Turkey must be one of the leading countries where time flows so fast and people's adaptation and endurance skills are at the highest level.
Only recently we experienced a twin blast in Istanbul's Beşiktaş district at which 44 people, including 37 police officers, were killed and 155 were injured. We were deeply grieved in the face of the incident. As it was announced that one of the assailants received bomb training from the outlawed PKK's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Units (YPG), people's rightful resentment to the Western states were consolidated. This resentment even grew when Obama government passed a motion that enables arming the YPG against DAESH including stingers although DAESH did not have any jets. It can be clearly said that a substantial part of Turkish people are now sure that the Western states equip the YPG and the PKK with weapons to make them fight against Turkey because even the most naïve strategist can see at this point that those weapons would be eventually turned against the NATO ally Turkey. All the analyses suggesting that Turkey is the one diverging from the West without taking this factor into account are worthless since the West behaves Turkey not as an ally but like a foe.
As I said before, time flows at a different pace here. Although Turkish people have only recently buried the citizens lost at the attack, they also answered the cry for help rising from Aleppo. A mass murder is happening in there in the 21st century and in live broadcast. Around 100.000 civilians fleeing Assad regime forces, which captured the eastern Aleppo, were struck in an area corresponding to five square kilometers. No electricity, no water, no health care… Regime forces and their allies are bombarding the area ceaselessly. In the areas where no sign of life is left, they "take care of" the living ones one by one by breaking into houses. The pictures and videos of victims are updated on social media almost every hour, while the living ones' cries for help do resound in the background. We are following the tweets of Bana, who can be called the Anne Frank of Aleppo massacre, with our hearts in our mouths.
Unfortunately, the Arab League countries are silent, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation remains passive, and the UN is as always "all talk, no action." United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power makes touching speeches by frequently repeating the word "shame", but that is all. Besides, it would be in point if Power considers that the role of the U.S. in the current situation will never be forgotten by the peoples of the region.
On the other hand, Turkey is the only Muslim country struggling to open a humanitarian aid corridor to Aleppo, exerting efforts for the sake of Syrian people and objecting to the tyranny in the strongest way despite its own problems. Declaring ceasefire and opening a safety corridor that would enable the passage of civilians was agreed first at the Foreign Ministry then through the telephone diplomacy between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. But unfortunately, Iran-backed militia and Assad forces even hindered the passage of civilians. Turkish activists are on the streets for two days. The first meeting points were the Russian Consulates in Istanbul and Ankara, but then they shifted to the Iranian consulates, which must say something about Iran's "new image" in the Islam world.
Diplomatic efforts are still ongoing. Despite all the difficulties it has faced recently, Turkey is ready to welcome around 100.000 refugees who are threatened by this atrocity. I wonder how many countries in the world can embrace the aggrieved to such an extent while facing so many troubles like Turkey. Turkey, which becomes even stronger with every blow it receives, is a phenomenon that is hard to analyze.
About the author
Hilal Kaplan is a journalist and columnist. Kaplan is also board member of TRT, the national public broadcaster of Turkey.