The Turkish nation, all too familiar with terror attacks, has started to ask this question since the number of terrorist assaults on metropolises has increased:
WHY WOULD TERROR ORGANIZATIONS EVER TARGET LARGE CITIES?
Various countries may have a different perspective on these incidents. Here we will address the issue from Turkey’s perspective.
All the governments that have ruled in the history of the Turkish Republic have been subjected to fierce criticisms by their opposition, which has often been the reason why coalition governments could not be established — and at some certain times left the country without a government; sometimes, this process even led to military coups. Despite all the dissent, there is one particular issue on which all politicians and military officers agreed: Not allowing the fragmentation of Turkey. That is the reason why combating terror has always been Turkey’s top issue.
The major reason why terror has spread to Turkish cities is the failure of terror organizations to achieve their goals in rural areas. A terrorist amplifies the perfidious idea of terror even more by targeting civilians in the cities; he attempts to instill insecurity in the public. He believes that people will resort to uprisings with which states would be unable to cope. That is why in combating terrorism in cities,
THE BEST RESPONSE WOULD BE NOT TO DELIVER WHAT TERROR AND THE TERRORISTS WANT.
Then the question is what does terror want?
Terrorists largely seek to instill feelings of fear and to spread panic among the masses. Terrorists seek to demoralize the masses. They want to set people and institutions against one another. Their ultimate goal is to undo the fabric of society by means of violence and intimidation; BY GENERATING HATRED, PARANOIA AND MISTRUST.
Feelings of fear create uneasiness among the people. A terrorist considers an uneasy people as a potential mass that will react against its own state or stage an uprising and likely to lay the backdrop for hatred. He knows that states cannot be long-lasting when hatred is widespread in a society.
What a terrorist dreads most is solidarity within a society. Nonetheless, terrorist organizations believe that messages of unity and solidarity in the face of suffering would not last long due to the mounting frustrations, anger and paranoia being experienced by the society under attack. In point of fact, this thesis is largely accurate.
TERRORISTS WANT TO SEE RESIGNED SOCIETIES. A society that has submitted to fear is what terrorists are gratified by the most.
If their threats have made an impact, if people are crying and saying how “desperate,” and “depressed” they are and if they lock themselves in their homes out of fear, then it means for the terrorists that their attacks were quite successful.
A few days before the Istanbul terror attack in March 2016, Germany closed its consulates and schools in Turkey. This was exactly what the terrorists sought. Being an unusual practice, this measure baffled the Turkish nation. Although there were some who agreed with Germany’s approach immediately after the attack, the Turkish public mostly viewed this practice as “desperate fear against terror.”
Immediately after the attack, a minority that could not get over its fear of terror took every opportunity to voice its concerns about going out. Acting upon a reflex of pain, they were actually delivering what the terrorists wanted through illogical and incoherent warnings.
Perhaps they were unaware that terrified people shut up in their homes was exactly what the terrorists were looking for. They didn’t notice how irrational and wrong it was to leave the country's public spaces to the terrorists.
Once terror hits a metropolis, evacuating schools, official buildings and streets would be tantamount to “defeat.” So is leaving public spaces to terrorists and creating an image of “being daunted” and thus making terrorists feel that their efforts have made impact. Though unintentional, this is a helpless reflex; it serves the purpose of terror.
Combating terror is not only the responsibility of police officers and military officers; it is an all-out struggle that must be carried out together with people: It must have zero tolerance for fear.
If terror has not made people weep, if it instead brought forth a sense of solidarity among them, if people are resolute about not allowing their homelands to fall into the hands of terrorists, then the acts of the terrorists have failed. That is why assuming a timid stance and avoiding going out is unbecoming to those states combating terror, especially Turkey.
Surely caution is needed at crowded places and due [2.34 bu iki kelime arasında yanlışlıkla “to” kelimesi okunmuş. O kelime çıkartılacak ses kaydından] measures must be undertaken; nevertheless, we need to keep in mind that death will find anyone at any moment. The Turkish military and police officers are brave in their struggle; they neither fear nor deliver what the terrorists want. In the same way, it is necessary for the people to be a part of this show of strength and not feel afraid. The collaboration of the security forces with the people signifies that terrorism — and terrorists — can never take shelter in that country. People’s will, their resolve and courage always frighten a terrorist.
For this reason, an intellectual campaign must be launched: National awareness must be solidified and a counter-ideological campaign must be developed against the ideology of terror. Turkey managed to be a democratic and powerful country by putting forward this fight together with its people at the end of World War I. The same national struggle is needed now too.
May God grant those that were martyred in those heinous attacks His mercy; their families the strength to persevere, and the wounded a quick recovery. It should be perfectly known that whoever tries to achieve a goal through terrorism will never succeed; they will never be able to dismay our people and divide our country.
This film is based on the article of Harun Yahya in Arab News