Starting the defense of Anatolia from Syria

By: Ibrahim Karagül*

– Turkey did not initiate any war; a war was waged on Turkey. Operation “Euphrates Shield” is a defense that started from Jarabulus.

July 15 was the main frame of this war. Turkey was going to be struck in the heart by the hand of Fetullah Gülen and his terrorists. It was going to be surrounded and sieged from the south by Daesh and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) Syrian wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The war’s south front was being driven through Daesh and the PKK. A very big trap was set for Turkey.

The state mind was going to be paralyzed, occupied, weakened and dragged into infightings to achieve their goal. Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) cryptos that constitute the main attack force and the PKKY/PYD cryptos driving the siege in the south were all the attack’s central forces on the inside.

Turkey is not intervening in Syria, it is trying to take measures for attacks targeting their lands. It is conducting a defense operation against these aggressive forces that are using Syrian territory as their main base. The Jarabulus operation is a defense operation. It is a legitimate defense operation that aims to protect Syria’s territorial integrity and prioritizes the prevention of an anti-Turkey front being established along the hundreds of kilometers long border.

Starting the defense of Anatolia from Syria

It is an effort aimed at taking the terrorism card away from those who are attacking Turkey through a terrorist organization. It is hitting those who are planning to carry the war into Turkey and making attacks aimed at achieving this at their home.

Starting the country’s defense not at its own borders but at the source of the threat, is an attempt to install the defense shield there. Every country knows that if, in such a situation, you establish your defense on your own border, it is impossible to prevent that war from spreading all the way inside the country.

While for years all kinds of terrorism and violence came from this region, attacks that go very much beyond terrorism were being conducted from this area, and aggressive groups were openly declaring they would be starting a civil war in Turkey. We realize only now that the plan to stop everything on our borders is actually another trap.

Only now do we see that the North Syria Corridor is a dangerous occupation tactic as the July 15 attack. We are only recently coming to realize the kind of duty assumed by PKK/PYD cryptos right here.

What; should we have surrendered?

No country that sees that such a large-scale threat is targeting itself, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, social solidarity, can keep quiet. There is no such country or state in the world acting like this, nor could any such country or state. If any, then it has long lost its state characteristic. Hence, Turkey cannot be held responsible or accused in the Jarabulus operation, in this attempt at self-defense, through the media and weakening operations carried out both within and on the outside.

What should we have done?

Wait for the threat to spread into the country, step-by-step? Wait for ethnic and sectarian clashes to start within Turkey? Wait for Gülen and his terrorists to achieve their July 15 objective? Wait for the PKK to close off Turkey’s entire southern border and sever the country’s entire ties with the Muslim world? Wait after this stretch is closed off for the war to hit the country at full strength?

What should we have done?

Sought refuge in the mercy of those who assigned death to us, who made destruction plans against our country? Wait for the application of the maps aimed at destroying Syria and then Turkey?

Those who want this, who are imposing that we keep quiet and just watch what is happening, those who are planning for the Jarabulus operation to end through manipulation and promises before it achieves its aim, are openly telling us to “surrender.”

New ‘July 15s’

On July 15 they had said, “Surrender,” but we did not surrender. While planning the North Syria Corridor, they had assumed we would surrender, again, we are not surrendering. Leaving the Syrian border to FETÖ’s commissioned officers was a part of this plan to take the country. FETÖ’s commissioned officers were not the only ones who prevented the intervention on the PKK/PYD for years. The PYD cryptos within the state were also involved. They were doing this together.

Those who planned the July 15 coup and civil war and those who closed in from the south and sieged the country through the PKK were one and the same. If we evaded the multinational July 15 intervention, we had to evade this too, we had to spoil this game as well. Otherwise, new July 15s would be unavoidable.

FETÖ-PKK are working together

The internal invader group FETÖ has been somewhat weakened. But the PKK/PYD cryptos, which are the other internal invader organizations, are still playing this role. Through 1,001 games, they are trying to negate Turkey’s most effective self-defense attempt since the Cyprus intervention.

