Sacrificing Turkey for what?
Even if there might me many ostriches around, irrespective of how dreadful it might be, reality cannot be hidden forever. No one might want to admit it, but is it not the reality of today’s Turkey that there is de facto emergency rule or martial law in almost one-fifth of the country? Everyone might be willing to hide it from themselves, but is it not a reality that Turkey has entered some sort of low-profile civil war?
Many people might want to object to this description, saying the situation was worse in the 1990s and even in that period, no one dared to describe the bloodbath in the country as “civil war.” Definitely right. In the dreadful 1990s, there was a separatist terrorist gang trying to carve out a Marxist Kurdistan out of Turkish territory and a Turkish military, paramilitary police and special police squads fighting it determinedly – and everyone should admit often mercilessly. Immense mistakes were done in that struggle to maintain Turkey’s national and territorial integrity but since the support for the gang from local population was rather limited, the problem could not reach the civil war dimension, even in its peak period.
Mind you, this writer was one of the few who faced court in the early 1990s for writing an article that elements of the local population were helping out the gang not because they were compelled to but they wanted to. Helping out the gang, or even writing an article that the local population was helping out the gang not because they were compelled to but rather intentionally and willingly was a criminal offense during those times. The state was yet to sit down to talks with the chieftain and lesser terrorists. Though it has long become a shameful and unfortunate undertaking for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), no one ever could think of a government issuing a joint memorandum or set of goals with the gang or its representatives.
Now, not only is all local governance in all those provinces of the southeast occupied by people obsessed with Kurdish micro-nationalism and apparently very much aligned with the gang, large segments of the local populations have been in a rebellious mood against the state for some time. Declaring curfew, cutting off the internet and mobile phones, covering up ditches – I would avoid describing them as trenches – opened up throughout the main avenues of the cities might provide provisional relief but the time has come to admit what grave mistakes were done and how badly the government failed.
The off and on Kurdish opening – or whatever name could be given to it – ransacked the prospects of this country as many people feared from the first moment on. A “peace process” which was so ambiguous, carious and with the ravenous terrorist gang retaining their fighting capability – and worse, the civilian element of it refusing to denounce terrorism – could not succeed. It was not a matter to whether it could survive and eventually provide a better atmosphere for peace; the question was when it would collapse and what would be the situation in the country when it collapsed.
The country has now discovered that the AKP was not deceived only by the Greek Cypriots in Cyprus, the European Union or the Fethullah Gülen Islamist brotherhood but also by the gang. Top AKP people if not the president and the prime minister must perhaps answer who those people were that were apparently deceived all the time by everyone.
Right from the beginning in 2013 and even before the Oslo process was exposed by some deep throats to the media, many people expressed their worries about this process and the probable mishaps it might land Turkey in. It is of course nonsense to boast of how right those worries were as there is a rather bad situation smelling so bad that, if not treated well, might produce such drastic outcomes that we would not want to see them in our worst nightmares.
How could a government engage in such an ambiguous process, leave the gang with its arms, provide it ample time to stockpile arms and train new recruits while pretending to talk peace? Were Turkey’s administrators so naïve? No, they were not. Their aim was to elevate themselves to some higher positions by catering to the “Mothers should no longer cry” slogan. The end result? A civil war-like situation. How is Turkey going to have elections in one-fifth of the country? Do we plan to escort every voter to the election booth and back to his home?
The health minister confessed recently. He said had people voted to elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to enhanced presidential powers, this calamity would not have occurred. The president also confessed, saying he was confident Turkish people would make a correction and wouldn’t repeat the June 7 mistake. Is this civil war-like situation a planned election propaganda tool to carry some people to positions they have been dreaming of?
Sacrificing this country is a dangerous game to play. Hopefully, Turkey with all its legitimate democratic capabilities, will wake up before the point of no return is left behind.