Belgium has officially become a terror hub at the heart of Europe.
Just months ago, Belgian citizens were shooting innocent people and blowing themselves up in Paris. Days later, the world realized that the Belgian authorities had not only failed to track the movements of extremists coming back from Syria but also allowed Brussels to turn into a safe haven for terrorists.
At this point, there is no doubt that Belgium must be kicked out of the European Union. European leaders have no choice but to build a wall around the country to prevent terrorists from sneaking into Fortress Europe and placing civilian lives at risk.
Welcome to the club. This is an all-too-familiar mix of emotions for many Turkish readers, who are sick and tired of watching self-proclaimed experts talk nonsense about their native country.
For the record, we did not actually mean what we said. We know better than to blame the victim for a crime against humanity.
Insensitive and careless, European leaders have turned a blind eye to terrorists in their midst provided that they were kind enough to direct their anger at non-European societies. Just days ago, the PKK - an armed group that the European Union considers a terrorist organization - was able to fly its banners outside the EU building in Brussels. This spectacle was not only offensive to thousands of people who lost their loved ones to the group's violent campaign since 1984, but also showed that European leaders did not really care about the terror attacks in Turkey - they were, after all, taking place elsewhere.
But we know better than to hold grudges. Today is about solidarity and getting people's lives back on track.
Now that we have your attention, though, our point is:
This morning, millions of Ankara residents can relate to the concerns of people in the Belgian capital better than anyone else. A week ago, they lost family members and loved ones in a senseless act of violence. Having directly walked back home after work, many people know what it means to feel unsafe in familiar areas.
People experience the exact same emotions when their living space is under attack - regardless of their language, religion or gender. This mutual bond should serve to help the world understand that we cannot keep playing favorites among terrorists. Unless we unite now - not just pay lip service to joint action but actually get to work - we will keep burying the dead in Ankara, Brussels, Paris, London, Madrid, Berlin and Rome. One by one, Europe's capitals will set the stage for some criminal's masterwork.
Bombs will keep going off until the Syrian civil war comes to an end - or, at the very least, is brought under control. Regardless of their country of citizenship, terrorists are implementing projects developed by extremists fighting in Syria. The fact that Syrian leader Bashar Assad, a man who perpetrated a chemical attack on live television among other things, carefully forces the international community to choose between himself and DAESH does not mean anything either.
Europe is being haunted by the monster it helped create. By implementing a failed refugee policy and showing nothing but indifference toward crimes against humanity committed by the regime, European leaders not only turned Syria into a conflict zone but also pave the way to senseless crimes being committed on European soil.
Tuesday's terror attacks targeted Brussels, but sent shock waves through Europe and elsewhere. We already know that European authorities will beef up security by conducting blanket surveillance, declaring a state of emergency and imposing checkpoints. The answer, however, is not to install more security cameras at transportation hubs. To combat a cross-national network of deranged fanatics willing to kill innocent civilians just to make a point, Europe needs to conduct joint action against the Syria-based terrorism.
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