The PKK is considered a terrorist organization not only by the Turkish state, but also by the U.S. and EU. We are talking about a structure, the attacks of which have murdered not only tens of thousands of security officers, but also thousands of civilians over the past 30 years. A total of 65 people lost their lives as a result of suicide bombing organized by PKK militants in Ankara within the past two months.
A pregnant woman and her unborn baby; 16-year-old Destina; two lovers, Başak and Can; Kerim, who was preparing to study in Italy as part of the Erasmus program; Ozancan, who was the best friend of one of the victims of the DAESH attack in Ankara five months ago and 66 year-old Ayşe Bilgilioğlu died in the latest Ankara attack. A total of 37 citizens with different life stories, views and dreams died.
While Turkey mourns and goes through hard times, Western media outlets argue that the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is a representative of peace and that the PKK, its armed wing, is an armed organization that is obliged to fight "authoritarian" President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Indeed, all suicide bombers who conducted these attacks either voted for the HDP or supported it although the party did not even sign the anti-terror declaration that was signed by the other three political parties in Parliament to condemn terrorism.
The New York Times' editorial "Reconsider a Refugee Deal with Turkey" is one of the latest examples of this. The article, which claims that the EU will bolster Erdoğan by agreeing with Turkey, says: "Beyond legal issues, the deal raises moral questions. It is a show of support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has turned his back on democracy and the fundamental values of the European Union. Mr. Erdogan has also reignited a war against Kurdish separatists. A bombing in Ankara on Sunday and the Turkish government's bombing of Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq on Monday should be more than enough to give European leaders pause."
Despite the opposition's resistance, under Erdoğan's leadership, Turkey has taken in 2.5 million refugees and single-handedly does what all 28 EU countries cannot do with their supreme values. This deal itself is the clearest evidence that the EU cannot teach humanity to Turkey. Moreover, which authoritarian leader has opened doors to 2.5 million refugees so far in history? This question alone is enough to refute The New York Times' unfounded accusations about authoritarianism. I do not want to annoy U.S. President Barack Obama, but I cannot help but ask why The New York Times did not talk about the atrocities of the Iranian regime, which hung hundreds of Kurdish activists every year sometime in the past, as much as it is obsessed with Erdoğan today. However, this is not the main point.
The main point is that the passage I quoted above renders the PKK completely innocent. Although the Turkish state did not kill any PKK militants and bomb the Qandil Mountains while the cease-fire was in progress in July 2015, PKK militants killed two police officers in their sleep, one soldier and one police officer in ambush and a civilian in front of his home. The New York Times never mentions these realities and asserts that Erdoğan initiated the war.
The main point is that The New York Times never refers to the PKK as the perpetrator of an attack that claimed 37 lives, although PKK leader Mustafa Karasu overtly said this in an article on PKK-linked newspaper Özgür Gündem. It glossed over the PKK's suicide bomb attack, saying: "A bombing in Ankara on Sunday" and presented the Turkish state's retaliation to PKK attacks and bombing of PKK positions in Northern Iraq not as an act of self-defense, but as a crime. Those who read this in The New York Times and who do not know the background to the incidents may even think that the perpetrator of the suicide bombing in Ankara was Erdoğan, not the PKK.
The New York Times and similar media outlets voluntarily give legitimacy to the PKK as one of the organization's leaders, Cemil Bayık, seeks. A couple of days ago, Bayık told the BBC: "All orders that will be given to our guerillas to fulfill are legitimate in the current phase of the struggle.". This is nothing other than making fun of the mourning of the Turkish public.