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TAHA AKYOL

takyol@hurriyet.com.tr

TAHA AKYOL >Terror and politics

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The unending visits to the “Martyrs’ Hill,” the spot in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district where 44 people were killed in a bomb attack on Dec. 10, show the sensitivity that people from all parts of society have demonstrated against terror. That is the most important factor in our fight against terrorism.  

One of the aims of terrorism is to create a terrified society and demoralize people. Thank God, on the contrary, we have an active stance against terror. 

Although there are no organized campaigns, thousands of people have been visiting Martyrs’ Hill every day. 
Politics should refrain from distorting this unity and this spirit. In such an environment, the delirium of “Let’s elect our caliph” and other insane comments that would offend the Alevi community should be firmly rejected.  

We should be careful not to trigger further strains in matters related to Islamic sentiments, secular sensitivities, Atatürk, the Lausanne Treaty, and the Ottoman Empire. We should also never forget that we also have Kurdish citizens. 

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) declared that the cease-fire had ended on July 11, 2015 and restarted terror. Following that, the state launched military operations on July 25. 

During the “peace process” period we saw that the PKK was working to “turn Turkey into a Syria,” digging trenches and barricades and making its members roam freely on the streets. 

While terror and operations were ongoing after the breakdown of the cease-fire, the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) received 6 million votes in the Nov. 1 election. In the following months, our Kurdish citizens were victimized, which resulted in the PKK and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) losing support. 

However, even just limited grassroots are enough for a terror network to recruit militants.  

The PKK has been engaging in terror for the past 30 years. While former Chief of General Staff İlker Başbuğ was warning that “recruitments to the mountains [joining the terrorist organization] are unable to be prevented,” PKK-linked parties were receiving 3 to 4 million votes. 

The PKK took advantage of developments in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. provided weapons for the PYD and Russia opened PKK and PYD offices in Moscow. Iran also has relations with the PKK and there are countless PKK-linked associations in Europe.   

To counter all these, our firm domestic stance is exceptionally important. But it is not enough. We also need to conduct very effective and skilled diplomacy. At this stage, in both shrinking the grassroots of terrorism and conducting successful diplomacy, “democracy” is an important factor. 

Unfortunately, the HDP, which received 6 million votes on Nov. 1, has always been hesitant in deciding between these three essential dilemmas: First, between war and peace; second, between the West and the Middle East; third, between the democratic path and violence. It conducted democracy propaganda in the West, but domestically it did not even verbally object to its pact with the urban-based KCK network, redolent of true Middle Eastern despotism - a mixture of Stalin and Gadhafi. Even though it condemned certain massacres, it has always fundamentally considered the PKK blameless.  

The fact that the Kurdish movement, which is a reality of Turkey and the Middle East, has guidance from the totalitarian and armed PKK, brings nothing but blood and tears to all our citizens, Kurdish and Turkish alike. 
It pulls society closer to the Middle East. 

Kurdish intellectuals, businessmen, tradesmen and artisan organizations have openly condemned PKK acts. This sociological phenomenon should be transferred into political potential. The Kurdish movement should adopt Western democratic values and maintain a stance against the PKK. 

Turkey should encourage such a development with its own diplomacy and domestic political climate, thus finding ways to isolate the PKK.

December/17/2016

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