BY: İbrahim Karagül*
How much were we able to understand this change?
Forming military camps in Mosul and around it, the Bashiqa military base, intervening into Syria with the Euphrates Shield and efforts to establish military bases in many countries besides these had already given the signs of the kind of security strategy Turkey was going to apply from now on.
Wherever the threat, it will be hit there
Yet the statements he made at the Religious Council yesterday drew the picture of new Turkey’s new security concept. Turkey is no longer going to receive any threat on the inside; it is going to hit it at the source of the threat. In other words, Turkey’s defense would start not on the inside or on the border, but in the lands where the threat is coming from.
There is a need for a comprehensive analysis, questioning or encouragement on how we got here, what changed, what kind of geography reality pushed us here, what the role of the July 15 attack is in this deep change.
On July 15, an attack never before witnessed in the history of the Republic happened. We faced a kind of terror we had never experienced in Turkey. Beyond being open terrorism, it was served as a multinational attack, through a group on the inside. Turkey, whose political history is filled with coups, faced a truth outside the coup on July 15.
Turkey’s self-defense cannot be left to allies
This truth is a direct attack. It is a new generation type of attack that cannot in any way be discussed with coup in the strict sense and has never been tried before. A networked structure that has permeated all the way to the state’s nerve endings attacked Turkey with the instruction and control of the U.S. and European intelligence agencies, trying to make it kneel and trap it in the U.S.’s axis. It has revealed that if it cannot achieve this, the civil war option will be activated in the next step.
This is an extremely severe trauma for Turkey. In such a situation, every country would start its own self-defense and struggle for existence and it will never assign this struggle to its alliance circles. This is impossible for Turkey, because the attack came from its alliance circles and allies. All elements used after the attack have been taken under protection by U.S. intelligence. This picture is very painful and Turkey is obliged to take excruciating decisions.
They played with the state mind
We actually had a truth known well in advance: Our allied, namely the West bloc, was redesigning the geography and when doing this, it determined Turkey as a country to be designed as well; while redrawing the maps of Syria and Iraq, it was also trying to redraw Turkey’s map. However, the partnerships on the inside were so strong that this dire photograph was being hidden very skillfully, the state mind was being played and public opinions were being managed. This was a joint operation. The Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the liberal/pro-West circle on the inside had together managed to hide this truth until today.
Yet, July 15 revealed the entire naked truth. Even the coalition in question would no longer be able to hide this. We were being hit by the pro-Atlantic circle. They had attempted to finish what they failed with the Gezi incidents and the Dec. 17 coup attempt with a bloody plot on July 15. Certain minor circles of the obvious coalition still managed to hide themselves, but they had now fallen from the power to manage the public opinion.
It’s a heavy burden, but also the only real defense shield
Turkey was experiencing the shock of seeing its own truths. Of course, FETÖ was not the only issue, but they were the backbone of it. Two fronts formed: Those standing shoulder-to-shoulder to defend the homeland and those setting up one game after another to trap Turkey within the U.S.-Europe axis.
This differentiation became clear on July 15. The burden of seeing the truth is heavy. But seeing the truth is the strongest defense shield.
Hence, the price of the July 15 attack will be paid in the heaviest way. Those who planned that multinational attack, those who controlled it and especially the groups that were used in the attack will not be able to escape the responsibility of this bloody war waged against our nation and country.
If the attack that was started by Gülen’s terrorists was not repelled that night, PKK and Democratic Union Party (PYD) elements would have been activated on July 16. And we were going to face a state of war. Then there is a war waged against Turkey. If there is such a war, then whatever is necessary will be done. Nobody should try to muddy the waters and hide these truths.
The way to winning the century
If this country is going to be one of the powerful countries of the 21st century, all elements of war on the inside should be cleared and will be cleared. If this country wants to negate the disaster scenarios surrounding the region and targeting it, it is also obliged to clean outside its border. While doing this, the source of the threat will be the main target. Those trying to turn Syrian and Iraqi borders into open fronts against Turkey will be the targets. While they say open war, our perception of this as a security problem will be a grave mistake.
