Is Turkey Becoming Pakistan While Syria Is Becoming Afghanistan? (Emre Güntekin)
In the tape released several days before the election, we have heard scandalous expressions about Syria by people on the head of the security units of the state. At the meeting held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hakan Fidan, the NSO consultant, told that they can set reason in order to cause warfare before elections, they can send some men to Syrian lands and route eight rockets to Turkey if necessary, or they can themselves can attack to the Tomb of Salomon Shah. In the shambles of election and along with the fact that Tayyip Erdoğan led the attention more to the spying that was made, this carelessness passed unnoticed. It is likely to be neglected. Moreover, it does not make sense any more because Erdoğan, in the balcony speech he made enthusiastically about his success in the elections, stated that we are at war with Syria. However, these words should be noted aside. The future shows at this very moment that AKP’s Syria policy will make Turkey encounter a serious threat.
Three months ago, again in Marxist Perspective, we drew up an article entitled as “Civil War in Syrian Civil War” and discussed the new configurations and polarizations between Islamist groups fighting against Esedian regime. Over elapsed three months, differentiation of Islamist guerrillas did not stop, contrarily, every passing time is gradually causing radicalized views to emerge, and those which are ideologically weak to vanish even from operational field. FSA has started the fight, been found very compatible with the West, and it has undergone a schism with the involvement of Al-Qaeda. Just then, the process is tried to be restated with the intervention of the international imperialist capitalist system, and this timesupport shifted toward Islamic Sects. The present situation shows that Iraq-Sham Islamic State (ISIS) has started to rule in the area.
In that we stated in the article published three months ago that Syria has become Afghanistan of the Middle East, it is not wrong to say that Turkey has started to become Pakistan. AKP power who has plumped for Islamic groups up to now has taken Turkey into an irreversible situation. Whether the war in Syria finishes or not, a war with uncertain future will await us. A short time ago, it created wide reactions that ISIS got control around the Tomb of Salomon Shah, which is 35 km inside the Syrian border and considered as land of Turkey. In the same period, there were attacks to gendarmerie in Niğde and some people that have been told to be ISIS members conflicted with the police in Ümraniye and these showed that danger is very close to us.
If there is something not known thoroughly about Al-Qaeda and its derivational Islamic elements, it is that they are infallible puppets of the West. Of course, in 1980s, support of the West was indisputable in the establishment of Al-Qaeda in the point that Afghan combatants were gained an organized identity against USSR invasion. But, at the present situation, while jihadist movements symbolized with Al-Qaeda has risen to a major position worldwide any more, the West has gradually lost the ability of cobtrol over them. Those who consider the issue in the perspective that they are over against a terrorist organization will face this reality: Due to the fact that they have serious historical background based on guerrilla wars they maintained for decades and sensational attacking experiences, on the other hand they are followers of an ideological action, especially their ability to broaden the sphere of influence on the Islamic geography they entered will make these facts have a voice on the Middle-East geography for a long time.
Possibilities For Turkey
It is gradually being impossible for Turkey to free at short date from structures such as Al-Qaeda to which they have they have opened doors up to now. Moreover, AKP power does not have such intension unless compelling situations emerge. Finally, they took it to a more serious point by providing active military support to TAF-made attacks to Syrian army in attacks of Islamic groups to Keseb, also by provocatively making the Syrian jet crash. In the international arena, Turkey’s opening doors to Islamic groups and converting their lands to the base for Syrian attacks raise serious questions. There is a limit to the steps Turkey can take in order to eliminate these question marks. For example, Turkey closed Cilvegözü and Öncüpınar border gates after the side of Al-Nusra captured Azez which is near Turkish border a short time ago. After that the Al-Nusra supporters threatened Turkey with serious attacks, In addition, although some operations were carried out to Al-Qaeda holes in Turkey in previous years, due to the fact that the organization had an autonomous network and the communication in it was at minimum level the operations had limited effect. It is necessary to point out that these operations were carried out just to make, with the pressure of the West about Syrian policy. It is such that Turkey has become Al-Qaeda’s only arm source. With the NIA lorries being caught, even the smallest doubts about this issue has dispersed.
