Terrorism, Law and Foreign Policy - ERGÜN YILDIRIM

Terrorism, Law and Foreign Policy

Terrorism torments us every day, displaying barbarity in the latest form without recognizing any logic or rules. Turkey is fighting terrorist groups like the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C) and Daesh. Despite having different motives, all these groups are trying to trap Turkey. They are using all types of methods and strategies in order to achieve this. They do not recognize anything holy, any norms or any limits. They form several alliances, including regional and global ones. They have alliances with Russia, Iran, the U.S. and many other countries and circles. And to top it all, they invite the state to a hateful, vengeance-filled line that overlooks the law. Terrorism is trying to force the state to an irrevocable state. They believe that if they pull the state toward this point, the state will lose its reputation and esteem in the eyes of the whole world. This is a dimension we never think about. Media organs and European and U.S. research center reports put forward allegations to the detriment of Turkey. They portray the PKK's female terrorists as women having picnics in the mountains, who stand up against feudalism and coerciveness in order to defend female freedom. Turkey is trying to be portrayed as a country that violates rights and limits freedom of the press.

These efforts of terrorists to push governments toward a non-law-recognizing state is mostly to the detriment of Turkey the most. Turkey is becoming globally isolated and is not able to benefit from regional and global alliances. As a state, a NATO member and the U.S.'s regional strategic partner, Turkey is not receiving enough support in its struggle against terrorism. Yet one of the most important aspects of battling terrorism is having international alliances.

A country can intervene in terrorist organizations' economic, propaganda and organizational opportunities with the help of its international allies. The PKK, Daesh, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the DHKP-C continue to carry out their activities in Russia, Europe and the Middle East. For example, they can recklessly appear during the prime minister or President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Europe visits.

While effectively tackling terrorism in internal politics, Turkey is making new internal security laws. Legislations on investigating the police have been made and now they are in the process of doing the same for the army. Turkey has discussed the traumatic results of tackling terrorism through illegitimate methods for many years now. Besides instant responses to terrorism, we have to focus on the connections of terrorism as well. If the fight against terrorism is not carried out within the limits of a state of law, many consequences will arise in the long term. Firstly, this situation leads to us losing our international alliances in the fight on terror. Perhaps what is more important is the deep traumas the sense of belonging to the state will experience at the regional level. Because the state is a will that ensures safety and provides justice. When both are secured, the people feel a sense of belonging. Terrorism is based on power and it uses all kinds of violence to ensure it achieves this power. A state is a state because it uses physical violence within the limits of the law. Max Weber says “Legitimate physical violence” is in the monopoly of the state alone. Physical violence is only legitimate when used against terrorism within the boundaries of the law. This legitimacy is not merely a principle, but is also important for the people.

It is important that the fight against terrorism is carried out within the boundaries of justice and the law, thus only then will the people of the southeast feel a sense of belonging to the state. We can effectively battle terrorism if we have our global alliances by our side. If we increase our foreign alliances, the possibility of fighting terrorism more effectively will increase. Therefore, instead of seeing them as our enemies and damning them, we should think about the ways we can develop our relations in order to combat terrorism effectively.


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