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Looking for “the last PKK terrorist” in Turkey

These days Turkey’s calls for continuing the war on terror until “the last terrorist” is killed have reached new heights. The other day, I started thinking about how many times I’ve heard this phrase in my 40 years of existence.

Until that “last terrorist” dies, life in this country will continue with war, destruction, and daily funerals…

In that case, let’s find this “last terrorist” so that we may resume a normal life.

But where is this “last terrorist,” who are they? Come, let’s see if we can find them together.

Could “the last terrorist” be the little girl I visited in the southeastern town of Cizre, who witnessed her brother being burned in the basement?

I saw the rage in her eyes and the potential to flee to the mountains to join the PKK members.

Could “the last terrorist” be a child growing up in any city in Turkey, who goes to elementary school, who doesn’t understand the language their grandmother speaks, who lives in an environment that places Turkishness on a pedestal while degrading Kurdishness, and closes themselves off from the world as their pain becomes increasingly acute?

Could “the last terrorist” be a cradled baby in Turkey’s southeastern city of Şırnak, which I visited last week, born to a family whose house was demolished, forcing the family to live in a shelter made of plastic for the past three years?

Who is “the last terrorist,” which one of these children is it?

Is it one of the childrenswhose houses were demolished in Alipaşa, on the outskirts of Istanbul?

Is it one of the youth who are in jail for singing Kurdish songs?

Or is it the unborn baby of a family living in Yüksekova, near the Iranian border, whose beds were defiled with feces during government-imposed curfews?

Could it be the younger sibling of one of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters who died in clashes, whose families are not allowed to claim their bodies? Or the young son of a wealthy family living in Dicle Valley, on the outskirts of Diyarbakir, who plugs his ears and screams during the incessant shelling?

Perhaps “the last terrorist” is the children of Kurdish teachers who were removed from their jobs by government decree. Or maybe that “last terrorist” will be one of the children of the youth that were forced out of basements in Diyarbakır’s Sur district without clothes. Or could it be one of the children that have been separated from their mothers and fathers due to fictitious indictments?

Wherever this “last terrorist” may be, they should reveal themselves so that our supreme government may neutralize them, and this 30-year period of suffering can be put to an end.

Does anyone truly believe that the survival of this country depends on the death of “the last terrorist”?

In Judgement At Nuremberg, a movie I was watching the other day, the judge sentences the Nazi Minister of Justice and lower-level Nazi judges to life in prison.

In their defenses, Nazi bureaucrats and judges had repeatedly argued that the country was faced with a problem of survival. To address these claims, the judge included this statement in his sentencing decision:

“Survival is what? A country isn’t a rock, it’s not an extension of one’s self. It’s what it stands for. It’s what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult.”

How could the demands of a people whose justice is not protected, whose language and culture is ignored, whose representatives are thrown in jail, whose graves are destroyed, whose right to be buried with honour, to mourn, to pay final respects is violated…how could these demands be resolved through death, war, blood, and the neutralisation of “the last terrorist”?

How can the survival of this country be guaranteed when Kurdish babies are born in these conditions; Kurdish children are raised in these conditions, and Kurdish language, identity, bodies, lives, work, and emotions are declared null and void.

I truly wonder. Do none of the people in power think of Turkey? Do none of them care about this country? It is impossible for someone who loves their country to not see these facts. As long as cruelty, oppression, and deaths continue, that “last terrorist” will continue cropping up on this land.

Who could “the last terrorist” be, where could they be… Are they still in their mother’s womb or do they lie in a cradle?