Managing terror and mass psychology

A few days ago Milliyet daily writer Taha Akyol wrote, "If a portion of Turkey becomes Kurdistan, the other part will completely be Turkistan." This view expressed a certain reality.
Let me put it more clearly.

If the remaining part of the country is "Turkistan," that means Kurds will not have the right to live anywhere other than places in the Southeast, where the Kurdish population is in the majority.

This is a baffling and disastrous scenario and should not even cross the mind of any Turk or Kurd who considers him/herself a "child of this nation."

Do not forget that not even half of the Kurds in Turkey want "separatism." The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which implements ethnic discrimination in the mountains with weapons and in the plains through the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), never obtained the power to represent the Kurds in this country. However, the PKK has managed to politicize the Kurdish problem and make a portion of the Kurdish population the subject of this politicization.

But we should not forget that there are more Kurds in this country than those who have sympathy for the PKK and who vote for the BDP. The election results are proof of this. If you look around, you can see much more evidence of this. There are millions of Kurds who have not and do not support separatism, and who embrace Turkey as it is. These are Turkish citizen Kurds who realize the "trap" that is being set up for Turkey. No one can ignore them.

These Kurds are the guarantee that we do and we will live together in peace.

In this respect, the "mass demonstration" and the "outbursts" in İnegöl and Dörtyol were very harmful.

"Angry crowds" tend to take actions that always lead to regret later on. The PKK cannot reach its goals by killing four police officers in Dörtyol, but it can reach its goal through "angry crowds."

We can understand the anger of those who head into the streets and shout "Damn the PKK." But what about the frenzy afterward, the damage and destruction to property, and the attempt to treat all Kurds as PKK militants?

Who and in what way can explain to these enraged crowds that those four police officers were killed for this very reason, so that people take to the streets and cause unrest.

We would expect the nation to know at least that much after all that it has experienced. But that's not how it works. Controlling "mass psychology" is not the Dörtyol chief of police's job. We cannot leave it up to him.

Despite the PKK's continuous provocations, Turks and Kurds have not shed blood for several years. This is clear proof of the strong bond between the two. But the institution called the "state" should not leave such a crucial issue at the discretion of the masses. We have not seen a "state mind" have a role in the "mass psychology" of counterterrorism efforts.

What we have before us is an organization that is truly struggling to stay alive, and its only concern is maintaining its own existence. The only card left up its sleeve is "carrying out activities that will cause a stir." The sounds coming from İnegöl and Dörtyol are the sounds the organization wants to hear.

We see that the PKK is able to play with the public's psychology in any way it wants. By making a move at the right place and at the right time, it is able to get the result it wants over the media.

We don't even know if the state has a unit that deals with this aspect of the issue. Even if it does, it is obvious that it is not being very successful.

Contrary to what many think, the fight against the PKK is going well. That is why the organization is going mad. But it is hard to marginalize it at a time when it can mobilize the public so easily. If National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan focused a little on this aspect of the issue, there would be a countless number of benefits.

As you know, "intelligence" also means being intelligent.

31 July 2010, Saturday