A heinous crime…
The attack on the American Embassy, one of the most well-protected places in the Turkish capital, showed once again the bitter reality that for people willing or compelled to sacrifice their lives for some heinous action, the threat is everywhere. Thus, people like this writer, who are often fed up with with security measures, must accommodate this reality and try to enjoy life with heightened security measures.
Obviously, had the attack occurred at any of the many foreign missions that were not provided security guards by the Turkish state and who cannot afford to employ them themselves either, today we might not be mourning for Mustafa Karasu, the slain guard of the embassy, and our colleague Didem Tuncay, who was seriously wounded. Carnage might have been lived. The extraordinary – I must say, often I considered them obsessive – security measures at “gate two” of the embassy, used mostly by visitors, saved many lives. At least the suicide bomber had to unleash his heinous crime in a secure room realizing that he could go no further.
Besides mourning for the loss of Karasu, issuing get well messages for our colleague Tuncay and delivering lofty statements about how Syria could not fire at the intruding Israeli jets, perhaps in cooperation with the Interior Ministry, the Turkish Foreign Ministry must go through security protocols to be applied to foreign missions. After all, the security of all diplomats accredited to missions in Turkey is primarily Turkey’s responsibility. Does the Foreign Ministry know that most foreign missions just don’t have adequate external security?
It is no big success for the top security people of Turkey or the prime minister to appear in front of cameras after each such suicide attack and boast capture of so many related people in such a short time and talk of three or more other probable suicide bombers who infiltrated the country as well. For once, why don’t they appear in front of those cameras and say how successfully they prevented an attack? Is talking nuts with a terrorist chieftain the sole duty of Turkish intelligence?
Is it reasonable for anyone with some brains to believe that someone suffering from Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome – that the suicide bomber reportedly developed during the death fasts in Turkish prisons that were forcefully terminated on Dec. 19, 2000 with the “Return to Life” operation – could stage such a planned action? If acute amnesia is one of the prominent destructions caused by Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome, how did the assassin Alişan Ecevit Şanlı manage to travel to Turkey illegally from Germany via the Greek islands? Was he alone? Probably not. Indeed security and intelligence people have been saying he had at least three accomplices.
There are lots of questions to be asked, but very limited answers so far. Was the action contracted to Şanlı’s Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army/Front (DHKP/C), an urban terrorist group by a bigger terrorist group or by a country? The separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as well as the Islamist al-Qaeda are known to contract some of their terrorist attacks in urban areas to the DHKP/C and such small urban gangs. Besides, the Ankara blast came days after the Israeli attacks on an alleged Hezbollah convoy and a key military factory, both near Damascus. Could Damascus be taking revenge?
Could Iran be the mastermind? But if Israel is the target, why was the American Embassy attacked? Why an attack in Turkey?