A continued changing state paradigm in Kurdish sociology will lead to strategic changes in counterterrorism
As state institutions, especially the military and politics are purified of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) conceit, counterterrorism at home and abroad and Ankara's stance on regional political developments are becoming clearer. There was a persistent bureaucratic oligarchy that surrounded every institution in the past. The political arm had difficulty serving the public, let alone fighting terrorism. But we faced a graver picture with the bloody July 15 coup attempt. The state was under siege from a terrorist group that went beyond the bureaucracy. FETÖ was present in most strategic spheres, from the General Staff to the police, and from the judiciary to the troops in the southeast.
The cost of how this siege affected counterterrorism and foreign relations with countries like Russia and Syria has not yet completely come to light. But it is clear that the state is acting strategically now. It adopted a new approach toward its fight against terrorism and terrorist organizations that cannot even be compared to those in the past.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paved the way for the new period through his foreign policy perspective. As a result, strained relations with Russia and Israel rapidly recovered. This was followed by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's remark, "We will increase the number of our friends and reduce the number of our enemies." We also see the strategic change in counterterrorism today.
Turkey is fighting multifaceted and bloody terror, as well as the perception manipulation that justifies terror and lies about it. Therefore, the state is no longer as passive as before, but pursues more efficient and proactive strategies. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu gave the first example of this strategy. He ordered the reinstatement of a Kurdish name plate in the Diyadin district municipality in the eastern province of Ağrı. The previous plate "Şaredariya Giyadine," which meant Diyadin Municipality in Kurdish was replaced by a Turkish name plate by the district's new mayor who replaced the former mayor as a trustee. Soylu said, "Our problem is terror. Kurdish is also our language. The [Kurdish] name plate of the Diyadin Municipality will be hung soon." This approach was an important indicator showing that the changing state paradigm in the Kurdish sociology will continue. The state's knee-jerk reaction to perception manipulation, which presents terrorism as innocent and overshadows counterterrorism, is increasingly coming to the fore.
One of the most striking examples was seen in the latest terrorist attack in Diyarbakır. Reuters announced to the whole world that Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack. This lie was the most serious example of perception manipulation that we have ever encountered. They wanted to create the perception that the state was bombing the public while the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies, who did not go to the court despite being summoned, were being detained.
The HDP maintained this lie at home. It gave the address of the bomber's home, saying "the place where Daesh conducted an attack around 8:00 in the morning" in a written statement. It aroused provocation saying, "Our Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ and Ankara Deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder were being detained at that complex when the bomb attack took place." They meant Yüksekdağ and Önder would have been killed.
The state soon took action and disproved the lie, which was initiated by Reuters and maintained by HDP proponents by releasing the sound recordings chronicling the PKK terrorists who conducted the attack. When the truth was revealed, they told another lie that the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a splinter group from the PKK, claimed the attack. This being the case, given that the PKK's affiliate placed the bomb, they wanted to kill Yüksekdağ and Önder.Well, how would you explain this to the Kurdish people? Does this truth not show that Kurdish people are facing a group of tyrants who disregard moral values? Who knows what will further come to light as long as the state's strategic mind comes into play?