It is August and almost everyone in the EU capital Brussels is on vacation. But some still do not forget to release press statements full of harsh criticism and advice for Turkey from lovely holiday resorts, beaches and summer houses. Almost all the press releases from Brussels and the European Parliament urge Turkey not to hit the headquarters where the outlawed PKK's violent terrorist attacks are planned and ordered.
However, if the PKK killed police and military officers, abducted civilians, including pregnant women, set construction sites on fire and conducted any other terrorist activity in Germany, Belgium, France or the Netherlands, everyone identifying themselves as Kurdish would have a hard time and struggle to prove that they were not affiliated with the terrorist organization. Anti-terror units would launch operations in such a case.
When fully-equipped military officers patrolled the streets of France and Belgium with rifles in their hands after two terrorist attacks in France, it was considered normal. Then why did Turkey's measures raise concerns?
We are always encountering such double standards.
In Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands or the U.K., journalists and news outlets tend to spread the reports and reviews that have more or less the same content as if someone activated them by pushing a button.
Ankara's operations launched on PKK camps in northern Iraq as its right to self-defense and as a response to the innumerable violent terrorist attacks by the organization that claimed many lives are being criticized. Along with the criticism, the PKK is condemned only to avoid any disgrace. There is no sincerity in their condemnations.
And when we answer those penning such criticisms and press releases and suggest meeting to narrate the situation from our point of view, the only replies we could get is: "We are out of office until August 30," "We cannot read your e-mails since we are not in the office at the moment," and so on.
In other words, no one cares about what is really happening in Turkey. No effort is exerted to listen to both sides carefully and in detail, but still the press releases suggest with one voice to Ankara not to strike the PKK and maintain the reconciliation process.
They behave as if Ankara had ended the reconciliation process.
The PKK was not actually interested in the reconciliation process from the very beginning. As such, they did not lay down their arms. They did not listen to the calls of their imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan and they even gave him a hard time because he sided with the process. The war barons of the PKK thrive on wars. Drug smuggling, human trafficking and racketeering in the regions where they are influential are their highly profitable sources of income. If the war really comes to an end and peace is permanently introduced in the region, these war barons have no chance to benefit. And they are well aware of this. They will either continue by turning out to be a mafia just like some remnants of the KGB after the collapse of the USSR, or they will fight for a living just like any other people in ordinary life. This was the actual concern of these PKK war barons.
A Kurdish businessman who is constructing a gigantic and marvelous hotel in a metropolitan city in eastern Turkey recently told me that the mayor of the city, who is a Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) member, paid him a visit while construction was ongoing and told him that "news has come from the mountain, they demand TL 1.2 million [$432,000]," and he took the money afterward. I wonder which state of law would tolerate such an organization that conducts racketeering in the region through HDP municipalities that they have ruled for the last two years by exploiting the government's attention to avoid any harm to the reconciliation process or any deaths in eastern and southeastern Turkey.
A majority of the votes the HDP received in the region in the June 7 general elections were granted by the PKK's force of arms. Our so-called friends in the EU and EU capitals have considerable knowledge about the subject. They stay informed about what is happening through their embassies, intelligence agents wandering around the region with their backpacks and a great number of journalists. But the role of burying their heads in the sand serves their purposes. The intelligence services of Germany, Belgium or the U.K. are among those that are the most cognizance of the PKK. However, politicians and media outlets in these countries are issuing the most ignorant or intentionally malevolent statements, reviews and reports on Turkey.
If we could interpret this with good-will, we might argue that they are manipulated by PKK propaganda. But is this true?
Or does the PKK work really hard in operations to create a negative public image of Turkey?
We have seen the Sunday Interview program, which is a very popular show aired on ZDF, the second largest TV channel in Germany. Making a Turkish-origin politician appear on the show and issue the message that Turkey cannot be an EU member, and marketing the PKK as innocent freedom fighters are the outcomes of smooth perception management. While people in Turkey are murdered by the PKK, embracing some lies just to show the PKK is innocent is miserable in terms of not only press ethics, but also the notion ethics in general.
The answer from Turkish people, who mourn new deaths every day, to those who say that they would not include Turkey in the EU by spreading the claims that a village was bombed killing civilians during the air operation conducted against the PKK in northern Iraq, is clear: "Stand out of our sunlight."
I am sure our so-called Western friends who criticize Turkey will not read this, but I would still like to share the official announcement from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in response to the news suggesting that a village was bombed killing civilians during the air operation on the PKK in northern Iraq:
"The targets belonging to the separatist terrorist organization inside the country and in northern Iraq were struck after careful and detailed work on the basis of visual data verified by skilled staff. The allegations in the press have been reassessed; it has been determined that the target hit was not a village, but in fact a sheltering area for terrorists who are members of the PKK, a separatist terrorist organization. There was no civilian residential area in and around the impact range of the airstrike."
I am sure our Western friends will go on believing the PKK without giving credence to the TSK. Although they do not actually believe the PKK, it serves their purpose at the moment. No words are left to say. This is a disgrace.