The third way of struggling with terrorism - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

The third way of struggling with terrorism

A serious change in the fight against terrorism is being experienced; thus, we should put emphasis on this point. It seems like this will be a very different experience from Europe's.

We all know that Europe has been living through different examples of fighting terrorism in recent times. The IRA in England, the Red Brigades in Italy and the ETA in Spain. Within the environment of conflict and struggle, two policies were compared to each other: The security and libertarian policies.

The rivalry between the Security and Libertarian policies

The more military and security measures were implemented, the narrower the liberation became. Yet, when libertarian policies were widely implemented, a security gap occurred. The security- libertarian paradox is one of the most debated topics in the world, including in the U.S. Just remember the exaggeration of security and the restriction on liberations after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

In its nearly 40 years of battling against terrorism, Turkey has generally used security policies. Before the AK Party Government, Turgut Özal was the only politician to discuss libertarian policies; however, he didn't live long enough to carry these policies into effect.

A paradigm shift in the fight against terrorism

Within all the reforms AK Party started, one of the most talked about reforms in the future will certainly be the libertarian policies it implemented towards solving the Kurdish issue. If we took the Şeyh Sait Revolt as a starting point, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the Erdoğan period was the period in which the Kurdish issue was dealt with the utmost reformative and libertarian approach.

Maybe we went through the paradox the world did; as the liberation fields increased, vulnerabilities occurred and we are now suffering its consequences. Nevertheless, the Reconciliation Process can be evaluated as the government's paradigm change. For, many decisions were made as National Security Council decisions and were put into effect.

The opposite is unimaginable; thus, the old security policies could not have been changed otherwise.

How PKK is different than other organizations

It is evident that the PKK has international connections unlike other terrorist organizations in Europe. It cannot be argued that the IRA, ETA or the Red Brigade had international connections like the PKK, or was affected by them during that period. In this respect, maybe the PKK never really wanted the Reconciliation Process. The fact that the HDP is under the effect of the PKK and that the HDP doesn't have freewill is constantly discussed, yet, the PKK and Qandil being under the tutelage of other countries isn't mentioned at all.

After the ceasefire between the government and the PKK was broken following July 11, the Turkish Government, for maybe the first time in its history, using only local intelligence (MIT) and not informing the U.S., killed many PKK terrorists with its cross-border operations. It should be noted that this is a very important turning point.

The third way of fighting against terrorism

Since it has been declared that the reconciliation process has been put away in cold storage, it can be said that there is a return to a security policy. However, this isn't true. The talk about the return to the nineties is only true on behalf of the PKK. That is to say, they terrorized, attacked security forces, killed civilians, and committed violence. However, it cannot be said that the government has returned to the 90s.

We can say that for the first time libertarian and security policies have been implemented at the same time. Security forces don't see all Kurdish citizens as potential terrorists anymore. Although there were armed clashes in cities and towns, extra care was taken in order to keep civilians safe. Yet, the battle against terrorism was perseveringly continued in order to provide security. This can probably be seen as propaganda, yet another recent issue that I will explain will verify this.

The local community resisting against the PKK for the first time

In the past three months, the PKK has invited the community to uprise about six to seven times. None of them received a response. Their final call was to boycott schools as they provoked children to not attend. Yet, no one took up this call either. So they went and placed a bomb in a school. This is a very serious situation that has occurred for the first time in 40 years. The Kurdish citizens are not supporting the PKK, instead they are resisting. We should realize that this is a major change and difference.

I would say in the days to come, emphasis will be put upon the paradigm change in the fight against terrorism and the refusal by the Kurdish community of the PKK, who claims to be fighting for the Kurds.

A third way is added to the fight against terrorism literature and the security- libertarian policies nowadays. In my opinion, this will be named the Turkish experience in the fight against terrorism.


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