Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Turkish Columnist on PM Erdogan's Hypocrisy: Why Does He Continue To Insist That the PKK Is Terrorist But Hamas Are Freedom Fighters?

In a two-part column titled "Recalling Terrorists and 'Lesser Terrorists,'" published October 25 and October 27 2011 in the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish columnist Burak Bekdil, referring to a column he wrote five years ago when Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, discussed the hypocrisy of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on "terrorism" – with one standard for the PKK and another for Hamas. Noting that Erdogan has consistently defined the PKK as "terrorist" and Hamas as a "freedom fighter," Bekdil said that he would "keep on reminding the prime minister and the foreign minister that if [Palestinian prisoners released in exchange deals] are not terrorists, no PKK member could or should be considered a terrorist."
The following is Bekdil's two-part column [1]
Part I, October 25, 2011
"The [Turkish] Prime Minister... Finally Spoke The Truth!... 'To Remain Silent (In the Face of Terror Attacks) Is To Approve (Terrorism)'"  
"The [Turkish] prime minister and his chief E.U. negotiator finally spoke the truth! As more large groups of coffins wrapped in the Crescent and Star kept arriving in various Turkish towns last week [following ongoing PKK attacks], Recep Tayyip Erdogan said something only a lunatic could object to: 'To remain silent (in the face of terror attacks) is to approve (terrorism)...'
"And Egemen Bagış complained that 'Some E.U. media (outlets) present the PKK (terrorists) as if they are freedom fighters. PKK is a terrorist organization. It is on the E.U. and U.S. lists of terrorist entities.'
"Right? Right. The only problem is that Messrs. Erdogan and Bagış are not behaving as they would expect others to behave."
"Erdogan Has Moved From [Claiming] 'PKK Is Terrorist, Hamas Is a Freedom Fighter' to 'PKK Is Terrorist, Hamas Is a Freedom Fighter, And We Accuse The West Of Hypocrisy'" 
"Five years ago, when the world's now most famous Israeli soldier had been kidnapped, Mr. Erdogan said that it was 'most natural' if Hamas asked for 'something' in return for the release of Gilad Shalit. Asking whether he would apply the same logic if a Turkish soldier were kidnapped by the PKK, I wrote in this column: 'Terrorists kill; "lesser terrorists" do not – they merely side with terrorists on the basis of common political/religious ideology or strategic interest.
'Lesser terrorists may be statesmen or common people. They may be scholars, politicians or even "peacemakers." They do not necessarily take up arms, but they feel a silent, pathetic contentment along ideological and/or pragmatist lines when "their comrades" tend to kill "their enemy." That's why they are not terrorists, but lesser terrorists. They do not kill; they are just ideological sadists' ('Terrorists and "lesser terrorists,"' Turkish Daily News, July 19, 2006)."
"After five years and hundreds of bodies scattered through Anatolian graveyards, I see that Mr. Erdogan has moved from [claiming that] 'PKK is terrorist and Hamas is a freedom fighter' to [claiming that] 'PKK is terrorist and Hamas is a freedom fighter and we accuse the West of hypocrisy.' By 2016, he may even add more glitter to his reasoning, and claim that 'PKK is terrorist and Hamas is a freedom fighter and anyone who thinks Hamas is terrorist is terrorist himself and we accuse the West and Israel of hypocrisy.'
"When Thousands Of Turks Were Mourning Their Own Dead Soldiers... Even Bigger Crowds Were Holding Funeral Prayers... For [Chechen Terror Commander] Shamil Basayev"
"Perhaps the problem is in the Turkish-Islamist thinking. In 2006, one certain day when thousands of Turks were mourning their own dead soldiers – a day exactly like last Friday – even bigger crowds, on exactly the same day, were holding funeral prayers in absentia in several Turkish cities for Shamil Basayev, the legendary commander of Chechen terrorists, who, among an assortment of others, was responsible for the Beslan massacre in which hundreds of Russian schoolchildren were killed.
"Why, really, do the Turks get offended when Kurds mourn the dead PKK men and declare them as their martyrs, like they themselves do for 'Chechen or Palestinian freedom fighters?' Is there no upper limit to this international theater of unpleasant hypocrisy? Lost in such childish thoughts and reading the hero's welcome for the Palestinian prisoners released in exchange for Mr. Shalit, I recalled one man, Samir Kuntar, who had been released in 2008 in exchange for the body of Ehud Goldwasser, one of the three Israeli soldiers abducted in 2006. Today Mr. Kuntar is a hero among Palestinians, other Arabs and possibly some Turks too.
"What made him a hero? He had killed an Israeli man in front of the man's four-year-old daughter and then killed the daughter by bashing her head in with his rifle. Hence, a hero Mr. Kuntar is.
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also a friend and brother of Mr. Erdogan, gave Mr. Kuntar a medal for 'supporting the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance.'"
read Part 2 here

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