Enough is enough with local and foreign enablers of PKK terror

THE EDITORIAL BOARD
ISTANBUL
Published 18.08.2016 20:34
Updated 18.08.2016 20:35

Almost all the disparate sections of society united as one when confronted with the Gülenist Terror Group's (FETÖ) July 15 coup attempt. However, the PKK and its civilian enablers stood apart, even ignoring the sentiments of the Kurdish citizens they claim to represent. At a time of national renewal, with the government taking comprehensive measures to root out Gülenist infiltration from state institutions, including the military, the PKK and its political arm, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), could have altered course and chosen to stand with society and democracy. Their actions since July 15 have proven that Kurdish aspirations were never their priority.

The nation's wrath toward those responsible for the July 15 coup attempt was an impressive example of the response to groups that threaten Turkey's security and democracy. There are obvious reasons why the PKK and HDP chose to ignore this national solidarity and consciously decided to bind their fates to the coup plotters. The increase in the frequency of PKK attacks since July 15, and purposefully expanding its targets to include civilians can only mean it stands with the FETÖ against Turkey and its people.

One obvious domestic reason behind this choice is the extensive measures to root out FETÖ members from the security forces, which the PKK mistakenly believed would harm Turkey's will and capacity for counterterrorism operations. Evidence since the coup attempt clearly shows that FETÖ moles in the military actively sabotaged the counterterrorism fight against both the PKK and DAESH. With these traitors gone, the military's potential for counterterrorism operations will dramatically increase.

Reactions from Western officials and media to the botched coup are the international basis of the PKK's failure to lay down its arms and rather escalate its attacks. Who would expect a PKK leader who sees the U.S. openly aiding the group's Syrian affiliate while taking its time to condemn the coup attempt to choose the side of democracy when most of the Western world is not? While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is prevented from addressing democracy rallies in Europe, the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist group by the U.S. and EU, is given free rein across the continent.

The closure of the PKK mouthpiece, the Özgür Gündem daily, seems to have attracted criticism along the usual lines, as if European countries would have allowed a media organization of a terrorist group to praise attacks and actively engage in financing and recruitment while allowing leading militants to have their say on its pages.

The Turkish government, which has mobilized all the state's resources to root out the FETÖ threat once and for all, needs to do the same against the PKK and all of its affiliates in all of their incarnations represented with a multitude of acronyms. The government has the full support of a nation that fought against tanks on the streets just last month and won. Five million people in Yenikapı Square and many millions more across the country who stood against terror in all its forms on Aug. 7 and Parliament, which approved the state of emergency, gives the government the legitimacy to tackle all threats to Turkey's sovereignty, including the PKK, DAESH and the FETÖ.

No ally of Ankara has the right to disrupt or look away as Turkey fights against the PKK, DAESH or FETÖ. The government should make sure those countries that shirk their responsibilities to Turkey understand the consequences and that they will not find Turkey on their sides when they face similar threats.

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