Editorial: Independent shirks attributing responsibility for terror attacks

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Editorial: Independent shirks attributing responsibility for terror attacks

2016-12-16 11:30 GMT
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Independent editorial shirks attributing responsibility for recent Istanbul bombing to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)

Twin bombings ripped through downtown Istanbul on the evening of 10 December 2016

The Independent published an editorial entitled ‘How Turkey reacts to the terror attack in Istanbul will set a course for the Middle East’ on December 11, 2016. The editorial shirks attributing responsibility to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for the 10 December 2016 double bombing in Istanbul in which 44 people died.
The editorial posits that understanding which group was responsible “should be crucial in delivering justice.” In other words, the Turkish government’s response should be shaped according to which group was responsible for the attack. It is noteworthy that the Independent published this editorial subsequent to the statements of senior Turkish politicians stating that the PKK was behind the attack,1 and on the same day that a PKK front organization claimed responsibility.2
The Independent claims that the current violence in Turkey is the responsibility of the Turkish government, which the editorial further accuses of continuing the struggle against PKK rather than pursue peace. In propagating this line, the Independent overlooks the role of the PKK itself in ending the peace process with the Turkish state.
Continuing by claiming that the Turkish government holds the PKK and “more generally, the cause of the Kurdish people” responsible, the Independent neglects to make a distinction between the PKK and the Kurdish people. Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin remain prominent in all sections of society and are represented in both the government and the parliament. As Fact Checking Turkey has previously noted, Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin are scattered all over Turkey, with an estimated 14 to 22.5 million Kurds living in various parts of the country, and 17.5 percent of the total Kurdish population residing in Istanbul alone.3
The editorial essentially argues that Turkey should not struggle against PKK terrorism as the PKK is also fighting against DAESH in Syria, continuing by stating that DAESH is a potent “threat to (…) peace and progress.” Yet the editorial furthermore remains silent on the devastating consequences of PKK terrorism, as evidenced by attacks earlier this year in Ankara when PKK suicide bombs in March,4 and February,5 left over 50 people dead. The PKK members responsible are believed to have undergone training at camps in Syria.6