Are we united against terror?

Last week, terrorists struck Ankara once again. The heart of Turkey came under attack for the third time since October 2015. As is the case with every such dastardly attack, civilians were targeted yet again.

The terrorist organization, PKK, was behind the cowardly attack. It was its response to the operations being carried out against it within the Turkish borders. Terrorism may be a new phenomenon to the world but the people of Turkey have known this menace for decades. The PKK may have changed its strategy by expanding its terrorist activities to cities but its actions have only led to the spiritual awakening of the Turkish people. 

Indeed in this recent attack, the Turkish nation reached a consensus on the fairness of the operations carried out against the PKK. As expected, following this incident, various countries conveyed their condolences to the Turkish nation. Surely these messages of condolence are important. Sometimes these messages become instrumental in melting the ice between countries. 

From Turkey’s perspective, reactions shown by the world are also important. Yet given the stance of some countries over the PKK, the Turkish people have started to question the messages of “unity against terror.” We can exemplify as follows:

Four hours after the Ankara attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first statesmen who offered his condolences. Such a development after the artificial tension experienced between Russia and Turkey for some time is promising for the recovery of ties and it certainly pleased the Turkish nation. However, it is no secret that in compliance with its strategy in Syria, Russia backs and arms the PYD, the branch of the PKK in Syria. It is also known that the missiles, rockets and howitzers supplied to the PYD are being used by the PKK on Turkish lands. Meanwhile we need to keep in mind that Russia does not actually consider the PKK as a terror organization. 

Following the attack, John Kirby, US State Department spokesman, conveyed condolences and said: “We reaffirm our strong partnership with our NATO ally Turkey in combating the shared threat of terrorism.” In such a reprehensible attack it has been a fine gesture that the US sides with Turkey. However, we need to keep in mind the recent polemics between the US and Turkey that took place over the PYD. For quite some time, the US has been supplying arms to the PYD. Although the Turkish authorities have proven that these arms are being used by the PKK, the US declared that they would not stop supporting the PYD. 

The fact that during the Syria talks Brett McGurk, Special US Presidential Envoy, met one of the PKK’s senior members, Polat Can, in Kobani and even received an award from him is still fresh in our memories. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the attack on his Twitter account: “I’m appalled by the devastating terror attacks in Ankara.” These words surely convey Cameron’s personal feelings. Ironically, it is the shadow government of Britain that has been backing the PKK for years and has laid the infrastructure of the PKK’s establishments. Abdullah Ocalan, PKK leader, expresses this fact clearly: 
“Britain is the country that approaches this issue in the smartest way. She (Britain) granted the right of broadcasting to MED TV (the TV channel of the PKK)... It is Britain who establishes the policies. It is Britain that generates the policies and then makes the US implement them. Now and then we have meetings with IRA in Ireland. I think it is Britain that generates the main policy.”

Indeed, until recently the PKK carried out its activities in Britain through nine associations, three unions, a committee and two offices operating under the control of Kurdish Associations Federation. These PKK-affiliated organizations have always found shelter under some front organizations in Britain. Moreover, the associations and foundations of the PKK are mostly led by British citizens. 

French President Francois Hollande condemned the attack in a statement, “The President addresses to the Turkish people a profound message of solidarity after the despicable attack, which struck central Ankara tonight causing many casualties.” It is obvious that these words are the reflection of Hollande’s sincere feelings, who had rough times after major terror attacks in Paris. However, a short while ago, invitation of PKK authorities to the Elysee Palace caused Turkish people to have second thoughts about it. Zubeyir Aydar, a KCK (the urban branch of the PKK) Executive Committee member, who is on the Turkey’s most-wanted list, participated in a conference in the French National Assembly is another thought-provoking aspect of the incident. France, our important ally, may have some good reasons in doing all this, but it should all be clarified before the Turkish people. 

This also holds true for many other EU countries. It is not a secret that countries such as Germany, Holland, and Belgium have allowed the operations of various branches of the PKK, its associations and its press organs within their borders. 

If states want to make serious efforts against terror, they need to be sincere in countering terror. If we are together in a struggle against terror, if we are to support one another in this issue, if it is the best to unite in countering terror, they need to abandon the mindset which says, “Curse my terrorist, but I can support yours, if necessary.” It is not important where and against whom the terror is nurtured; terror does not accept any friends, nor does terror differentiate between targets. We hope to see those countries who are our allies genuinely siding with us in our efforts against terrorism.

Adnan Oktar's piece in Arab News:

2016-03-19 22:17:41

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