On December 31, 2016, the main agenda of Turkey was the excitement of welcoming the New Year. Millions took to social media to express their feelings and wish for a new year that will be more peaceful than 2016.
However, the New Year started with terror. Within the first minutes of the New Year’s second hour, news had already begun to spread that there had been an armed attack in a popular nightclub of Istanbul. It shortly became clear that right in the middle of Istanbul, an armed assailant carrying a machine gun had entered into the club and slaughtered 39 people and injured another 65 in a shooting spree that lasted only seven minutes.
Turks are no strangers to terror and the recent surge in terror attacks did not come as a surprise to them. The conflict in Syria had been feeding the terror groups and its repercussions across the border in Turkey were not entirely unexpected. It is quite well known that an atmosphere of war and conflict offers a suitable breeding ground for terror groups to help them recruit and find arms with relevant ease. The more conflicts and civil wars there are in the world, the more terror attacks and groups there will be. Violence always begets violence.
Curbing the tension in the conflict zones will be an effective way of preventing the deep states and mafia from supporting the terror groups. This should be done, before anything else, for the peoples of the affected countries. The recent ceasefire in Syria and the expected peace talks will hopefully achieve this result.
One practical and effective way of ending terrorism is not to give what the terrorists want. Every terrorist act is performed with the purpose of spreading fear and despair, by destroying the happiness, joy, solidarity and unity of the people they target. Terrorists and their supporters believe that societies consist of weak and timid people. They know that by perpetrating and staging shocking incidents, they can essentially paralyze and gain leverage over the targeted people.
Any display of despair, weakness or sorrow will be giving the terrorists exactly what they want. However, societies that refuse to submit no matter how ugly, terrifying or alarming the terror attacks might be, are strong nations that can overcome violence using their will and strength. Such nations clearly show that they will not be bullied into submission or allow plots to be hatched against their countries.
There is no doubt, Turkey is going through difficult days, but Turkey will definitely not give the terrorists what they want. It is now clear to everyone that terrorists will not achieve the atmosphere of despair they desire in Turkey. They wish to create mutinous and wild societies, but contrary to their expectations, the increasing terror attacks united the Turkish people. Social media is no longer the hub of fear and grief, but rather the center of messages of solidarity.
Terror incidents can’t manage to be anything other than cowardly attempts if the societies refuse to yield to their plots. It must be remembered that the solidarity of people is always the most powerful weapon against terrorism. Protecting the joy and happiness, carrying on with daily life as usual will devastate the plans of the terrorists. Therefore, it is imperative for the societies targeted by terrorism to shun any fear, separation and grief. On the contrary, they should make it clear that they are only getting stronger. This is a very successful way of countering terrorism collectively.
The recent coordinated terror attacks in Turkey by terror groups with opposing ideologies is only part of a specially devised plan to intimidate the Turkish people. The deep states and supporters of these terror groups, seek to use these attacks to force Turkey to accept their political plans. However, the decisive attitude and solidarity of the Turkish people made their plans backfire. Terror can never be successful when confronted by faith, national consciousness and commitment of the people.
It would be a grave mistake to view terrorists and terror groups as independent structures capable of making decisions. They cannot operate unless they are provided with logistic and ideological support. It should also be remembered that it is their ideologies that keep the terrorists together. Deep powers bring terror groups around certain ideas. Therefore, targeting their ideas will bring a conclusive end to their schemes, no matter how invincible their hidden supporters might seem.
It must be well remembered that all the ideologies that give rise to violence are ill-founded ideas and can easily be disproved through science. For this reason, there are two aspects of countering terrorism. One is done on a social level, and the other on an ideological level. As the social counter-action weakens terrorism, ideological action will completely destroy its foundations.
After terrorism is defeated this way, the puppet-masters should be exposed. Leaders and societies should not be sidetracked by phony perpetrators and criminals used in the process, but should go on to reveal the true actors and decision makers hiding behind the scenes. Exposing covert powers will destroy the biggest foundation of terror. However, one thing should be kept in mind: as we continue this struggle, our real duty is always maintaining and strengthening our union of love. God created this universe for love. As the alliance of the good triumphs, the plans of those that desire hatred and violence will be foiled.
Adnan Oktar's piece in The Daily Star & Jefferson Corner: