Turks’ delusions turning into existential threat
It is one thing not to believe your eyes. It is another thing to ignore it, deny it and live in constant delusion. A majority of Turkey is in the second group. For them, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is God’s gift to earth and to all Muslims, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can do no wrong. Sadly, this delusional insistence is becoming an existential danger.
The Turkish Armed Forces have been fighting inside Syria for four months. During the initial phase, the Turkish army preferred to stay behind while the so-called “Free Syrian Army” took most of the small villages and hamlets on the road to Aleppo. Kurds swept Manbij and its surroundings and cleaned the area of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Ankara refuses to understand the Barack Obama administration’s aid to the People’s Defense Units (YPG) and its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Surprisingly, the answer is crystal clear.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured U.S. citizens, killing them on camera by decapitation.
ISIL captured a U.S. journalist, James Foley, and killed him. Americans watched this. As brutal as it was, nobody in Washington dared to censure the media. American media did not glorify the horrific killing, but neither did they sweep it under the rug so that “nobody should know this for the sake of national unity.” The Obama administration was humiliated deeply, and it forced Washington to set its priorities straight. According to Washington sources, “if Kurds were willing to fight against these devils, so be it, and the U.S. would prefer to stand by them.” Turkey, on the other hand, watched and waited.
Time is a wise teacher. And what goes around comes around. If you do not stand up against violence, brutality and killings in the name of Islam, it eventually haunts you. Last week Turkey lost 16 of its special forces in the siege of al-Bab and the AK Party’s embedded media is really struggling to spin the story. They are airing minutes and minutes of Eurasia Tunnel stories, the technical magic, the radiating happy people from Adana taking a flight to Istanbul simply to pass through the tunnel and relating how much gas will be saved thanks to the tunnel. You name it, they find it. It’s all tunnel, all the time.
Meanwhile, 16 young lives perished right in front of us in a couple of days. Questions lingering in the air remain unanswered.
These days will pass as well. People and political parties will come and go. But Turkey will remember 2016 as the year that its sons and daughters symbolically (and literally) were burned alive. Their hopes died, their expectations for a better Turkey diminished. Let’s hope the fire within our souls moves us to a better place so that our young ones live in happiness and joy.