Compromise vs defeatism

Compromise vs defeatism

A woman barker cried loud at the “political school” of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the political wing of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), declaring her opinion that “the PKK is not a terrorist gang.”

Should she be terrorized to learn what a terror gang is, or should she be shown tolerance out of respect for freedom of expression, even though the idea appeared rather crooked and berserk? Naturally, she has the right to say whatever she wants, even if that idea may appear disgusting for most others.

In a country where prosecutors can write lofty indictments describing the former chief of general staff of the Turkish Armed Forces as a “terrorist chieftain,” implying that the military is a terrorist gang, it is perhaps only normal for an academic lady to forget the fundamental description of terrorism and terrorist gangs and scream “the PKK is not a terrorist organization” at a BDP academy. There is absolutely nothing abnormal in that.

If a former top commander is sentenced first to 18 years for being among the chieftains of a terrorist gang that was planning to bomb an Istanbul mosque, shoot down Greek jets to provoke a war with Greece, and undertake many similarly heinous acts to provoke a coup against the elected government; only to later be released for health reasons to undergo heart surgery the night he is released and two days later is visited by the prime minister at his hospital bed, the PKK may indeed not be a terrorist gang indeed.

Is it normal for a former general who waged a heroic struggle against separatist terrorists in the mountains of Southeastern Anatolia for almost two decades, who was involved in bringing to Turkey the separatist chieftain netted by the Americans in dark Africa, and who was also elected to Parliament, to remain confined in the Silivri concentration camp? Should pundits call for the release of that former commander deputy and other elected members of Parliament, or should they continue a campaign for the release of the PKK’s chieftain currently serving an enforced life term?

What is black and what is white in this country has become mixed up. For the sake of a revanchist campaign, political Islam has been waging a war against secularists, civilians, and the military, which used to consider itself the “custodian” of the secularist, Kemalist, republican legacy. Turkey has landed in an era of contaminated terminology; terminology contaminated with a greedy, compulsive revanchist instinct.

An allegiant newspaper was commenting on the visit of the U.S. ambassador to the justice minister in the aftermath of the recent deadly suicide attack on the embassy. It said that when the ambassador told the minister that the United States was ready to step up anti-terrorism cooperation with Turkey, the minister replied “Good morning Mr. Ambassador.” Such a style, of course, does not befit diplomatic language and the minister would not make such a collegial outburst. But is it not a fact that despite its concerted efforts for ages, mankind has not been able to come up with a common description of terrorism, and that what might be the terrorist for one might just be “our good boys” for some other?

Willing to negotiate a painful compromise settlement to a problem with scary dimensions - and indeed even considering undertaking a painful exercise of amnesty - should not be confused with defeatism.