The fight against terrorism argument is no longer enough to explain the developments. What is happening is not terrorism or counterterrorism, it is the reflections of a state of open war. Because all of these organizations are under state control and the states are hitting Turkey through these organizations. Then the defense concept must be redefined by taking into consideration these new facts.
If Turkey makes do with being occupied by terrorism on the inside, it will lose this century. But, if Turkey directly intervenes in the source of the threat like it did with the Euphrates Shield, then it will be the victor of the century. Nobody should try to hide these truths with fusses that “we are being dragged into war.” If this is not done, the war is going to come all the way to our homes anyway. All indications are pointing in this direction.
It will not be limited to the Euphrates Shield
What did Erdoğan say in his speech yesterday?
Some countries are going to come from thousands of kilometers away and conduct operations and we won’t be able to intervene in the danger in Syria and Iraq. We will never accept such twistedness. We do not need permission from anybody and do not plan to get it either. The majority of countries saying that they are fighting against terror in Iraq and Syria have other things in mind. This will no longer be our strategy in fighting terrorism nor our strategy on the inside. We are going to pursue the fight against terrorism with more different strategies.
Stressing that our view of the Mosul operation is going to be the same as the Jarabulus operation, that Turkey is going to go on its own way, that the Turkish Army will not take instructions from anybody, Erdoğan outlined the new defense concept. This means that the beyond the border interventions will not stop with the Euphrates Shield, will not be limited to Syria alone, the east of the Euphrates Shield will also be targeted and from now on, the fight against terrorism will mostly continue on Iraqi territory.
The terror corridor that was desired to be built in northern Syria was intervened by the Euphrates Shield. The terror front to hit Turkey is being hit and will be hit on Syrian territory. There will perhaps be new interventions from Tal Abyad or other regions.
The terror corridor will be negated
The U.S. wants to form the same corridor plan in Syria also on Iraqi territory through the PKK. Then it means a Euphrates Shield intervention will take place in Iraq too. A plan is being made along the Mediterranean-Iran stretch to siege Turkey and Turkey is trying to break this siege. It has no other choice either; the cost of neglect or delay in this regard will be deadly.
Baghdad does not have the country’s sovereignty. It has no presence in the north of the country. If it claims it does, it must stop the terror hitting Turkey from that region. If it cannot stop it, then it is not a sovereign country. If it is not stopping it, then it means it is hitting Turkey and this, under normal circumstances, is reason for war.
A Turkey corridor from the Mediterranean to the Iranian border necessary
The new defense concept is being focused on outside the border; the defense shield will be established outside our borders. It is impossible to fight terrorism before destroying the threat at its origin. Turkey is turning from a 40-year mistake and taking defense measures in the real sense.
Then a continuous buffer zone should be formed from the Mediterranean to the Iraqi border. This is the only way Syrian and Iraqi territories can be prevented from becoming attack bases against Turkey. The Mosul-Aleppo line is our defense line. A Turkey that is not present in Mosul and Aleppo will not be able to protect itself. The war will be spread into Turkey. The only way to prevent this is to respond to those making anti-Turkey corridor plans along the Mediterranean-Iran line is with our own corridor plan.
July 15 has shown us this truth. President Erdoğan’s speech yesterday has also highlighted this truth. The words of those who have suggested that we show humility and wait for the threat, the disaster to hit us at home, no longer have any weight. The era of those who impose this as the right attitude, thought and policy, those who threaten from the outside and give ideas on the inside, the know-it-alls, those who give useless advice by talking big and using fancy words has closed.
*Ibrahim Karagül is a Turkish writer and journalist. He is the editor-in-chief of Turkish Yeni Şafak newspaper.
(Published in Yeni Şafak Turkish newspaper on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2016)