Skip to comments.Turkey : There can be no double-standard on the ism issue
Posted on 11/01/2002 9:24:40 PM PST by pkpjamestown
You either oppose all those who engage in acts of ism or you bow down to living with ism. You cannot say the Chechen ism is good. It would be useful to heed the Russian reaction in this respect
Russian Federation's Ambassador to Turkey A. Lebedev's reaction has been quite justified. The tone of the statement he made to the media, some of the words he used, were quite harsh. Obviously he was beside himself with anger.
As an experienced diplomat, he should be able to control his feelings.
Maybe he acted in this manner because he thought that he would not be able to attract public attention if he did not sound so tough.
Leaving aside the emotional nature of his reaction, the ambassador's words must indeed be taken into consideration.
Here is a brief summary of the points the ambassador of the Russian Federation underlined in his five-page message:
1. Part of the Turkish media have almost expressed support, even eulogized, the latest Chechen action in Moscow, rapping the Russian security forces. Does not that amount to having a double-standard?
2. Have not any civilians lost their lives in the course of the war waged against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) ism that has cost the lives of 30,000 Turks?
3. Was it not Turkey who asked Moscow not to provide moral support to the PKK in the 1990s? What is not Turkey who asked Moscow to expel the PKK's Abdullah Ocalan who had fled to Russia? Seeing how sensitized Turkey has been on this issue, Russia expelled Ocalan, has it not? Yet, certain circles in Turkey are supporting the Chechens in the war in many ways, don't they?
4. Can there be any difference between the PKK ism and the Chechen ism?
Turkey cannot support Chechen ism The argument made by the Russian ambassador is, basically, a logical one. ism cannot be supported for any ideology, any just cause, any religion. If you claimed that one ist action is justified and another is not, describing one ist as a freedom fighter and the other as a criminal, you would be cutting off the branch you are standing on.
If you acted in that manner, you would not be able to prevent other countries -- Russia, for example -- from supporting the PKK's ist activities.
Turkey's official policy does not go beyond keeping a distance from the Chechen action. Turkey toughens its stance only when it gets hurt by the actions of the Chechen activists.
This is because of the pressure exerted by our citizens of Chechen origin. These citizens make their presence felt in a widespread manner, even at the highest places in the armed forces. They provide all kinds of help to Chechnya to which they have an emotional attachment. They take part in the campaign by selling money, arms, even volunteers eager to fight.
Outside that group, there are also those who see the Chechen war as Islam's getting revenge. Though they are not of Chechen origin, they make a -- mostly moral -- contribution to the war effort.
Meanwhile, Ankara is getting more and more nervous, trying to keep these developments under control with an increasingly harder approach.
The Turkish media should definitely oppose the Chechen ism -- let alone expressing support for it. Yet, the media is winking at it. This is totally unacceptable. Seen from this perspective, the ambassador's statement is justified indeed.
Meanwhile, our Russian friends, in turn, should not have an adverse reaction to the way the Turkish media criticizes the operations staged by the Russian security forces.
Also, it should not be forgotten that if Turkey and Russia fail to take a joint stance on the ism issue, both countries will suffer from that. Maybe one of us will suffer more than the other one but, at the end of the day, both sides will be paying a price.
We must be wise and logical. We must not forget that we must keep our national interests in mind. And that cannot be achieved by eulogizing ism.
Everything is being left to the Copenhagen summit This is the latest craze, seen in recent weeks.
All issues related to Turkey-Europe relations are being tied to one another and the resolution of all these issues is being left to the European Union's Copenhagen summit.
Here is the latest state of the balance sheet:
* Turkey will have to be given a "date" for the inauguration of the accession talks.
* In Cyprus, the solution to emerge from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's package of proposals, will be given its final shape.
* The European Army problem too will be brought to a conclusion at the Copenhagen summit.
These three issues create a tangle, all of them interrelated.
If the EU gives Turkey a "date" it will be easier to solve the Cyprus and the European Army problems. We can work this equation from the opposite end as well. If Turkey offers a good solution to the Cyprus and the European Army problems, Turkey will be able to get a more "positive" reply from the EU regarding the "date".
We will see a lot of haggling.
A full plate, awaits the new government!
Has Turkey repealed the ban on T.V. broadcasting in Kurdish?
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