Anti-PKK fight ‘like Independence War’

Anti-PKK fight ‘like Independence War’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s fight against terrorism is similar to but much more complicated and multi-dimensional than the country’s War of Independence of the early 1920s, the defense minister has suggested.

“The fight against terrorism is a struggle against the great powers of the world, just as occurred during the War of Independence,” Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told reporters in the eastern town of Erzincan late Aug. 14. But, he added, the anti-terrorism fight is much more complex than the war, which took place between 1919 and 1923 and ended with the founding of the Republic of Turkey, was. 

“However, the good side of it is that we are acting in a much more experienced and wise way as we combat terrorism. Steps taken in the fields of democratization and cultural rights are important in this sense,” Yılmaz said. 

The government’s balanced anti-terrorism policy seeks to address security concerns while highlighting human rights and democracy, Yılmaz said, criticizing those who take issue with the policy. “Which one is correct? Neither one nor the other is entirely right. We see this policy as whole. Security, justice and human rights are addressed by this policy. Therefore we say that the correct choice is both security and human rights,” he said. 

The government implemented an “opening” policy toward Kurds, but its purpose was to eliminate the root causes of terrorism, Yılmaz said, which helped to reduce the number of people joining the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

“Those who support terrorism want to see Kurdish people as slaves,” Yılmaz said, adding that terrorism means money for some people and for a latent organization of external powers. “Such powers do not easily abandon [workers like this], unless they can replace them with cheaper or more effective ones.” 

Geography determines the fate of countries, Yılmaz said, adding that if Turkey were located where Madagascar or Patagonia are then it would have no problem with terrorism.