Peace for everyone

Peace for everyone

It appears the so-called “opening” of the government has come to a very critical stage, if not a dead-end. Could it lead anywhere else? Unfortunately, with the exemplary defeatist approaches of the government if not a dead-end, this process might have taken Turkey to civil war or accelerated separatist terrorism. Irrespective at which corner and with what age or gender group a poll might be conducted in Turkey, it will be seen that an overwhelming 90 percent plus of the respondents will support efforts aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the worst problem of republican Turkey. Turks of all age, gender groups, religious or ethnic backgrounds want this problem, which has exhausted not only the country’s resources for the past so many decades, but has also cost so many lives. If a family has a son or daughter who committed a heinous crime, is not that boy or girl still the beloved one of that family? Does the crime s/he committed prevent him or her from being the beloved son or daughter of their family?

Those up on the mountains and those fighting those on the mountains are all our sons, as well as those who fell victim to separatist terrorism-related violence in the cities staged with the pretext of asking support for the Kurdish population of the Syrian town of Kobani, besieged by Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. The terrorists attacking military outposts at Dağlıca and such regions close to the Syrian border for the past many days, as well as the soldiers guarding and defending those outposts are all our sons. The escalation of terrorism or terrorism-related violence is not something to be celebrated by any section of this society; irrespective of what he wears, the falling one is our son. It is with no celebratory mood, thus, to report the “opening season” or the defeatist unilateral concession drive of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) or the false peace climate has apparently come to a very critical stage. The imprisoned chieftain of the separatists reportedly had warned the government the process would be terminated and an unprecedented violent new phase will be opened in his gang’s campaign of terrorist separatist violence if his demands are not met by Oct. 15 (today). It appears the Turkish military, provoked with the assassination attempt on the Bingöl police chief, as well as the attacks on Dağlıca military outposts, along with the government, frustrated with “Kobani violence” in 34 Turkish cities that claimed the lives of at least 40 people, decided not to leave such a decision to the discretion of the chieftain and Turkish Air Force jets were ordered to pound the gang’s positions.

Strangely enough, while the Turkish jets were pounding the gang’s positions, the government in Ankara was briefing executives of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the civilian extension of the separatist group, on its roadmap of how to resolve the Kurdish issue. Even stranger, the government has decided to press ahead with the planned enhancement of the anti-terrorism law and introduce tougher penalties for “vandalism on streets.” The planned enhancement of the anti-terrorism law was first announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on a trip to the Black Sea region.

This government’s flip-flop approaches naturally create deficiencies in the security policies. Will it be possible to talk with the armed executives on the “mountain,” the chieftain serving a life-term on the “island” prison or the “civilian extension” of the separatist terrorists while terrorists attack military outposts with long-range heavy weaponry and Air Force jets pound the terrorist’ dens, all the while the government is sponsoring tougher anti-terrorism penalties that if enacted will further cripple the already handicapped freedoms in this country? The Kurdish opening of the government was wrong right from the beginning. The first step that ought to have been done should not have been to silence arms, but a full lull in terrorist attacks and the terrorists engaging in a phased disarmament, while the government undertakes a program of reforms to meet the Kurds’ fundamental demands.

The government’s ambiguous plan – the HDP complained yesterday as well that they were shown only a sketch, not a comprehensive briefing on the roadmap – created obsessive sensitivities. Worse, the government’s apparent approach of “tooth for a tooth” through increasing anti-terrorism penalties will not help a resolution, but further fuel the fire.

Peace is in the dreams of everyone and has to be for everyone. To achieve it, rather than authoritarian obsessions, Turkey needs a wholehearted approach in good will, engaging everyone.