Terrorism cannot be legitimized
Is it indeed possible for Turkey to legislate for a special law temporarily providing some sort of legitimacy to withdrawing terrorists and ordering security forces, prosecutors not to take any action against them? This is one key demand of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) gang and its political and non-political “civilian” extensions.
Providing legitimacy to the separatist gang and its members has been on the agenda since the day a “parliamentary” delegation first visited the chieftain serving an enforced life-term on İmralı. Why? One fundamental reason is an effort to make best use of the situation. If the government wants and there is a massive popular support for the initiative then, why shouldn’t the government legislate for a law legitimizing the gang or at least de-criminalizing it? This is an awkward thinking. The aim is to make Turkey accept that all that was lived through since the August 1984 start of PKK separatist campaign was a “war” between Turkey and the “Kurds” and now the time has come to talk about the terms of the truce between these two warring parties.
Yes, with the “generous contributions” of some of our big and small allies, regional governments, the gang waged some sort of a low-intensity war mixed with all kinds of brutality and barbarism against Turkey and the people of this country without any discrimination. The “baby killer” term used for the chieftain was because of the few-months-old babies being mercilessly butchered by his men at his orders; not an exaggeration at all. Can anyone remember for one second the July 1993 massacre of 33 civilians, including kids and pregnant women at Başbağlar village? The chieftain, at court testimony, accepted the responsibility of the massacre claiming it was done outside of his knowledge.
That reminded me of a conversation with a retired western intelligence official a while ago on the subject of the chieftain. Though for understandable reasons he was unable to go into details, my source, describing the chieftain and commenting on the latest initiative of the Turkish government said, “He [the chieftain] really is little more than a sociopath without a conscience. He will say and do whatever is to his advantage and [as in the past] change in a flash. The number of people he has killed and ordered killed is still staggering. Still I do hope the initiative of the government works, but hope is not a policy and this, I really feel, will come to no good, at best.”
Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek was also against a special legislation de-criminalizing the gang, “for some time, until it withdraws from Turkey.” Obviously, this is no joke. Meeting with the gang chieftain; getting his verbal messages and passing on those messages to other people might be something worthy of investigation by prosecutors. How could terrorists wandering around or withdrawing to another country and refusing to lay down their arms, be given some sort of “legal immunity”? Or, can the government with a written order officially instruct the Turkish military to watch but not act on withdrawing terrorists passing in front of military outposts?
This is an initiative aimed at bringing an end to the PKK, not to the Turkish state; no one should confuse it. The prime minister may generously issue a verbal pledge and tell the terrorists if they stop violence and withdraw they will not be fired upon, unlike what happened in previous such cases. That’s the maximum the government might undertake…
When the time comes, even amnesty should perhaps be considered, but demanding legitimization of terrorism cannot even be a fools’ day joke…