Brave step

We’re counting around eighty deaths this last week. In the early hours of Wednesday the PKK killed 24 Turkish soldiers, on Tuesday five soldiers died, and now the Turkish army is hunting down the perpetrators and has, they claim, killed around fifty of them. It is totally obvious that this will only lead to more deaths. But politicians don’t seem to care, and the public loves the retaliation message from the government.

I look at it all and the more I think about it, the more amazed I am. It’s only common sense that you cannot fight violence with violence, isn’t it? When one child hits another child, do you tell them to keep hitting each other harder and harder to make the fighting stop? Do you bring in some extra kids when the aggression increases? Any father or mother doing that would be considered a pretty irresponsible parent, but from politicians at war this behaviour is just accepted. Even though in war there is more at stake than scratched cheeks and black eyes, namely the lives of young men (and women).

Why doesn’t anybody stand up against this circle of violence? That’s not a difficult question. Turks are brought up from their very first day of life with the idea that it is good to die for their country. Doubting the violent strategy of the state is unthinkable and even considered treason. Parents are often proud to have sacrificed a son for the homeland. Shouldn’t the government act responsibly and not automatically give the people the violence that they chant for, but do everything to stop it, even if it means not taking revenge and thus angering the public? They should, in my humble opinion. And now is the time. Not only because any time is good for a step towards peace, but also because there are no elections coming up for some time.

One tool

But the government doesn’t show any courage, and all that tells me is that it is not genuinely committed to ending the conflict. Neither party to this war is. The PKK hits hard in the week that the parliamentary commission starts its work on the new constitution, which could actually make a huge contribution to solving the Kurdish question. It weakens the hand of the Kurdish MP’s in the commission. The PKK was secretly negotiating with the Turkish state, but that has been broken off and the PKK can’t stand to be left out. Besides, the PKK is of course an organisation that chose to have only one tool, and that tool is violence. They desperately want to survive, they want to be heard, and they know of no other way to reach that goal than by spreading death. If they lay down their arms, it automatically means it’s the end of their very existence.

That’s not the case for the state. The state has more tools than violence. A state that stops fighting, a state that stops killing, doesn’t dig its own grave. On the contrary: it gains strength on every level possible. In the end, what counts is not who started the violence and who is ‘entitled’ to defend itself, but who is brave enough to stop killing and start talking about peace. Shouldn’t we wake up and expect such a brave step from the government? Even demand it?

3 replies
  1. Winston Smith
    Winston Smith says:

    The mood and appetite for war with the PKK has been growing for some time. Nationalism is fervent. The Ministries of ‘Peace’ and ‘Truth’ are working overtime, so there’s only death and propaganda.

  2. Nihat Cerrah
    Nihat Cerrah says:

    The problem here, you are not asking why the child is hitting the other one. You are not analyzing the problem from where it started. PKK is operating to get Kurdish people’s rights, but why with violence? Can’t you see Arab nations are getting their rights without violence? Did Gandhi, Mandela, ML King use violence?
    If they lay down their arms, and if they are really sincere about their purpose, BDP will continue to serve for it.

    Another argument is, you are still thinking that PKK is fighting to get Kurdish people rights. Don’t you think Kurdish people are getting their rights one by one? Why so many attacks on innocent people by PKK?

    Government was talking and maybe still talking with PKK or with its alliances. The demand you are talking about is already offered or being offered right now, you can’t know.

    Since you can’t know what’s going on between PKK and government, please let government alone and do it’s job, which to protect innocent people. There are tons of explosives in big cities waiting for PKK to be used (we learned from the tapes and police is finding some of them), are you saying government not to do anything? Attacking on PKK camps might stop that explosives to be explode on innocent people in big cities. Going after KCK members might stop that as well.

    Not seeing all this and suggesting government to start talking about peace will only increase attacks on innocent people, because you wrote that PKK doesn’t know any other way but spreading death.


  3. Tuba
    Tuba says:

    I agree with Mr. Cerrah. Kurdish people are getting their rights one by one.

    As being a Turkish woman living in Europe (namely in the Netherlands), I would like to inform you that I do not have the most of the rights which Kurdish people do have in Turkey-or are going to have soon-. On paper I have however in many situations I do not. I now it is hard to believe but it is true.
    I am surprised that a few months ago I am not accepted for an education in Rotterdam just because I am Turkish!
    It is not written on paper but it is explained like this… I can give many other examples, if needed…

    Besides in Turkey it SEEMS like (shown as if) Kurdish citizens do not have rights, but actually they are accepted as a part of our Turkish society.


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