Who has the upper hand in discourse supremacy during the struggle against terrorism? - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

Who has the upper hand in discourse supremacy during the struggle against terrorism?

I have a friend from Dıyarbakır. When I met him in Dıyarbakır in 1995, the region was living chaos then, too. I trust his intuition and his analyses; thus, whenever I want to speak about the Kurdish problem, I call him.

We spoke before the elections and he poured out his troubles; his conscious was disturbed. He believed the PKK and the HDP didn't represent the community, and that they endangered the Kurdish community and himself. However, he had told me that with the support of certain circles the PKK/KCK/HDP coalition gained strength in the region, even if it meant to gain votes by threatening the people. During this conversation he had criticized AK Party's present discourse and warned that it was impossible to stop the rise of its candidates, and included that this was going to cause problems. What he said happened.

PKK has started intense street propaganda

He called me yesterday, I was distressed. He said that the military operations conducted on the PKK were initially seriously supported by the community, as they were tired of the oppression they received at the hands of the PKK. Yet, he said the situation had turned.

He said that the PKK/KCK/HDP coalition and the municipalities they were controlling had started a campaign via associations, foundations, dormitories, newspapers, radios and websites billing the President and AK Party responsible for all the deaths. The PKK/KCK/HDP coalition is propagating this in coffee houses, restaurants, the gardens of mosques, workplaces, social gatherings and in homes. Regrettably underlining it he says, “And they are succeeding, just as they did before the elections. The public opinion is turning against AK Party and the government.”

The international media's attitude towards the struggle against the PKK

I had reiterated this when I wrote about terrorism and communication; the communication channels of ISIS and the PKK should not be underestimated. The PKK has better international effectiveness than ISIS, and has strong connections. You will understand this much better, if you follow the German media, BBC and the U.S.'s Neo-Con media. The Turkish BBC crew is abruptly criticizing the government and justifying the PKK through its formal channels and their personal social media accounts. Let's face the grim reality: PKK's discourse is appearing way more in the international media than the government's arguments.

AK Party should not fall into the same mistake again

I had written that AK Party made two mistakes before the elections. It had a security flaw on the field and it didn't struggle tit for tat against the HDP. For example, they did not even distribute a brochure explaining the reforms it has made in terms of the Kurdish issue in a city like Ağrı.

These two problems affected the ballot boxes and resulted in a serious decrease in the number of votes. Consultations have been done and reports have been written on the reasons behind the dramatic parliamentarians and the decrease in votes; however, the necessary steps have not been taken as yet.

Now, there is an apparent acute problem. Blood is being shed, the number of martyrs is increasing by the day, and terrorism is doing everything possible to cause chaos in the cities. PKK's aggressive attacks in the provinces and its attempts supported by the U.S., clearly shows that the PKK is seriously affected by the security forces' operations.

Previously, I did not think that security operations conducted to end security flaws and maintain public order had negative effects on the Kurdish community, as it did in the past. However, everything can change with PKK's communication tactics and vigorous efforts.

Face to face communication is valid in the East, not Twitter

' The Kurdish communities of the east and the southeast are told that the AK Party, the government and the President have disrupted the Reconciliation Process, have started military operations, want war, and are the side that want people to die for votes. I have other friends that I have spoken to from Ağrı, Van, Dıyarbakır and Batman who confirm that this one-sided propaganda is actually affective.'

We should not be mistaken at this point. Answering the PKK/KCK/HDP propaganda via national media and Twitter will not solve the problem. I do not believe that using newspapers and television putting across the government's discourse in highly Kurdish populated areas is an effective strategy. Face to face communication, the most powerful communication technique, is also the most powerful weapon in the region. People should be personally told that the struggle against terror and the Reconciliation Process are different things.

I won't even mention the discourse supremacy in the international media; I have begun to worry about the East and Southeast regions, just like my friend from Dıyarbakır. AK Party will experience great frustration again, if it does not communicate why it is fighting terrorism, what they have done for the Reconciliation Process, and what it thinks about the Kurdish community. I thought I'd remind everyone, since coalition talks with the MHP have ended fruitless and that we are going towards an election.


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