Since Friday, the Turkish Armed Forces have stepped up cross-border operations, with ground forces entering Northern Iraq. In combined air and ground strikes, the army is hoping to destroy the bases of the Kurdistan Workersâ€™ Party (PKK).
Violence breeds violenceÂ
The pro-Kurdish Firat News Agency has cited the â€œKurdish youth organisationâ€ KomalÃªn Ciwan as calling on young Kurds to â€œturn Turkish metropoles into hellâ€ in reaction to the cross-border operations.
Politicians of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) have reacted both to the military operations and the Kurdish call to violence.
Osman Ã–zcelik, DTP MP for Siirt in the southeast of Turkey, said:
â€œWe find it wrong to bring violence to the cities after these operations. There is such a danger, and we do not approve. But if you push a cat into a corner, it will scratch you. Violence breeds violence. We believe that democratic, peaceful, civilian protests can stop the war.â€
Ã–zcelik: Operations in the past have not solved anythingÂ
In October 2007, the DTP opposed the bill in parliament which gave permission for cross-border operations. Ã–zcelik said: â€œMany operations have been carried out in the past, and we said that they did not bring any results. Social problems cannot be solved with violence. The Kurdish issue in Turkey could be solved with our formula of democratic autonomy.â€
â€œThe violence is daily decreasing the sense of citizenship and sense of belonging which Kurds feel, although they are a part of this country. In Kosovo, there are 35,000 Turks, and Turkish has been declared the third official language. Our Prime Minister does not even acknowledge the existence of Kurds or the Kurdish language.â€
Birdal: Pluralist constitution is the solution
Akin Birdal, DTP MP for Diyarbakir in the southeast of Turkey, also warned against bringing violence to the cities:
â€œNothing that will lead to violence and provocations should be tried. The only option should be looking for a democratic solution because we have to live together. A democratic constitution which offers compromise and a pluralist understanding in which every section of society sees itself reflected is the solution to the problem.â€
Operations a smokescreen for domestic issues
Birdal also spoke out against the military operations, calling them â€œa violation of international lawâ€:
â€œOperations injure the hope for and expectation of peaceful coexistence of peoples. They extend Turkeyâ€™s basic problems and manipulate them. [â€¦] These operations are aimed at hiding Turkeyâ€™s realities, such as the social security law, the privatisation of the Tekel factory, the deaths in the Tuzla shipyards, Article 301 and the ultranationalist Ergenekon gang.â€
Mainstream media is misleading the public
Meanwhile journalist and writer Tanju Akad has criticised the mainstream media for misinforming the public about the military operations.
Speaking to bianet, Akad said: â€œThe media is not reporting. They are just talking about a few photographs. There is no real information about the operations, just a few photographs taken from a distance.â€
Akad accuses the mainstream media of filtering information and misleading the public:
â€œThe media have agreed on the expression â€˜last convulsionsâ€™ when they speak about the PKK. You look a year later and see the same expression. First of all it needs to be acknowledged that the PKK problem will never disappear. There is no military or political solution for a problem which has been going on for 24 years. The media should not talk about an â€˜endâ€™.â€
For Akad, the aim of the military operations is to prevent the PKK from making spring preparations. In order to reorganise, the PKK will have to withdraw. (NZ/EZÃ–/TK/AG)
Ä°stanbul – BÄ±a news centre