Zaman: Getting rid of a bandit state / 03 January 2012
The state has committed grave crimes in Turkey; in every case, it has also managed to involve society in these crimes. In order to achieve this, it has sometimes jointly committed these offenses, taking measures to ensure that the collaborators have benefited from the outcomes of the criminal acts. For instance, the offenses committed against non-Muslims in Turkey follow this pattern. Some groups have become rich by their crimes in Turkey.
Another way the state involves society while committing these crimes is by ensuring that the people who talk about them feel guilty. One is given the impression that it would be a betrayal to the country to discuss state crimes.
We should note that former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz said that the forest fires in Greece were plotted by the Turkish state. This statement raised fury in Greece but it is not discussed in Turkey -- why? It is because we feel guilty. If we discuss this issue thoroughly, Turkey may face hardships and have to pay compensation. Besides, the fires were committed as a form of retaliation.
The argument is that we punished Greece because they hosted PKK militants in their camps. However, Greece hosted these militants because of other crimes that Turkey had committed previously. Torture and mistreatment was widespread in Turkey in the 1990s. Villages were evacuated and burned down and people were abducted and executed. For this reason Turkey's requests for the extradition of the PKK militants were rejected by European states. And Greece, without fearing of international reaction or condemnation, was able to extend support to the PKK.
In an attempt to address its poor human rights record, Turkey set fire to Greek forests. Now we are expected to ignore this fact just because it is possible that our country may be hurt.
Is it not also the case with the Armenian issue? Do they not imply that Turkey would have to pay compensation and reparations if we thoroughly discuss the past? ...
I personally believe that the cost of getting rid of the bandit state and creating a state governed by the rule of law is immeasurable. If we have to pay a big price on the road to becoming a state governed by the rule of law, I claim that we should pay that price. ... If Turkey is ready to pay reparations, I am also ready to pay extra taxes to replace the money made by those who became rich when non-Muslim properties were looted.
March 29, 2017 update: Zaman's internet presence has been silenced the totalitarian Turkish government after a March 4. 2016 raid and seizure, so I changed the link to an archive.org capture. Further on on July 2016, Ankara tyrants finally shut down Zaman and more than 100 other media outlets.