Turkey’s Fight against Terrorism and So-called Western Alliance
While Turkey has conducted its fight against terrorism for long years, the terrorist organizations it fights have several different dynamics.Terrorist organizations like PKK, DAESH, DHKP-C and FETOare the groups which commit the most striking acts and pose the biggest threat in Turkey. The armed fight which is still intensely conducted against PKK and DAESH in the field differ from the fight against the other two terrorist organizations.
The process of fight against terrorist organizations that Turkey goes through has been and is still considerably damaged by the Western policies on the Middle East.Especially after each US intervention in Iraq, Turkey eventually faced a new terror threat. The power gained by PKK terrorist organization as a consequence of each intervention in Iraq can be given as a catchy example.
In the aftermath of Gulf War, PKK had access to an enormous weapons and ammunition inventory by seizing the weapons left by the Iraqi army since it was prohibited for the army to transcend the 36th parallel. Furthermore, the Poised Hammer in the southeast of Turkey sent aid to PKK camps, which was repeatedly indicated at that time by the journalists and security forces serving in that region. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was taken as an opportunity by PKK and this slightly opened the door to an armed attack in Turkey once again.In the 2000s, Turkey encountered new terror tactics of PKK both in spatial and technologic means. Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) were intensely used and the attacks shifted from rural to urban areas.
After PKK abandoned the solution process in 2015, PKK’s acts were mostly focused on urban areas. A lot of district centers in the southeast of the country were chosen as new battlefields by PKK and its extensions.While PKK has not ceased its attacks since 22 July 2015, nor has it limited the range of its attacks only to the southeastern region. It has launched bomb attacks in the metropolises such as Ankara and Istanbul, targeting both civilians and security forces in urban areas.It has sometimes resorted to proxy wars, one of the popular methods in the battlefield, just as the USA, Iran and Russia do in Syria. Even though it is alleged that PKK’s proxy has a completely different nature at this point, its subcontractor is the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons abbreviated as TAK in Kurdish. The threats emerging as a result of the US invasion in Iraq are not only limited to PKK.In the post-2003 period, terror threats posed from the Iraqi territory to Turkey were divided into two categories since DAESH was added on the list.
Stinger Missiles to be sent to PYD/YPG
The USA invaded Iraq on the pretext of mass destruction weapons, 12 years later than the Gulf War. Upon this invasion, state authority was destroyed in Iraq and all obstacles to Iran’s influence over Iraq were removed, which almost paved the way for Iran. Iran’s increasing influence in Iraq brought about the implementation of Shiite-oriented policies and excluded the Sunni from the system.The Sunni who were cast out of the system started to plunge into different quests. Certain part of this population contributed to the establishment of DAESH terrorist organization which declared the so-called caliphate in a region which extends between Iraq and Syria today. Having first been called Islamic State of Iraq, then Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, DAESH terrorist organization started to pose serious threats to Turkey especially through its foreign fighters. Turkey mostly had to add the fight against DAESH on its agenda besides its ongoing fight against PKK and started to focus its efforts on two terrorist organizations which have different dynamics.
Turkey has had to endure the violent terrorist attacks that no country faces in the world, due to the policies followed by the USA and the other countries acting jointly with the USA in the Middle East. However, neither political nor technologic demands of this country have ever been accepted in the fight against terrorism. Furthermore, false news are frequently released by the Western press, indicating that Turkey has not fought DAESH on the necessary level since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war while Turkey’s fight against PKK is also criticized.However, Turkey has not still been able to receive the necessary support from the Western countries even though it has taken measures on its own borderline and called for international cooperation since DAESH emerged.The same Western countries continue, at a full steam, providing arms and training aid to PYD/YPG forces in the field despite Turkey’s rightful objection. Last week, the US Congress allowed the provision of Stinger missiles known as man-portable air defense systems to PYD/YPG. If we remember that a similar missile of different origin was used by PKK to shot down a Turkish helicopter in the past months, it will be more easily understood what kind of threat is posed to Turkish helicopters and planes by these dangerous weapons which will be given to PYD/YPG.
Western Reaction which grows Ordinary
In 2016, hundreds of civilians and security forces were killed and thousands more wounded in Turkey only in the bomb attacks of PKK and DAESH, in addition to the armed attacks.Especially Europe’s hypocrisy over the attacks of PKK terrorist organization shows that Turkey is pushed alone in the fight against terrorism. Despite tens of provocations, European countries neglect the efforts of Turkey which wants to maintain peace and PKK’s opting for war instead of peace, through its acts against Turkey as of 22 July 2015 in the solution process. This shows what 'alliance' means for the Western countries.
Changing Characteristics of the Fight against Terrorism
Therefore, terror threat is no longer extraordinary for Turkey due to its geographical position and the Western hypocrisy. Nevertheless, Turkey must have a counter-terrorism policy which does not only cover its territory but also reaches beyond the borders. This has now started to become more concrete with the new security strategy.At this point, it should be significantly emphasized that Turkey does not have designs on the territory of any of its neighboring countries; it acts with the sole purpose of preventing the terrorist organizations which capitalize on the power vacuum that has emerged due to lack of powerful state authority in that territory and, while doing this, it observes the right of self-defense entitled to it in the international law.