The door to Aleppo or cemetery?

The door to Aleppo or cemetery?

A Syria crisis-famed bearded “strategy expert” on a TV program was explaining how it was “normal” to have 14 casualties in a war being waged in a city. The expert said fighting a war with drones or armored vehicles was important in undermining the capacity of the enemy but in order to achieve victory, it was necessary to have boots on ground. “There will be casualties, war is now in the city of al-Bab. To capture the city, you need to send troops there. If there are combating troops there, casualties should be considered as normal,” he said. 

It was shocking and it is still very difficult to understand the mentality that managed to regard humans as numbers, to consider sacrificing the lives of our beloved sons dispatched there as “normal.”

Al-Bab, which in Arabic means “The door,” has indeed been considered as “the door to Aleppo” amid the city’s struggle in remaining as the last standing point of defense for Syria’s second largest city. After al-Bab, there is a barren and flat field of 60 kilometers to Aleppo… Of course if you dare to travel that road now.

What are we doing there? Why are we there? Were we not providing aerial and remote bombardment support to the “moderate Islamist” Free Syria Army? Since when have we become part of the fighting? Was the Free Syria Army losing the war so Turkey decided to take over the combatant role as well?

Body bags carrying the remains of our beloved sons will be sent to their families soon. Perhaps some of them have already reached their hometowns and ceremonies are already being held with their flag-draped coffins covered in a red crescent and a white star, the red which symbolizes the blood of martyrs.

No one, of course, can count their lost ones with numbers. No one, of course, would say their loss was the normal consequence of a war waged in a neighboring country to an Islamist terrorist group and the Kurdish aspirations to emerge a state out of making the best use of the quagmire in Syria. Would I bother with what the state was trying to achieve with the life of my beloved one if I were the father of any of those young men in their twenties? Would I not yell out loud to whoever ordered this war for whatever reason, and remind them the words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk “If war is not waged for the defense of the homeland, it is a crime.” 

Our 14 beloved sons, all were having plans to build a future with the people they loved. They were all hoping to embrace their darlings, kiss their parents’ hands and aspire to have their own families. They are dead.

Their hopes are dead. Their future is dead.

At a parliamentary commission where a constitutional amendment draft to satisfy the super president’s hopes of becoming the absolute power holder of the country was being discussed, deputies of the opposition suggested to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of the fallen 14 sons. The proposal was voted out by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies. Why? Would it be a cause for delay if just for one minute the commission forgot about obsessive autocratic aspirations and stood in silence in remembrance of our fallen sons?

Who did what and how the Syrian problem evolved must be known well by Turks. How did Turkey move from “eternal friends” and “brotherly” relations with Syria to a view against Bashar al-Assad as the country’s ruthless dictator? That is a question any average Turk could answer without thinking a moment. No one would perhaps want to remember the “small” foreign minister, later prime minister of Turkey who travelled – according to what he himself said once – 62 times in one year and could serve indeed as a tourist guide in Damascus. Today, including Damascus our neighboring country is down at the heels, totally devastated.
What is Turkey trying to salvage with the Euphrates Shield Operation? Is Turkey after creating a buffer zone to dump the over three million refugees in Turkey there? No… These refugees, at least two thirds of them, will not return to Syria even if the war might one day come to an end. The “safe haven” Turkey might establish there, however, might help prevent a further influx of refugees into Turkey. If we consider the huge social, security and demographic threats this very high number of refugees are posing to Turkey, it might be advisable to have such a safe haven inside Syrian territory. 

Was that what we aimed for when we entered there? To be frank, I believe trying to stop Kurds linking their two cantons and come closer to declaring a statehood was far more dominant in Ankara’s decision making. 

Naturally “strategy experts” would know better, but still, we should ask why we have lost 14 sons and why more than 30 of our sons were wounded. What for? The more Turkey walks on Syrian quagmire, the more we will sacrifice our sons. Is this our war? Should we not ask that question? Would it be a crime to oppose a war? Is it not a lunacy to incite people every day with Aleppo agitations? Is it not enough?

Remember the slogans of that berserk killer who murdered Russia’s envoy to Turkey Andrey Karlov? Should this agitation and propaganda war not end?