"PKK is not something that can be finished with one person's decision, or Öcalan's decision, or the Chief of General Staff's decision."
~ Avni Özgürel.
~ Avni Özgürel.
Today, Land Forces Commander Işık Koşaner firmly denied any mistakes by TSK during HPG's Aktütün (Bezele) operation. If TSK's perfect operational performance resulted in the deaths of 62 Turkish soldiers, then you have to ask yourself how good it would be for HPG if TSK really screwed things up.
Not everyone agrees with the paşas' self-serving analysis, however. Last week Taraf interviewed Avni Özgürel, a Turkish researcher who has written books on Turkish political history, "terrorism", and the Kurdish question, after some analysis he had made about the Aktütün (Bezele) operation. Here's some of the information from that interview:
Başbuğ knows what happened at Aktütün
According to Avni Özgürel it is impossible for Başbuğ not to know the real dimensions of Aktütün and those responsible. The anger that he reflected actually is against his own ranks.
Aktütün must render an account--Avni Özgürel, who was interviewed by Neşe Düzel, talked very clearly while evaluating the Aktütün incident: Either we received all the intelligence but failed the required protection or the intelligence might have been received but we didn't give it any credence. In either situation the responsible ones must be taken before the court, otherwise the situation is hopeless.
They fear that PKK will end--"There is also a dimension of 'what if terror ends'" said Özgürel; and he thinks the policy of terrorism enables one to control politics. Terror creates an enormous amount of profit. PKK is not a job that can be finished by only one person's decision, the profit is big. In this country, they transported narcotics even with official escorts.
Öcalan must intervene for a solution--PKK is, by and large, under Öcalan's control. There must be a formula for a solution of which Öcalan can convince his supporters. The İmralı era must end. The execution law is available for this, including the constitution--the text that disturbs the Kurds--must be rewritten. The phrase, "Turks and Kurds are like fingernail and flesh," must be reflected in the law.
Can the Kurdish question be solved? Yes--The intelligence units talked to Öcalan anyway. They have searched for an answer to the question, "Can the Kurdish Question be solved?" and the answer was revealed as "Yes, it can be solved". Both soldiers and intelligence know this situation. In Turkey this question certainly must be solved. Kurdish nationalism is at very dangerous levels. Otherwise, the state may be divided.
From the interview itself:
ND: In spite of the intelligence report and the information and warnings received, why were the required precautions not taken?
AÖ: There is a problem in the mechanism of the armed forces. It is always a minus score in a commander's promotion to have casualties in a clash. For that reason, in the armed forces, everyone conveys responsibility to one's higher rank and when the highest one goes to play golf, the mechanism just stops. Whereas, according to the troop's statements, reinforcements arrived after eight hours.
ND: Can't the incidents that occured in Aktütün be explained with this?
AÖ: This is a factor. It is known that PKK was preparing for this attack for one month. They had planted mines along the routes leading to Aktütün village. This means the garrison had been seized from four sides and, moreover, this fact is not being denied. Because right after the incident it was said, "the intelligence we received from the US is perfect. We have no lack of intelligence." However, there is this situation: the intelligence is not being collected for memories. The intelligence is gathered for evaluation.
ND: Actually, I'm asking exactly this: Why then, despite the whole intelligence, the required precautions were not taken?
AÖ: In this job there is also the dimension of "what if terror ends?" Let me give you an example from Fatih. Fatih goes to Albania and gets defeated. And when he investigates what happened, he finds out that the commanders thought that if they win this war, the sultan would no longer need them. For that reason, they just retreated from the front. Today in Turkey, PKK is a cause of several things for security units.
ND: It's a cause of what, for example?
AÖ: Terror is something that enables you to control politics. This was so in the US, too. It was because the US could not generate a political decision, that they could not end the Vietnam War for a long time. Everyone knew to get out of Vietnam but the war was such an enormous economic benefit that if Vietnam ended, their enormous benefits would end.
ND: Is terror still a source of a huge amount of profit in Turkey?
AÖ: Yes, very. [Because] it is so big that enables this problem not to be finished. Years ago in Damascus, when I had an interview with Öcalan. Öcalan told me, "If I finish this, they are going to finish me." PKK is not something that can be finished with one person's decision, or Öcalan's decision, or the Chief of General Staff's decision. This job has the arms sellers, politicians, military and security units and their associations, and it is similar for PKK. PKK also has televisions and representatives abroad. There, there is money that they cut from each Kurd from their salaries for this. There is something for everyone that cannot be finished because it is that profitable. Do you know how much each rocket costs that is used in aerial strikes? And there is also a dimension of drug-trafficking. In the past in Turkey there were people at the level of professors in universities saying, "In the US they're financing anti-terrorism through drug-trafficking; we also must do that," and they wrote such reports.
Part 2 tomorrow.