By now one should have gotten used to seeing misled and misleading articles about Turkey and terrorism in Turkey. We have seen so many of the so-called analyses that claim the July 15 coup attempt had been organized by the government itself, that Turkey was arming and supplying Daesh, et cetera. So, Robert Fisk's article in the Independent newspaper was not terribly shocking. Yet the inhumanity seeping from every word of the article was not easy to pass.
Mr. Fisk says that they don't dwell on Turkish deaths in the West because "a democratically-elected dictator... [who] wants to act as a conduit in a neighbour's civil war," cannot expect anything but "massacres in its own major cities." The teaser on the newspaper's website was even more sincere than hypocritical! It promised that if you clicked the link you would learn "the reason why we don't care about Turkish deaths in the West."
According to this living sage of orientalism, there are many more reasons for a Westerner not do dwell on or care about the civilians deaths in Turkey: Turkey has been playing fast and loose in the Syrian war; the July coup was essentially a military plot; Turks aren't too keen to join the EU. So? You don't care if a terrorist massacres 39 people in a dancing hall.
I don't think these martyrs and their families and the whole nation in Turkey need his mercy. The less they dwell on anything related to Turkey in the West, the better. Mr. Fisk shouldn't worry: Turkey will continue to "play loose" in her region.
Another sample from the last crop of the hate press in Europe comes from the Telegraph newspaper. Another Middle East expert, Mark Almond writes that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan armed and encouraged radical jihadis in Syria; and now is the time for "blowback." This baseless slender has been refuted by the U.S. Department of State and the CIA when they apologized over U.S. accusations of oil trade with Daesh. But Mr. Almond has more to say: When the Assad regime was weak, the Kurds in Syria (not the PKK, not the Democratic Union Party (PYD), but the Kurdish people themselves) created their mini-state in Syria; Turks wanted to crack it down; but the West had one condition: Turkey should crack Daesh down, too! As anybody following the developments related to what Turkey calls Operation Euphrates Shield would recall Turkey has not cracked down those PKK "cantons" in Syria. However according to Mr. Almond, these two crackdowns set off terrorist attacks in Turkey; the civil war in the southeast is now spiraling out of control.Mr. Almond, praising the military coup of 1980 for successfully putting off the "civil war raging between the gunmen of the radical left and the radical right and restoring the democratic system, blames Mr. Erdoğan for making Turkey Europe's sick man: "The country is slipping down the road," he says.
Turkey recently started to renovate all the Kurdish towns and villages destroyed by the PKK's barricades and ditch operations. The PKK had two or three hit-and-run activities in the region. The Turkish economy continued to grow albeit not as spectacular as the last 10 quarters.
With so many factual errors and biased points of view in a short article, Mr. Almond simply proves the thesis he tries to refute: Turkey is indeed under attack from its allies.
About the author
Hakkı Öcal is an award-winning journalist. He currently serves as academic at Ibn Haldun University.