Responsibility of a state

Responsibility of a state

In any modern democracy, there ought to be no need to underline the fact that the right to live is sacrosanct and comes at the forefront of all rights. If the right to live, that is the right to live in a safe atmosphere in conditions that befit human pride and dignity is endangered, all other human rights and liberties, irrespective of how invaluable otherwise they might be, become trivial.

Naturally, people engaged in writing and reporting are bothered foremost with the right of expression, free speech or freedom of thought. Would freedom of expression mean anything to a dead man? Is it conceivable with the notion of the state that the right to live in safety could not be safeguarded by the state organization? Is not, after all, providing safety to each and every individual living in that state a sine qua non obligation of being a state?

Obviously, in any corner of the world, there are versatile forms and kinds of terrorists, as well as ill perceptions. A berserk individual may take up arms and stage a heinous crime in any place. Such events can be prevented or reduced with proper intelligence. An organized separatist terrorism of the sort we have been going through for the past three decades is definitely difficult to deal with. Yet, even at the expense of limiting freedom of movement, it is the prime responsibility of a state to safeguard the fundamental right, the right to live.

It is indeed under the same fundamental principle that it is the legitimate right of a state to undertake punitive – indeed sometimes retaliatory – actions on its territory, as well as in adjacent countries, exercising the right to hot pursuit. That is, if a neighboring country allows or cannot prevent its territory from being used by a terrorist group for cross-border attacks or to flee back to some safe haven after staging some heinous crimes, a country can exercise its right to hot pursuit and hit terrorists in their cross-border dens with or without a bilateral accord under international law.

With the kidnapping of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Tunceli deputy Hüseyin Aygün by the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) gang, Turkey has remembered once again the people the separatist gang has kidnapped. PKK kidnappings are nothing new for Turkey. Did you know that the gang has more than 110 hostages, including Kenan Erenoğlu, a local district governor of Kulp in Diyarbakır? It was sad, but it was not only the government, the main opposition also remembered the hostages in PKK hands only after a deputy was kidnapped by the gang. Yes, a deputy being kidnapped was a first, but the fate of more than 110 people, which includes some soldiers as well, cannot be left to the mercy of terrorists.

Now, a top official of the ruling party has been trying to accuse newspeople of misquoting him when he said, “Would you expect us to convene Parliament [despite the summer recess] just because a few Mehmets [soldiers] lost their lives?” How could one misquote such a sentence that reflects gross insolence and utter ignominiousness? With sheer audacity, responsibility was placed on the media once again.

Come on, let’s embrace the reality: Put aside the fundamental duty of safeguarding the sacrosanct right to live, operations to salvage the kidnapped deputy were reportedly even called off following PKK threats. 

What a great regional power Turkey is, is it not?