Right to live cannot be compromised

Right to live cannot be compromised

In the absence of the right to live, all other rights, freedoms, norms and values become irrelevant and meaningless. Does the nation or the state matter much for someone who has fallen for the noble cause of defense of the nation and the state or is a cause for which someone sacrifices his life worth anything at all if there is no breath left to take?

The separatist gang ended its “unilaterally declared non-confrontation period.” The much-abetted Islamist terrorists not only killed 32 people in the Suruç suicide bombing, there is concern that sleeping cells of the gang were “woken up” to carry out some other heinous actions in the country. Hardly a day passes without the separatist gang undertaking some disgusting attack on Turkish security personnel. When the Islamist gang will attack again, no one, apparently not even the intelligence agency, knows.

Continuing sorties against hideouts or headquarters of both the separatist and Islamist gang in neighboring countries and frequently sweeping domestic lands and rounding up well over 1,000 people of all ages and gender could not make Turkey a more secure country. On the contrary, a “secret” security memorandum sent by police headquarters to all local police stations warned of probable terrorist attacks and ordered stringent measures be taken to avoid such actions taking place at shopping malls, cinemas, bus, train and metro stations. In full awareness of the bitter reality that a similar warning had gone to the Suruç Governor’s Office and local police headquarters with somehow no measure taken to save the lives of 32 people, there is a panicked atmosphere.

Obsession with security might cripple liberties and become a real burden on privacy. How many of us are happy with the cameras at every junction of our cities, filming and reporting what we are doing, meeting, talking with, or entertaining where and with whom… Unhappy with them violating our private lives, but happy that if wanted terrorists might be tracked before they can take action, provided cameras are really recording with adequate and well trained personnel handling them, proper filtering and facial recognition programs must narrow the task of analysis.

Each time I am in Israel, I complain how security obsessed the Israeli state is, particularly when leaving the country from the Ben Gurion Airport. When there is such high threat to national and of course to individual security (since terrorists don’t discriminate, rather killing everyone mercilessly), is it not a “citizenship right” to expect the state and government take adequate and sufficient security and preventive measures before something happens?

Put aside ethnicity, ideology and all other rhetoric, and for one second, approach the issue at hand with a humanitarian perspective. Was it not the right of those 31 beloved young people who perished in the Suruç suicide bombing to expect the state to take adequate measures and action before they were mercilessly murdered? Can anyone forgive whoever was responsible for the security cameras that were not operative for days before the suicide attack? Can anyone forgive the governor who was so annoyed with journalists who asked almost one month before the explosion whether there was an increased security risk in the region that he ordered them to be briefly detained? If that governor is still occupying the very same seat, if no local official in charge of those non-functional security cameras was asked to give an account after so many days, is it indeed possible to say the state is adequately probing the Suruç bombing and that no one will get away with it?

Separatist gang is no lesser evil than the Islamist gang and both of them pose a dreadful threat to the collective and individual security of the entire members of this nation, irrespective of ethnical or other differences. Liberties and rights cannot and should not be curtailed. Fight against separatist and religious gangs must be carried out within the scope of the existing legal framework, which unfortunately has been rendered anti-democratic, thanks to the Domestic Security Package legislated before the elections.

After all, no one should forget that even the terrorists must be accorded the right to live. Summary executions must be avoided. After all, thanks to all those who contributed to making it a reality, the death penalty has not been in the Turkish Penal Code for the past 15 years.