Sunday, November 11, 2007

Being a hostage and being stabbeb in the back

While in the whole world, your countrymen are ‘with you’ when they take you hostage, here in Turkey is that a different case.

On the 21th of October, 8 Turkish soldiers were taken hostage by the PKK. Earlier this week they were released. And then the problems started.
"No member of the Turkish armed forces should have found themselves in such a situation," the Turkish Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin began. "As a Turkish citizen I cannot accept the fact that they went with the terrorists (...) that night. Our soldier is prepared to die if necessary when he is protecting the country."

Comments left on the web page of Hurriyet, Turkey's most widely-read bourgeois newspaper, suggest precisely the same:
"Shame, shame, what shame! Eight weak soldiers. I wish they had stood and fought and become martyrs," reads one typical entry.
"What were they doing when their comrades were martyred beside them? If I were them I would be unable to look anyone in the face after this," says another.

Does Turkey want more killings? More blood?

Fortunate some read more into the near-silence;
"The reflex of the mainstream press here is to turn a blind eye to anything they see as humiliating to national pride," explains Burak Bekdil, of the Turkish Daily News.
"The military did not want this debated in public, because people had already started asking questions about how the hell it happened," says respected columnist Mehmet Ali Birand.
"Something went dreadfully wrong for the soldiers to be taken by the PKK - and that reflects badly on the Turkish military," he says. "The media played it down on purpose."


Gen. Büyükanıt - as usual the only one who knows what communication means - in his position as the Chief of Staff of the Turkish army says: 'accusations against eight soldiers released by PKK terrorist was inappropriate.' And regarding sensationalist coverage by the Turkish media of the funerals of martyrs, the top general said that showing grieving families repeatedly was making him feel very bad as well and upsetting the psychology of society as a whole inappropriate.

It looks like that the Turkish public wants soldiers dead instead of being taken hostage...
I simply don't understand this whole 'pride' thing. In fact all prisoners of war are traitors, in the mind of some Turkish people...how sad.
It is mission impossible to strenghten Turkey's imago abroad.

8 comments:

Tamar K. said...

Interesting to bring all these facts together. Its indeed a scary atmosphere sometimes here in Istanbul.

mirdifderya said...

To answer your question Hans: I don't know how true is the information below but very interesting, you wonder why they went with PKK terorist group by themselves.:(?

1 - Ramazan Yüce / Dtp Mardin Youth Groups
2 - İrfan Beyaz / Antep DTP Head of the Youth groups
3 - Fuat Başoda / Konya - Cihanbeyli - DTP Youth groups
4 - İlhami Demir / Ağrı - Patnos DTP Youth groups
5 - Halis Tan / Adana DTP Youth groups
6 - Özhan Şabanoğlu / Hatay DTP Youth groups
7 - Mehmet Şenkul / Niğde - Çavuş /still investigating
8 - Fatih Atakul / Denizli / still investigating

Hans said...

Derya,
I rely on your general..))
Is DTP now also undeer scrutiny?
This problem can never be solved by bullets...
regards

Metin said...

I never liked this 'Buyukanit' guy . . .

He's the stereotypical 'aging' general of the 'mighty' military, the 'protector' of secularism, at the expense of freedom of tanks rolling on the streets . . .

Maybe someone needs to tell this guy yo watch what he says, as it does impact the Turkish stock market . . .

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

metin, as i like him, then you must know how i think about tr politics and the bourgouis media..)
are there any intelectuals in this country, besides makol burakberdil muratyektin cengizaktar? is that all..))

Anonymous said...

The reason of Turkish people's reaction is not because they have surrendered, but because some of them (especially Ramazan) talked to PKK cameras as if they are PKK militants. And maybe you would say that they were under pressure, but not, they seemed very sincere about their words.

Today, the military investigation is over and some of them are detained. It is clear that some of them are PKK collaborators and maybe they even killed their own brothers-in-arms while PKK ambushed that day... Kidnapping was probably a plot. We'll see...

Metin said...

Maybe the 'image' of perception is more real than the 'perception' of the image . . .

The 'almighty' Turkish soldier . . .

Hans said...

A.
i think 'national pride' is at stake...and then again: all kind of conspiracy theories. If these soldiers were PKK, why were they being happy to be released?
Its a media scam...