The Kurdish PKK terrorist organization has started to target mosques and Muslims in eastern and southeastern Turkey. But that should come as no surprise because Islam and all the values that Islam promotes are the main factors that are the major obstacles to the terrorists.
A year ago, we were reporting in this column that PKK militants were telling people in the southeastern town of Lice in the province of Diyarbakır not to go to mosques and pray, saying this was a "waste of time."
The PKK has been targeting Muslim Kurds for a long time. But that was done mostly behind the scenes, and while Islam was the main target, the PKK did not want to show its true face. The PKK wanted to cut the bonds between the Muslim Kurds of eastern and southeastern Turkey and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
Mistakes committed by the AK Party before the June 7 elections alienated the Muslim Kurdish voters of Turkey, who opted to vote for the Kurdish nationalist Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which gave the party 13 percent of the votes and 80 seats in Parliament. The AK Party realized that the Muslim Kurdish votes should not be taken for granted, and the party had to make a sincere effort to regain these votes. PKK intransigence in eastern and southeastern cities and towns that made life hell for the local population coupled with AK Party efforts to regain the Kurdish votes helped the Kurds to opt back into the ruling party in the Nov. 1 elections, and thus the AK Party won 317 seats in Parliament as opposed to the 258 on June 7. The HDP on the other hand barely passed the 10-percent election threshold and won just 59 seats.
The PKK has since been taking a tough beating from state forces. So it was only normal that the atheist PKK should put aside the pretense that it was not opposed to Islam and showed its real face as the enemy of religion, and especially Islam.The attack on the historical Ottoman Fatihpaşa (Kurşunlu) Mosque in Diyarbakır is the latest example of PKK enmity towards Islam and the disregard for Islamic values. But it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Before the Fatihpaşa Mosque, the PKK had targeted the mosque with the four minarets in the central Sur town of Diyarbakır, the city that incidentally is the city of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad who used the city as a center to spread Islam to Anatolia.
The PKK has been harassing Muslim preachers and imams: They have been forcefully throwing out the imams and the Muslim congregation from mosques and turning our temples into terrorist headquarters. They have disrupted ordinary life in many cities and towns in southeastern Turkey by trying to create pockets of resistance and turning the lives of the local population into a living hell. Thus, the state acted and is destroying these pockets of resistance, but this is creating further inconveniences for the local population.
The PKK has made a grand mistake targeting Islam, but that was inevitable, as religion is seen by the terrorist leadership as the main obstacle for them to continue their plan for secession in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Presidency of Religious Affairs head Dr. Mehmet Görmez have seen this danger and have acted in recent months, foiling the PKK's efforts.