A shameful tragedy

A shameful tragedy

Worse, the blatant murder of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov was repeatedly displayed with video and photos of the moment splashed on screens. 

What a big shame for Turkey – a country that failed to protect a diplomat for whose security it was responsible. What a big shame for the Turkish media which, in the interests of a few moments of sensationalist success, surrendered to terrorism and violated the integrity of Ambassador Karlov by showing the gory details.

Who was behind the dastardly murder? Was he a lone wolf? Was the assassin a member of the Fetullah Gülen organization, the so-called FETÖ gang, as alleged moments after by Ankara Mayor İbrahim Melih Gökçek? Or, was he a member of the “Osmanlı Ocakları” (The Ottoman Society) that Gökçek has allegedly been sponsoring? The bare fact is that he was a policeman, someone from the special anti-terror squad, and entered the Contemporary Arts Center of the Çankaya Municipality by showing his police ID.

Whoever tries to belittle this heinous murder as the act of an Islamist pervert, yet another FETÖ crime or a lone wolf will be mistaken. How did he enter the building? Was he the only guy around carrying a weapon? Where were the other plainclothes officers in that hall? Did the Russian ambassador not have security at all? How did the assailant make it behind the ambassador?

And, again, when will Turkey wake up from this acute and deep coma of intelligence? Why the hell has so much money been spent on intelligence if, in the heart of Ankara, just a couple of meters away from the American and German embassies, the ambassador of Russia cannot be protected? Lofty statements that the murder was a trap and was part of a plot against effective Turkish-Russian cooperation on the evacuation of Aleppo can have no purpose; Ambassador Karlov was snatched from life by a wild beast.

Is it sane that this country has lost 460 people, 363 of them civilians, to terrorism over the past 18 months? Over 2,000 people have been injured in terrorist attacks. Let’s cast our mind back over some of the attacks.

1- Just two days before the June 2015 elections, five people were killed and more than 400 were wounded at a blast at the Diyarbakır rally of the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP).

2- On July 20, 2015, a group of young people carrying toys and books for the children of the Syrian town of Kobane died in a blast in the Suruç border town in Şanlıurfa province. Some 34 people fell victim to terrorism, while 104 were wounded.

3- On Aug. 10, 2015, two terrorists attacked the Fatih police station of Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district with a bomb-laden car. One policeman lost his life, two assailants were killed and 10 people were seriously wounded.

4- Can anyone forget the massive Ankara Train Station massacre? On Oct. 10, 2015, people gathering for a peace rally became the victims of the worse-ever terrorist attack ever recorded in Turkey. At least 101 people fell victim to terrorism and over 500 people were wounded in the attack carried out by two suicide killers.

5- The security deficiency at Turkish airports was first highlighted with an explosion at Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Dec. 23, 2015. A cleaning worker died in a blast. Why did a mortar shell fall at the airport? How did it go off? Because of high security, these questions were never answered.

6- The Çınar police station in Diyarbakır was the target of a car bomb on Jan. 13, 2016. Six people, three of them children, lost their lives, while 39 were wounded.

7- On Feb. 17, 2016, in the heart of Ankara, just meters from the Parliament, the Interior Ministry and the offices of force commanders, a car bomb went off, killing 29 people and wounding 61.

8- On March 13, a car bomb went off, this time at Kızılay Square in the heart of Ankara. Some 37 people lost their lives and 125 were wounded.

9- On March 19, 2016, an assailant exploded himself on İstiklal Avenue in Istanbul, murdering four people. Some 36 were wounded.

10- A bomb attack targeting a police service bus near the Diyarbakır bus terminal murdered seven policemen and wounded 27 people.

11- A car bomb attack on a military recruitment center in Mardin’s Kızıltepe district claimed the life of a civilian. Scores of people were wounded, mostly children.

12- On May 1, 2016, the target of terrorists was the Gaziantep Police Headquarters. Three policemen lost their lives in a car bomb blast, while 22 people wounded.

13- In an attack on an armored police vehicle in Diyarbakır on May 10, 2016, three policemen were killed. Some 45 people wounded.

14- On May 12, 2016, Diyarbakır’s Dürümlü village was rocked by a huge explosion. Fifteen tons of explosives from the terrorist gang went off. Four people were killed, 23 were wounded and 12 people were reported missing.

15- A roadside bomb was remotely detonated by terrorists while a military convoy was passing by. Six soldiers died and two were wounded.

16- On June 7, 2016, a car bomb attack claimed the lives of 11 people, seven of them policemen, in Istanbul’s Vezneciler area. Some 36 wounded.

17- On June 8, 2016, three people fell prey to a car bomb attack on a police station in Midyat.

18- On June 28, 2016, 44 people were slain and 237 were wounded in a terrorist attack at the arrivals exit of Istanbul Atatürk Airport.

This list continues as if it will never ever end… Bitlis, Derik, Yenibosna, Diyarbakır, Şırnak and the most recent heinous attacks in Istanbul and Kayseri… Don’t we have a very serious security and intelligence problem?

Each and every time, lofty statements were delivered, a vigilant struggle against terrorism was pledged and everything was forgotten until the next terrorist attack. For God sake, have we forgotten so quickly that this country suffered a despicable coup attempt and that members of the Turkish military chased the president, prime minister and ministers of this country with the intention of capturing and murdering them?

As is said, salt is rotten in this country. Has Turkey come under siege from a global conspiracy? Are some global powers trying to push Turkey down the drain? Who can brush aside conspiracy theories if it is not just that so many unfortunate developments have taken place and so many people have fallen prey to terrorism, but that this country’s entire neighborhood is up in flames thanks to “friends’” programs to nourish democracy?

The problem of this country is acute insecurity provided in excellence by some acute losers in key security and intelligence positions.

We are experiencing a shameful tragedy. What should Turkey’s agenda be today? A super presidency or a super security deficiency?