It was a nightmare that now came true

 

NURAY MERT

 Only a few weeks ago, I was begging God to forbid a “domestic war on terror” (Daily News, August 1). Then came the war. In fact, there were many bad omens!

 Many democrats consoled themselves by thinking that increased nationalist discourse was just the result of the pragmatic policy of the governing party for the election campaign; as if election campaigns can be excused of nationalist populism and they can be regarded harmless. Moreover, many negative signals that the governing party gave, concerning its attitude towards the Kurdish problem, are spared of criticism and concern. Very few dared to question the possible implications when the prime minister stated that “there is no Kurdish problem but the problem of Kurdish citizens.”

 After the election, the governing party did not express any concern when the judiciary decided against freeing Kurdish MP’s who are currently under detention. When the Kurdish party protested the Parliament, they were rather cursed instead of trying to be convinced. Then came the talk of “war on terror” rather than promising more democracy for solving the Kurdish question. These were all bad omens that nobody wanted to discuss much.

 There is no doubt that bloody attacks of the PKK, which killed 13 soldiers in Silvan and 12 others in Hakkari, triggered the last military campaign against PKK camps in Northern Iraq. Nevertheless, only a few days before the Hakkari incident, the prime minister stated that “a big blow is coming by the end of the holy month of Ramadan.” Besides, the government, which introduced his plans to form special police units for the fight against terrorism, hinted there was a new understanding of the government concerning how to solve the Kurdish question. The PKK belligerency only enforced this “security first” approach which replaced “democracy first” long time ago. Meanwhile, the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or the CHP kept criticizing the government party, but failed to present any coherent alternative policy.

 Now, those who cannot agree on anything positive, are firmly united for the “war on terror.” In a very nationalist country like Turkey, it is no surprise. However, this unity does not promise any solution and almost all observers of Kurdish question agree on that point. But it is to no avail. Even the bad signs of increasing social tensions between the Kurds and Turks do not ring alarm bells for the politicians. On the contrary, the prime minister warned “all those who keep them close” referring to “the terrorists” but implying the Kurdish political movement all together. A newspaper which is close to the government published the photo of BDP politicians with the headline which reads, “You are the murderers.”

 I was worrying that “a domestic war on terror” will end our all hopes for more democratization. This government claims that, “many dreams came true in Turkey” during their terms. This is not my case; it is my nightmare which came true. But I will keep praying to overcome these troubled times anytime soon.