What the Dağlıca raid brings to mind
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) raids on military stations in the southeast province of Hakkari’s Dağlıca district on Tuesday have immediately dispersed the optimistic atmosphere that has recently been building, and left all of us alone again with the cold and dark reality of terror.
While we proceed to a warm summer, once again we are entering a very familiar spiral of armed clashes, raids, news of deaths and funeral ceremonies.
Again, military delegations will knock on the doors of houses in remote corners of Anatolia to convey the news of the martyrdom of their sons to desperate mothers and fathers.
Again, we will continue to watch the TV while sitting in our homes or in our offices, the live transmissions of images from funeral ceremonies in mosque yards where state dignitaries, high ranking officials and huge crowds of citizens line up behind the imam.
Again, small children will make a soldier salute while their deceased father’s funeral passes in front of them, and their photographs will cover huge spaces on newspaper pages.
And again, in a distant geography of the country, the funerals of those people who a section of society calls “guerillas” will also be laid to rest with crowded demonstrations accompanied by Öcalan posters.
* * *
The terror organization can still reach the same region that it raided exactly five years ago, with immense freedom of movement. Despite all the military operations conducted - the bombings, all the damage inflicted, all the losses suffered, all the international diplomatic pressure, the convergence occurring with the North Iraqi Kurds, the financial blockades through Europe, the harshest statements, unmanned air vehicles, satellite intelligence, F-16s equipped with the most advanced technology, night vision goggles and high firepower artillery batteries - we have to acknowledge that the terror organization still holds a significant military capability.
There is also a dimension to the issue that we do not want to see, that we avoid facing. No matter whether we call them “terrorists,” hundreds, thousands of young people, most of them at a very young age, join the organization every year by “taking to the mountains.”
Unfortunately, despite all the investments channeled and public services conducted in the region in the past term, the Kurdish-language channel at the state radio and television (TRT), all the advances in the usage of Kurdish and most recently the acceptance of Kurdish as an elective language course starting from middle school, all the steps taken have not been enough to change this reality.
The jailing of thousands of people from the Kurdish political movement, the keeping under arrest of elected Kurdish deputies, and the extreme narrowing of the political arena for them, do not help at all and only deepen the deadlock.
* * *
Yes, the feeling of exhaustion as the result of starting over again once more captures our souls.
We are at the point where even the cliché “where words fail” has lost its meaning too.
There is no credibility left in the talk of the “last bounces of terror,” which we have been exposed to for almost 30 years.
Truly, what else can we say anymore that would sound meaningful? This time, what words are left that we can take refuge in?
Sedat Ergin is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on June 20. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.