Turkey faces national security threats at home and abroad. Just hours after a DAESH suicide attack in Istanbul, PKK militants detonated a car bomb outside a housing complex in Diyarbakır to kill five civilians, including a toddler and two children, and a police officer. Facing unprecedented pressure from Turkey's Kurdish community to reinstate the cease-fire, the PKK leadership relies on their international connections to continue the bloodshed. At a time when even the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) acknowledges the organization's mistakes, a group of Turkish academics caused an uproar in Turkey for whitewashing the militants under the pretext of calling for peace.
Last week, 1,100 Turkish academics issued a public statement unfairly criticizing the government's counterterrorism campaign. Acting out of hatred toward the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rather than a genuine interest in renewed dialogue, the signees notably refrained from acknowledging PKK violence and the damage terrorists inflict on local communities. Nor have the academics dared to speak up against the murders of innocent children and armed assaults against ambulances.
Although a quick glance at the statements of Sur residents protesting PKK violence would suffice to establish what exactly goes on in southeastern Turkey, the country's self-proclaimed intellectuals probably had no time to get their facts straight. The fact that even the HDP leadership occasionally acknowledges PKK foul play adds a layer of irony to the academics' position.
Over the past six months, the PKK leadership acted with complete disregard for human life and dialogue. Having called for armed resistance citing the construction of military outposts and "military dams," the organization proceeded to execute police officers and soldiers to resume its violent campaign. When the Kurdish community refused to mobilize behind armed militants, they brought the dirty war to residential areas - a leftover trick from the 1990s. As such, it was the PKK, not the Turkish state, that refused to change.
And what does the PKK's violent campaign have to do with the Kurdish community's democratic demands? Just six months ago, the Kurdish nationalist movement played a more prominent role in the country's affairs. Although dialogue had made it possible for them to speak from a position of power, the PKK/HDP leadership picked bloodshed over political influence.
Nowadays, the PKK/HDP leadership would like the Turkish people to believe that the government, not the terrorists, want to fight. If this claim were true, they would have ceased their attacks and put the government on the spot. What they have, however, are lies: Their main goal is to mount pressure on Turkey as the Middle East goes through major changes and stakeholders compete over fossil fuels. Sooner or later, the PKK leadership will become obsolete as the regional balance of power changes. But the dead won't come back.
Turkey's leftists, intellectuals and citizens with some common sense need to stand in solidarity with the Kurdish community against violence and terrorism.