After the tragedy which struck European civilians on Sultanahmet square, our solidarity with the Turkish people is tremendous. This being said, it seems important to remember the daily lot of thousands of our neighbours living a bit further East of the Bosporus, the actions and decisions taken by Ankara, which undermine the most fundamental rights of its citizens and which go against the values defended by the EU’s founding fathers.
After this terrorist attack, as usual, the Turkish authorities ordered a media blackout. This measure, allowed by law no. 6112 aims at “protecting the investigation’s interests” and ensuring respect of “ethics”. Unfortunately, this measure actually allows the government to manipulate public opinion. Only once it has announced its version of what happened, media are allowed to express themselves, a bit, but not really freely. In this context, it is interesting to analyse what the one who recently expressed admiration for the totalitarian Nazi regime recently declared.
As he was at the Eighth Ambassadors Conference, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took the floor to condemn all forms of terrorism as well as all terrorist organizations after the bombing. He simultaneously declared that you whether were with the Turkish government or with the terrorists, referring to a call for peace  signed by more than a thousand Turkish and foreign academics – among whom Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Etienne Balibar and David Harvey. This call for peace denounces the violence perpetrated by the government in the Eastern region of the country, particularly against the Kurdish minority.
In this region, several pro-Kurdish cities are under siege, citizens are slaughtered and potshots are being taken at children. Power lines are destroyed, schools and other buildings razed to the ground. The rotting victims’ corpses are used by the president’s snipers as bait or taken away by law enforcement. Militants and activists who dare to talk about this are intimidated, in the best case scenarios.
Between Erdoğan’s speech condemning “all forms of terrorism” (including the call for peace) and the writing of this article, it has been announced that some Turkish academics risk losing their position while others risk charges. Moreover, Sedat Peker, a Turkish nationalist who doesn’t hide his ties with the authorities – but first and foremost a criminal leader who has served ridiculous sentences for being at the top of a criminal organisation – has announced that “[he and his own] will shower under the blood of [the academics who signed the peace call]”.
Today, as we are all affected by what happened in Istanbul, we must strongly denounce these atrocities, all of them. Therefore, European leaders must react firmly to terrorism, express their solidarity with the Turkish citizens as well as the families which have been hit by terrorist attacks and act, join forces to put an end to this evil of the 21st century. This being said, they must also be firm with their allies and intransigent when the latter commit acts which are completely unworthy of a democracy, against the rule of law and the values defended by the European Union, fundamental prerequisites to the status of candidate country.