Shocking news this morning: a pregnant woman and her six year old daughter were killed in the Southeastern province of Batman. Many Turkish media were quick to say it was the PKK who did it, Kurdish Firat news agency reported, on witnesses account, that mother and daughter were killed by police bullets. A big TV-station sought the truth in the middle: they reported the civilians were killed when they were caught in the middle of a heavy fight going on between the PKK and the army.
Only a thorough research can answer from which direction the bullets came. But at a certain level, maybe it’s not so important. However you look at it, the awfull truth is the same in every war: civilians are caught in the middle and are the real victims. Collateral damage.
I don’t think in this war civilians are the first target of both the army and the PKK. They both (nowadays) in the first place aim at eachother. That doesn’t count for another group, the TAK (Kurdistan Freedom Falcons), that for example claimed responsibility for the bomb last week in Ankara and a bomb on a beach earlier this summer in Antalya. The members of TAK officially seperated from the PKK and formed their own group, even though many people consider them just a branch of the PKK. Anyway, they specifically aim at civilians and deliberately kill them.
The Turkish government starts working today on proloning the permission the army has to carry out cross border operations on PKK targets in North-Iraq. There are rumours that ground troops are being built up in the border provinces Hakkari and Sirnak, ready to start a ground offensive against PKK-camps across the border. In this era of increased violence, both decisions will be supported by the majority of Turks. I wish it was the other way around. That violence would make people more aware of how bad violence is, and how normal civilians are always the real victims. That this would be a time for both sides to halt violence, in stead of increasing it any further.