Germany's inconsistent stance on terrorism in the region still continues. While seeing ISIS as a global threat, it ignores the PKK's terrorist attacks owing to the group's secular orientation
Now that Turkey has started an effective anti-terror campaign after the Suruç suicide bombing and ensuing PKK attacks it has created a disturbance in some circles. I am not talking about the PKK, which reportedly has taken heavy casualties due to the recent airstrikes conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Unfortunately, it was Germany alongside several other countries that perceived Turkey's rightful acts of self-defense as a luxury.
Member of the Germen Federal Assembly's Foreign Affairs Commission, Roderich Kiesewetter, recently pointed out that German soldiers are in Turkey because of NATO's support in the fight against ISIS. Kiesewetter warned Turkey that this support cannot become involved in either Turkey's fight with the PKK or the country's domestic affairs. Germany's famous newspaper, Deutsche Welle, has also published a report indicating how Turkey's recent operations against the PKK are being watched with great concern. The report also points out that "Turkey targets the PKK more than ISIS in its operations and this stirred allegations that Turkey is exploiting NATO's collaboration for its own agenda."
This is really unbelievable, because it is really hard to understand how the criteria qualifying ISIS as a terrorist organization does not apply to the PKK. The PKK is defined as a terrorist organization by almost all long-standing Western democracies. And what happened to the PKK, which has brutally murdered several members of Turkish security forces in the last two weeks and hundreds of civilians during Turkey's 30-year of covert civil war, is being commended once again. Undoubtedly, this inclination that seriously undermines the global counterterrorism cooperation perspective has been bolstered during the PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) resistance in Kobani against ISIS. In fact, the PYD-PKK axis, which time to time acts together with ISIS in Syria, has successfully presented the battle for Kobani, which was nothing more than a regional power struggle, as a heroic resistance of the region's secular forces. Agitation campaigns supported with figures published in Western media outlets, showing a female guerrilla nursing a child have also nurtured this image.
The PYD and ISIS are allies with Assad
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu made a striking statement about the PYD, which has been treated like a peace movement, on a TV program he participated on last month. Davutoğlu revealed that officials from ISIS and Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime held a meeting in PYD-controlled Hasakah where they decided to cooperate for weakening the Syrian opposition. Both parties have not yet contested Davutoğlu's statement.
This was a stunning piece of information for those who try to analyze the Kobani battle in the eyes of the West. Hence, groups that are supposedly enemies gather under the same roof. But this should not surprise those who are following the region close enough to know that there was no enmity between the PYD and the Assad regime, which deprived Syrian Kurds of even basic citizenship for years. It is an undeniable fact that the PYD, hand in hand with ISIS, has been advancing in Syria by making the Assad regime's barrel bombs their guardians. Having considered all this, how can German official's rising concern over Turkey's counterterrorism perspective, which targets the PKK, PYD and ISIS altogether, be explained? If Turkey's fight against the PKK is its domestic issue, then why is ISIS defined as a global threat that requires NATO's involvement? Is it the PKK's secular orientation that draws leftist and Green Party-affiliated German politicians' sympathy? These politicians do not even bother hiding their close relationship with the organization. And if not, what makes the PKK so special? What is the difference between ISIS and PKK militants, except that the former have long beards?