On bombs and labs measuring Turkishness
On one cold weekend in 2008, the Turkish military proudly announced that it killed 112 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants. On Monday it said it killed 153 more – which inspired this column’s headline on Feb. 27 that year: “A losing war for all.” Death has been mere statistics since 1984 when the PKK launched its brutally violent campaign. Ups and downs, but death, always. It’s not even a year since terror knocked on our doors last year but the death toll since then is over 500 civilians, over 500 police officers and troops and over 5,000 terrorists.
Just when the Turkish military said it had won its war against the PKK in scores of predominantly Kurdish cities and towns inside Turkey and insiders announced that the army would now hit the PKK in the countryside, the PKK, once again, visited Istanbul, killing 11 people; and Mardin the next day, killing four.
Only a few days ago insiders had told the Turks that their army was changing tactics and switching to pre-emptive strikes against the terrorists. Instead, the first pre-emptive strike came from the terrorists.
The PKK hit again when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his army of sycophants were running after the wrong terrorists: The German MPs of Turkish origin who voted for the Armenian genocide resolution. That labelling may have been a shock for the Germans but hardly surprising in Erdoğanistan. Cem Özdemir, the German MP, will be lucky if a thug does not attack him.
This is Oriental politics. In his 1990 analysis presented to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, “Explaining Saddam Hussein: a Psychological Profile,” Dr. Jerrold M. Post wrote: “Conceptualized as malignant narcissism, this is the personality configuration of the destructive charismatic who unifies and rallies his downtrodden supporters by blaming outside enemies … He explained the extremity of his actions as President … as necessary to achieve ‘subjective immunity’ against foreign plots and influences … He is surrounded by sycophants, who are … afraid to contradict him. He has ruthlessly eliminated perceived threats to his power and equates criticism with disloyalty … He has a strong paranoid orientation. He is ready for retaliation and, not without reason, sees himself as surrounded by enemies. But he ignores his role in creating those enemies, and righteously threatens his targets. The conspiracy theories he spins are not merely for popular consumption … but genuinely reflect his paranoid mindset … He is convinced that the United States, Israel [and others] have been in league for the purpose of eliminating him.”
The Middle East is always full of interesting coincidences.
Turkey’s Islamists began their political journey in power with the self-confidence of possessing a Muslim-meter. In 2007, Mr. Erdoğan’s long-time political ally (former parliament speaker) Bülent Arınç claimed that “they” (read: the military) was blocking the election of a “Muslim president.” He did not explain how he was convinced that the former Turkish presidents were “not Muslim.”
The party deeply believed that it and only it could decide who was Muslim and who was not; it still does. They really possessed a Muslim-meter. That was the party’s Islamist zeal. Now it is exhibiting, in addition, its racist zeal.
The president of EU-candidate Turkey did not only claim that the German MP Mr. Özdemir and his friends have “tainted blood” but also suggested that they should “go to a lab to check the Turkishness of their blood.” Really, President, do you know which hospitals and labs in the world perform such tests?
The next inventions of the president and the party could be devices measuring one’s traitor-ness, national loyalty and adherence to our traditional moral values.
Bon voyage, Crescent and Star!