Turkey: PKK TAK Blind Nihilist Terror – Analysis


By Ihsan Bal

There is a close resemblance between nihilism, which argues that everything is devoid of meaning and value, and the terrorist entity whose chill breath we have been experiencing the last few years.

In Marmaris, a bomb explodes just at a time when you are experiencing the sun, nature, and humanity all at peace with each other, and suddenly your life is turned upside down. On a different day, this spirit of murder suddenly catches up with you during a match at a football pitch in Tunceli, just when you and your teammates are relaxing and sharing in each other’s happiness and exhaustion.


On another day, six women in Siirt find themselves face to face with the spirit of murder, just when they may have been having one of the most cheerful conversations of their lives. And on yet another day, it kills a policeman chatting with ordinary people at a repair workshop in Diyarbakir. Then, in the middle of Ankara, this lust to kill strikes down two young men busy earning their living, aged 18 and 22, and a 23 year-old woman out walking with her two children.

These examples could multiply. A murderous spirit is on the loose in Turkey, one which is trying to rob you of your life whether you are on holiday, in your place of work, on the street, or on the bus, and it is trying to poison your whole life.

So everyone has to work out for themselves what exactly it is that is nourishing this murderous spirit. While seeking the answer to the question of why someone becomes a terrorist, one must bear in mind the fact that the people committing these acts are deliberately putting up high barriers between themselves and normal life. These are people recruited while young, mostly resentful against life, raised amid anger and feelings of revenge, and each one becomes a death machine.

Murderous Spirits Raised on Anger

Because terrorists are people opposed to normal values and those at peace with the coast, sun, sea, and nature, they are enemies of people who go to work and shop each day. Their grudge is intensified against those engaged in their daily lives on the football field, or anywhere else in the neighborhood. Because at the end of the day, the artery which feeds them has reached such a degree of anger that it grows remote from basic human values and turns on the shared values of life and humanity.

The personalities of these instruments of death were warped by accusations like “You are unable to achieve anything, you are useless,” and thus their lives are constructed upon the basis that killing is the greatest heroism that exists in life. Those are the limits of their perceptions of life and the world.

During the last decade, as the democratic process accelerated, the state has been called into account and the system has become more transparent. The place where those in Turkey who handle weapons are judged by the consciences of human beings has become a nihilistic scale of justice. This is a terrorism which severs links with life, and forbids others to live. Its aims and causes are always the same: a vicious circle of killing, destroying, and killing again. For terror is a death machine, the adherence to which eliminates the ability to establish empathy with those one is facing, and destroys positive human qualities replacing them with a new identity.

Terrorism of this kind is a consequence of a tragic condition which causes one to feel intensely uneasy in the presence of anything normal, and shuts one’s eyes to the light of day and the truth due to enormous internal trauma.

Did you Say Kurdish Problem?

The bitter truth, which it is now necessary to remind people of when talking about the Kurdish problem in the wake of this whole series of violent attacks and the bomb which exploded at Kumrular in Ankara, is this: if we discuss the Kurdish problem side by side with these death machines, this nihilist terror and this murderous spirit, we will not be able to put anything on the right footing.

There is a portion of our friends trying to gloss over the attacks on soldiers and police, carried out by people who hate life, detest humanity, and have been molded into killers. These friends of ours need to realize that there is no difference whatsoever between the blind terrorism in Kizilay and the motives and logic behind terror in Reşadiye and Silvan. To simply play around with letters and turn the PKK [Partiya Karkara Kurdistan – Workers Party of Kurdistan] into TAK [Teyrêbazên Azadiya Kurdistan – Freedom Hawks of Kurdistan] does not change this fact.

For the reality is that a murderous spirit, which has proclaimed “all towns and everyone a war area and target,” is blind and nihilistic terror. That being so, before all else, in the name of protecting our human values, all of us are obliged, first and foremost intellectuals and Kurds, to condemn these attacks by the million. Because what are in danger are not just innocent lives, they are universal humanitarian values.

Those who wonder about the examples of Britain and Spain should understand that this is how the problem was defined there.

İhsan Bal (USAK)


JTW - the Journal of Turkish Weekly - is a respected Turkish news source in English language on international politics. Established in 2004, JTW is published by Ankara-based Turkish think tank International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

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