Turkey’s war on terrorism
The Gaza Post|The News of Palestine-Ankara
Turkey at present has a busy agenda and it is trying to deal with a number of problems through democratic reforms, investment moves, and foreign policy changes.
Trying to respond to such an intensive agenda, the country’s political and administrative leadership might have fallen behind in recognizing the perception management activities and initiatives carried out against the Turkish State and its national and international political prestige.
Thus, it is necessary to analyze the magnitude and influence of the political campaigns undertaken by three major terrorist organizations, namely the PKK, Daesh and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), all of which intend to defame Turkey’s political image in the international arena.
As is well known, two years ago, Turkey was accused of supporting Daesh. Such propaganda was disseminated by the PKK and FETÖ. Unaware of what impact such a repugnant anti-Turkish campaign would have on international public opinion, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was slow to respond.
Yet such diplomatic tardiness has been compensated with direct action. Almost a year ago, Turkey waged a direct war against Daesh and completely defeated the group in northern Syria. Though Turkey’s success on the battlefield was met with a series of revenge terrorist attacks in Ankara and Istanbul, it has proved the propaganda not only absurd but also shameful.
All three terrorist groups have but one common enemy, Turkey. The terrorist attacks by Daesh, the attempted coup orchestrated by FETÖ, and the atrocities of the PKK, which has coldheartedly abandoned the Peace Process for the sake of regional opportunities, were all aimed at weakening Turkey.
In 2015, the Turkish State effectively pacified the PKK’s terrorist activism and repelled Daesh from its borders through a series of rapid military victories.
On the other hand, the July 15 attempted coup by FETÖ failed thanks to the democratic indignation of the Turkish people. The terrorist group’s position has since been successfully resisted in each and every public institution.
Now, Turkey is faced with its greatest challenge, making sure its democratic system operates efficiently and is constantly improved while continuing its war against terrorism. At the same time, the state should guarantee the democratic rights and freedoms of the people and work to enhance their material prosperity. Thus, without violating democratic procedures and customs, Turkey must, therefore, continue its war on terror.
Although European states are undergoing a similar struggle, their political attitude towards Turkey’s war against terrorism remains obscure and prejudiced. Their sympathy appears to be not with Turkey, which has also been an eager candidate for the European Union, but with terrorist organizations. Europe has never been so far away from democratic values.
Today, we are experiencing an erosion of Western values, as Western states fail to respond to the challenges faced by democracy. Their sympathy for a global terrorist organization like FETÖ, which attempted to overthrow Turkey’s democratically elected government, and the PKK, which murdered almost 30,000 civilians over the last three decades, is nothing but outrageous.
In order to fight disinformation and propaganda, Turkey has to express itself not only through the usual diplomatic channels, but also with lobbying activities through the Turkish media, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Directorate General of Press and Information. Apart from the conventional means of communication, Turkey also needs to use social media as an effective tool to advocate its cause. As long as we are right, our voice will eventually be heard.