The wrong ship cannot reach the right destination
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Jan. 14 criticized the declaration calling for peace recently signed by 1,128 academics. His language was more civilized than some other people who have spoken on the same matter.
“Is there a single country that permits armed forces other than the legitimate forces under its command? These academics should show me one country where a democratic administration allows armed forces other than its own security forces to have the power to use legitimate force.”
Davutoğlu hit the right notes here. I have also written in this column many times against the “armed self-administration initiative” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
However, I would like to ask the prime minister this: Can he show me one democratic country where the stocking of arms and explosives in cities and towns by an illegal group has been tolerated for months?
The prime minister cannot cite such an example.
But in Turkey, due to election calculations, the president himself admitted that this was tolerated. In a TV interview on Sept. 7, 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made the following confession: “They exploited the resolution process with betrayal. They took advantage of the resolution process to stock arms in the southeast. Throughout this process, our security forces thought, ‘Let’s not engage in any clashes,’ but later we understood the extent of what had been done during the peace process.”
Of course, this is not a “chicken and egg” debate. It is an example showing that wrong policies never end up at the right destination.
Meanwhile, all hell has broken loose over the academics’ declaration. Investigations into the signatories have started with full force. Prosecutors and university administrations have both launched investigations.
Why did this happen? Because the biggest “expert” in Turkey viewed this declaration as amounting to support for terrorism and said those who signed it were “traitors.” Prosecutors and university administrations then raced to fire the signatories.
We know that there is no justice left in Turkey’s lower courts. I bet that several criminal sentences will be handed out to the academics as a result of these investigations. But I also bet that the administrative rulings will be overturned by the Council of State and the criminal rulings will be overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeals - if not the Constitutional Court, if not the European Court of Human Rights.
In the contemporary European law, nobody can be punished for signing such a declaration.
We live in a world where the expression of much more surprising, shocking, irritating ideas is considered a fundamental human right. Prosecutors and university administrations should be reminded of this once more.
No difference between murderers
Early on Jan. 14, the PKK attacked police homes in Diyarbakır killing a woman, a young father and his little son, two babies and a policeman.
There is no difference between this attack and the suicide bombers of ISIL.
A murderer, no matter what motives they kill with, is simply a murderer.
This attack shows once more that the PKK is trying to destroy the environment where Turks and Kurds can coexist. It is calculating that it can use the environment created by developments in Syria to its own advantage; it is ready to kill whoever it is necessary to kill in order to reach its goal. On the one hand, it does not refrain from turning life into hell for its own community, sending very young people deliberately to death; on the other hand, it works as a death machine for soldiers, police and civilians.
Those who should raise their voices the most against this dark organization are the Kurds who want to solve this problem within democratic politics.