When a suicide bomber blew himself up in Istanbul on Sunday, many observers started speculating about the identity of the dead assailant. The following day, Interior Minister Efkan Ala told reporters that Mehmet Öztürk, a DAESH member, had perpetrated the fatal attack. Most people were preoccupied with the deaths of innocent people rather than the perpetrator's identity. Others, however, were relieved to see that they would not have to criticize the PKK - whose attacks would quickly be blamed on another part of the Kurdish nationalist alphabet soup anyway.
Some international media outlets carefully tiptoe around the connection between the PKK, a globally recognized terrorist organization, and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), an armed group featuring the same people but (MIRACLE ALERT) is considered a Western ally in Syria. They are equally committed to paying lip service to fighting DAESH.
For many Turks, though, it has been virtually impossible to distinguish the PKK/PYD from DAESH, both terrorist organizations threaten the Turkish way of life by targeting popular tourist destinations. Both groups have been regularly perpetrating suicide attacks to spread fear and make the Turkish people feel threatened. Finally, they have both been using Turkish citizens to kill people on Turkish soil.
At a time when the PKK and DAESH regularly target Turkish citizens, Western governments are unwilling to talk about what is going on. Most recently, a group of PKK supporters were allowed to hand out propaganda material and wave flags of a globally recognized terrorist organization in Brussels, just meters away from the site of Turkey-EU negotiations.
In recent months, top PKK commanders have been regularly sitting down with Western journalists to promote their agenda, threaten Turkey and recruit new members. The BBC and The Times were among many outlets to spread terror propaganda. Our colleagues will claim a terrorist's views are newsworthy, so we challenge them to interview DAESH leaders for a change. They might just find out they are not so different.
Still, attempts by Ankara to beef up security face heavy criticism from Western governments and opposition parties. In 2015, a domestic security bill was introduced, which would have expanded police powers to search and detain suspects. The international media used the bill to talk about lurking authoritarianism. Opposition leaders thought along the same lines. Nowadays, both Western reporters and Turkish politicians shamelessly ask why the police could not do more. Why bother with consistency, right?
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