Sarıkamış, Çanakkale, Al-Bab

Aydın ÜnalBy: Aydın Ünal*

One-hundred-and-two years ago today, on Dec. 26, 1914, it was understood that the Sarıkamış Operation would be unsuccessful, thus the course of the war was changed. Russian Commander Maslofski says, “The Turks nearly succeeded.” Enver Pasha’s overhastiness and Hafız Hakkı Pasha’s greed caused the Ottoman soldiers to freeze to death in the Allahu Ekber Mountains. Enver Pasha wanted Sarıkamış to be taken with the order he gave on Dec. 25, but on Dec. 26, instead of an army, there were only pale, desperate, weak soldiers. After this date, the Russians fortified their forces further.

Enver Pasha’s aim was not to take over a small town like Sarıkamış. In a secret telegraph he sent to the army headquarters, he expressed that he wanted to stop the Russians, move in to Iran, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Turkestan, Afghanistan and give all the Muslims in the geography their independence. It did not happen.

After returning to Istanbul from the unsuccessful Sarıkamış Operation, Enver Pasha forbid everyone from speaking or writing about the incident. The first article series that explained Sarıkamış and openly swore at Enver Pasha for his failure was published seven years later in 1921 in the Akşam newspaper under Şerif İlden’s signature. The aim is not to explain Sarıkamış, the aim is to discredit and hamper Enver Pasha who was planning to go into Anatolia and be in command of the War of Independence.

The Sarıkamış failure was used as a tool to “mold the public opinion” and use it as a means to administer the “propaganda war,” the “perception operation.”

Our epic Gallipoli victory was won two months after Sarıkamış, with Enver Pasha as the commander of the war. No one knows this “detail.”

Nor does anyone know about the Kut al-Amara victory. That, too, is Enver Pasha’s victory. However, no one knew about this or even the war itself. Because the British were not fond of hearing anything about the Kut al-Amara war in the U.K. or in Turkey.

One-hundred-and-two years ago, no media existed like what we have today. Social media and an information society were not around either. But there were many traitors back then, too.

Enver Pasha knew that he would play into the hands of the Sarıkamış traitors. He knew very well that he would have to secure himself to victor in Çanakkale, to hold the British army captive in Kut al-Amara. He knew well that a mentality that thought, “Let the Bulgarians enter Edirne rather than Enver,” would not abstain from setting its own country on fire for its own interests. That’s why he had forbidden the discussion of the Sarıkamış incident.

We have been fighting terrorism for 32 years but have not been able to achieve the victory we desire, because we cannot get support. While our soldiers, police, village guards risk their lives in the front, unfortunately the media, social media, NGOs, and sometimes Parliament stabs them in the back, thus causing them to fall. We are hit by the West while we fight in the east.

Are we not going through the same thing in the al-Bab operation?

Our soldiers are fighting in al-Bab without batting an eyelid and are running toward martyrdom. But our soldiers are attacked from behind by the co-conspirators of the bloody-handed, disbelieving, savage Daesh within our borders.

Stabbing from behind is the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) existentialist mission. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is also a party in this. The controlled media, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook became the voluntary propagators for these terrorist organizations.

What about the Hürriyet daily? What can we possibly say about its efforts to cover the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) dimension of the Karlov assassination and put the blame on other terrorist organizations? What about it aiding and abetting Daesh through al-Bab, and constantly bringing up the “Turkey is supporting Daesh and al-Nusra” lie? Isn’t this slyly touching the nerve ends?

This is not journalism, this is outright supporting terrorism and stabbing Turkey, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and our soldiers in the back.

A century ago they were saying, “We would rather the Bulgarians take Edirne instead of Enver.” Now they say, “We would rather terrorism destroy Turkey instead of Erdoğan eliminating terrorism,” and “We prefer Daesh triumphing over Turkey, rather than Turkey achieving victory over Daesh.”

No army that is not supported and secured will ever achieve victory. Alparslan, Fatih, Yavuz Sultan Selim and Enver Pasha all received support, hence, achieved victories.

We now clearly see that if we want to achieve victory over the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian offshoot the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Daesh and FETÖ, we need to make sure we are backed.

Turkey has been doing this for a while, it is being backed. It is fighting the traitors in the back while fighting the enemies at the front. Our enemies sometimes call this “banned,” sometimes “censored,” sometimes “freedom of press, freedom of speech, obstructing politics.”

None of the above are important. While we fight for our independence, we are conducting a fair struggle against those who are stabbing us in the back. God willing, we will win in all fronts, we will win by backing ourselves.

The only thing that is important is our independence and solidarity, not what others have to say.

*Aydın Unal is a Turkish politician and a member of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He writes columns for Yeni Şafak Turkish daily newspaper.

(Published in Yeni Şafak on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016)