Before lynching the lieutenant colonel...

Before lynching the lieutenant colonel...

What would you do? How would you behave? Was it abnormal for someone who lost his 32-year-old younger brother in a terrorist attack to cry and ask why he was killed? Was it abnormal for him to question what has changed in Turkey that those who were boasting about the “peace process” or the “Kurdish opening” were all starting to talk about “war to the end?” Would it matter whether you were a civilian or a lieutenant colonel to question what changed in this country that the “architect” of the peace process has become the “funeral organizer” of the very same process? Would it matter whether your younger brother was a captain in the military or a construction engineer, a journalist or an academic?

“An ember burns where it falls,” Turks often say, commenting on the deep grief a family suffers after losing a beloved one. Indeed, it is true. Even if an advanced aged member of our family walks to eternity, don’t we feel an ember burning deep in our hearts? 

This society has had embers burning in its heart for the past forty years. Over 35,000 beloved sons, daughters of all ages, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers brutally and have mercilessly fallen victim to separatist terrorism, vanished to eternity, leaving a fire in our hearts. Despite all our skepticism and indeed very strong criticisms against its ambiguous character as well as the strong distrust in the sincerity of both the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the separatist gang, the majority of this nation wished for its success from the deepest corner of their hearts.

Indeed, if Turkey is to find a civilian way out of this worst problem in its republican history, what else could it do other than seeking dialogue of some sort? That was why the bans, prohibitions and party closures did not serve any good. Many people defended courageously that Turkey was blessed to have a civilian Kurdish political party that it could negotiate a civilian way out. These people defended that if there was not a Kurdish party, help must be given to establish one.

But, there is a distinction, a clear separation or a wall if I may say so between civilian politics and terrorist organizations. A political party can exist only if it totally shuns the use of force, armed violence of all sorts and opts for methods of civilian politics. Without engaging firmly in a peace process, without condemning the use of force and denouncing terrorism, how could a political party put aside contributing to the cause of peace and be more than a political extension of the terrorist gang?

For many years, critics have pointed out that if the gang did not lay down its arms or at least withdraw out of Turkey this process would mean nothing more than to surrender to terrorism. Over the past years many people appealed to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its forefathers that they must sincerely engage in civilian politics. A political party can perhaps defend separatist views but aligning with a separatist terrorist gang cannot be acceptable anywhere on this planet. If the chairpersons of a political party can come up boasting about how firmly their party has been supported by a web of separatist gangs, it must be obvious to everyone that there is a mentality problem and definitely an acute absence of goodwill and sincerity.

Similarly, if a prime minister or president, in a flip-flop style, can boast one day that he was the “architect” of the process and willing to sacrifice his life for it while the next day have a “you are either with us or against us” mentality and showed the doors of Turkey to members of an ethnic group uncomfortable with how the state treated them, can anyone talk of sincerity or a sincere commitment?

If I were the lieutenant colonel, who under strict orders had remained a spectator to terrorists making best use of the “no confrontation period” and had now lost my captain younger brother to rehashed separatist terrorism, I would as well ask what changed that the “architect” of the peace process became the imam leading the funeral procession of the very same “opening?” Would I belong to the “parallel state” alleged to have been set up by the Fethullah Gülen movement, or could I be considered a member of a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group just because I said something that did not tune well to some ears? How could I be condemned as an “Alevi?” Is not there a discriminative problem in such an accusation? Are not Alevis respectable, equal members of this society? Why is the pro-government media or the media allegiant to the elected sultan engaged in such hate speech?

A disciplinary investigation is underway against the lieutenant colonel who lost his captain brother to separatist terrorism. Is it not so sad to see an armed forces command unable to understand the grief and respect the pain of an elder brother who lost his junior? Since when has this state and its military command become so shallow?