We will not deal with the explicit support Turkey has given to Al-Qaeda; but the point we should focus on is how Turkey will get along with Al-Qaeda from now on. This is because apart from the fact that thousands of Jihadists going to the war in Syria riddled the Turkish borders, it is claimed that nearly 5600 Turks have been fighting for Syrian side. These groups will soon turn their course to Turkey. Ruşen Çakır catches the attention to this threat: We know many Turkey citizens have fighted in Jihad areas such as Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq and Syria for years, and some of them have become new “Selefians”. Even on condition that some of them decide to return, we may witness a powerful Selefian wave in Turkey. Well, do they return? It is possible if, for this or that reason, for example on condition that AKP loses its power, Turkey becomes to be considered a “jihad area”. (Vatan, March 11)
One of the most journalized topics in the international arena is the returning of jihadists gone to war in Syria especially from Europe. Between 2000-3000 warriors are known to be in Syria. These components are going through serious experiences of weapon usage, bomb preparation and personal attacking; also they are gaining area experience they can not find in any area. Turkey constitutes the main crossing point particularly from Europe.
The jihadist groups’ interest toward Turkey can be understood particularly from the operability of their website publishing in Turkish. In Turkey, conservatizing especially done by ruler party provide great facilities for Islamic sects. As Turkey withdraws itself and Erdoğan’s regime shifts to radical Sunni-Islamic view, transitivity from its own base to jihadist structures is increasing. Groups that provide logistic support to these groups (such as İHH) is growing strong with the help of ruler party.
There is a similar fault in history as the one Turkey does today. Pakistan has been hosting to Al-Qaida and Taliban for many years. Besides, Usame bin Ladin, leader of the organisation, was killed in this country with an operation that still bears doubts. Last year in October, HekimullahMesud, leader of Pakistan Taliban, died in an operation carried out with an unmanned aircraft. His predecessor Beytullah Mesud was also killed in an unmanned aircraft attack. This list extends. International leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zevahiri, is still in Pakistan. In short, doing away with the leadership is one of the weakest ways of impeding the progress of movement. In jihadist groups such as Al-Qaeda commanders show their presence as fighters do.
Radical Islamist passing to Pakistan from Europe and other parts of the world can take military training in camps run with cooperation of Al-Qaeda and Taliban. The organization’s forces in Pakistan can take part in Afghan operation when necessary. Although Pakistan State sometimes carries out operations against jihadist groups, this does not prevent the political inconsistency and internal conflicts. The last attack of Islamist groups occurred in September 28, 2013 in Peşaver. They raided a church at a ritual time and they massacred 28 people.
We also have a Peşaver now. The city’s name etymologically means “the city near the borderline.” It has an important role in Al-Qaeda transitivity between Afghanistan and Pakistan, just as Hatay. In USA’s Overseas Security Committee’s 2013 report it is explained as follows: “Theft, mugging, revenge and honour murders, political force, terrorist attacks, kidnapping, military operation and social chaos are most frequent events in both Peşaver and the northwest of Pakistan.
El-Qaeda and Taliban components and religious sect based armed local groups pose serious threat to overall Pakistan. Most parts of KP Estate (its capital is Peşaver) including FATA and Swat Valley is out of state control, and these provide a secure port for preparation for attacks and training to terrorists, radical groups and military sects.” Again similar to Hatay, ten thousands of Afghan refugees escaped from ongoing war in Afghanistan live in this town and constitute one of the human sources of Taliban.
It is controversial how much control the Turkish state has over the other cities in the border between Hatay and Syria. Up to yesterday, were complaining about the reckless force Islamic groups commit to them and their greed fed by the ruler party. The power’s response was to bring down peoples of Turkey to second-class citizen in their lands on a Sunni sectarianism basis and in the face of a war whose only aim is to bloody the Middle-East. This anger manifested itself in Gezi opposition and Hatay ranked the first of the places where the harshest conflict happened. It is not a coincidence that three killed men were from this region.
Until now, the power have tried to maintain a gambling which is apparent to be lost, and still they are decisive about binding the fault to both their and the people’s necks. With Turkey, Syria also fell into a war that is understood to be unfinished. Consider the example of Afghanistan, and adapt it to Syrian equation by changing the subject and object. One of the dangerous points for Turkey is encountering a loneliness in the middle of the war. The Western imperialist capitalists on USA preceeding which gives support to Islamic sects until now in order to overthrow Esad, has softened their presence on the area any more. However Turkey does not have such chance. It has already come to the irreversible point.
AKP power has brought Turkey down to a country running to strengthen the worldwide fire of wars. Only in Turkish land, nearly 100 people has compensated the ongoing war with Syria with their lives so far. Since the beginning of the war with Syria, hundred thousands of innocent people have died and hundred thousands have had to refuge to the neighbouring countries, Human beings do not have to compensate the ambition of a few greedy rulers with such a big deal.
AKP does not have a chance to save Turkey from the depression and chaos into which it has fallen. Contrarily, it has evolved to a power feeding on such environment. The only way against war and the system in which AKP has captured us is socialist revolution.
Çeviri: İlke Çeperli