Daesh attacking a nightclub in Istanbul should be enough for the West to realize the danger of terrorism, which Turkey has been warning about
Turkey was subjected to the first terrorist attack of 2017. A terrorist, most likely a Daesh member according to some strong evidence, broke into a nightclub during the first moments of 2017 and killed some 39 people celebrating New Year's, including many foreign tourists.
Some political groups in Turkey that resort to conspiracy theories because they cannot defeat the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the elections argue that the attack is a symptom of "the pressure on seculars."
This radical argument, which is based on an extremist interpretation, does not correspond to reality and daily life in Turkey, which is the only Middle Eastern country that established and institutionalized secularism in its daily life via state practices for almost a century. That night, millions of people in Turkey, including me, celebrated the new year.
Also, it is evident that such an approach rationalizes the atrocities of terrorist groups, including Daesh. Those making this radical argument attribute an "Islamic representation" role to Daesh with or without intention.
If Daesh really organizes its attacks only in countries where it enjoys a base, then how can Daesh attacks in European countries be explained? Is the terrorist group able to organize attacks in countries like France, Germany and Belgium because secular life is under pressure?
Such conspiracy theories are obviously shaped by local political concerns or hunger for power.
Nevertheless, until recently, Europe and the U.S. did not abstain from expressing such baseless thoughts in the international arena with the strength that they would give to serious arguments.
However, having recognized Daesh as a terrorist group in 2013 - before other countries -Turkey has been subjected to attacks by Daesh numerous times, losing hundreds of citizens and security personnel. To put it more explicitly, we have been paying the heaviest cost.
Currently, the T
urkish Armed Forces (TSK) is continuing Operation Euphrates Shield along with the Free Syria Army (FSA) in Syria.
Hitting several terrorist positions ensconced in the region, including PKK and Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces, the TSK and FSA recently managed to recapture the city of al-Bab from Daesh. However, the TSK suffered heavy losses since coalition forces that claim to be present in the region, as part of the anti-Daesh fight, did not provide air support. In addition, Turkey has recently lost some 16 military officers due to a terrorist attack in al-Bab.
As can be seen, Turkey has been subjected to a great injustice.
Recently, the U.S. apologized to Turkey for previous comments hinting that Turkey abets Daesh. But such gestures are not enough for Turkey, which is fighting Daesh and other terrorist groups in the region on behalf of the world.
The West must give up making secular/religious distinctions between terrorist groups and stop supporting other terrorist groups, including the outlawed PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD. They should also make up with the Turkish people who they hurt so deeply.
Hopefully, the latest attack, which resulted in 39 casualties, will open the doors to an enlightenment.