Don’t forget, the PKK/PYD circles knew about the July 15 plan, they were involved. Because they were part of the same plan. How quick did we forget the “Do not attack the soldiers on July 15″ instruction? Even if we did not have such tangible evidence, when you put all the pieces together, the entire picture becomes clear and obvious.

Syria is not a ‘quagmire’

The mission assigned to Gülen, FETÖ and the mission assigned to the PKK and PYD to divide and destroy this country are the same. One attacked from the center, the other from the south – and they are continuing to attack. The only thing surprising them and their bosses is Turkey’s “shock interventions” both inside and outside.

Those who are saying, “Turkey is being dragged into a quagmire in Syria,” are the ones who have distracted Turkey for years, who want to continue to distract it, who have turned the south of the border into a quagmire and are aiming to carry that quagmire into Turkey. After realizing with the last operation that they would not be able to carry that quagmire into the country, they are now trying to threaten through this means and attempting to poison the public.

The ethnic conflict lie

Nobody should try and sell off this operation as an ethnic war. Just as the shock operations targeting the PKK in Silopi and Cizre are not ethnic, the interventions on the PKK/PYD on Syrian lands have no ethnic side to them either.

As Turkey does not become anti-Turk for purging FETÖ from Turkey and anti-Arab for intervening in Daesh, intervening in the PKK/PYD – another front of the same threat – cannot be presented as ethnic hostility. Such a thing will never happen. Hence, such barking no longer has any takers. Turkey is the country most distant to the ethnicity- and sect-oriented view in the region.

Geopolitical showdown: Who has the maps?

This is the biggest geopolitical struggle, the roughest clash of powers in the region after World War I. It should be known well who is on what side in this struggle and it should be decided correctly who will choose which front. Those who side with the ones making regional invasion, regional war, and regional chaos calculations in this great showdown are one of them. They are foreign threats and will always be considered as this by the ancient communities of the region.

Turkey has never been concerned about taking land from Syria. But those who have been planning to attack Turkey there have always had a map in their hands. The clashes today are being shaped according to those maps. If you look at the map of the PYD and Daesh’s spreading, you will see that they are maps drawn at the headquarters of global bosses.

That area belongs to Syria, not to Daesh or PKK

This is why Turkey should never hesitate to receive the source of the threat along its entire southern border on Syrian territory and should not retract its steps. A Daesh-free and PKK/PYD-free zone should be formed along the entire southern border. Otherwise, we are going to be in a more critical position a year later.

Syria’s territorial integrity is essential. Once the war is over and a solution is reached, these regions will be left to be controlled by Syria’s central administration. No local or foreign willpower, apart from Syria’s common willpower and its central administration, should be allowed to establish control in these regions. Therefore, the Syrian issue must be resolved at once.

The moment Syria’s north is taken by other powers, the moment that map is completed, Syria will not be the only country destroyed. Plans to destroy Turkey will also be immediately put into action. When that time comes, we will not have the chance to form a defense shield like we do today.

Both FETÖ and PKK/PYD are outside threats for us

Our nation, state mind, history are not shallow enough to see the region through an organization mentality. Nobody should expect such lack of insight from Turkey. The Jarabulus operation is a geopolitical intervention; it is a struggle to protect Syria and Turkey.

Just as FETÖ’s coup attempt was negated, so will the PKK/PYD’s map plans. Just as FETÖ waged a war on Turkey, the PKK/PYD is the hitman of a global-scale attack on Turkey and the region. It is an outside threat; it is the enemy of all Muslim nations living in the region.

Radical decisions are necessary for a solution

The Jarabulus operation will make it difficult to reach a solution in Syria. Just as the intervention and cleansing the region of terrorism is critical, taking radical decisions to reach a solution early is just as critical. The pains suffered by the people of Syria have long exceeded tolerable levels.

This country should not be allowed to fall prey to multinational looters and their hitmen. A new regional initiative should be created; decisions should be taken without looking back to the past, even if painful, and the parties to the solution should be the region’s countries. I repeat, the operation that started with Jarabulus should not be turned into an opportunity to make this solution burdensome.

*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 Monday, August 29, 2016)