliban also? Aren't there some people in jail for being seen fraternizing with terrorist from the PKK? How is it different.


1/18/2013 10:07:04 PM

In 1980, Reagan campaigned on a pledge to take a firm stand on terrorism. Under his watch, he promised, the U.S. would never negotiate with terrorist. We exacly need tihis kind of leadership. it is very hard to accept for me but it is a bitter truth that Turkey has became a puppet of the US under the AKP government but it does not apply its policies agains terrorism. What a pitty!

Recep Ozel

1/18/2013 5:37:59 PM

@ mara, if the AKP convention was held now, they would also invite the head of the PKK as an honoured guest!


1/18/2013 5:08:38 PM

You've made some good points on the PM's hypocrisy on Turks being allowed to talk to the PKK but not Mr Hollande. I also agree with your comparison of Hamas and the PKK, although there is a slight complication there. Whether we like it or not, Hamas was allowed to enter free elections and won. So, in that respect, I don't mind PM talking to Hamas, but this should only be done to establish peace. It shouldn't be so "on the nose" (of course, the MM incident may be partly responsible for this).
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