Behind the Brussels Attacks

It is not a coincidence that Belgium’s Zavantem International Airport and Maalbeek metro station are targeted simultaneously on the day Star came out with the headline “Terrorist Belgium” and right after Erdoğan threatened Belgium on March 18. It is a clear indication that Erdoğan, not getting the support he wants against the Kurdish people and the PKK, will not refrain from committing massacres in Europe’s capital Brussels, like the ones committed in Cizre and Sur.


March 23, 2016
ULAŞ ÖMER DEMİR
ANF

After France, simultaneous attacks targeting Belgium have claimed almost 40 lives, with around 200 injured people. The attacks targeted Zavantem International Airport and Maalbeek metro station. The security alarm in the country have been raised to the maximum level. The attack was claimed by ISIS, but considering the scope, attacks of this extent are extremely hard without aid from any country.

Two weeks before the attacks, following the EU-Turkey refugee deal, on March 8 a committee consisting of Belgium’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, Minister of Interior Jan Jambon, Minister of Justice Koen Geens and Minister of Asylum and Migration Theo Francken visited Turkey.

The Belgian committee met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Interior Efkan Ala and Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ from the Turkish committee before the Turkey-Belgium Ministers of Foreing Affairs, Justice and Interior Affairs meeting on March 9.

The main agenda of the meeting was sharing information on ISIS recruits from Belgium and the joint efforts of police forces regarding common finger print databases. The Belgian committee knew going in to the meeting that the Turkish side would put the Kurds in Belgium and their institutions. The Belgian committee wanted to reach an agreement on sharing information on 1224 Belgian nationals with relations to ISIS. Thinking they would reach said agreement with minor compromises regarding Kurds, the Belgian committee withdrew from the meeting when the Turkish side raised difficulties. The reason for the withdrawal was Turkish committee insisting on the arrest of Kurdish politicians (several politicians including Kongra Gel President Remzi Kartal, KCK Executive Council Member Zübeyr Aydar) in Belgium, their return to Turkey and the shutting down of Kurdish institutions (KNK, foundations and Kurdish press institutions). Pointing out that these requests would mean breaking their own laws, the Belgian committee withdrew from the agreement when the Turkish committee made the agreement harder at the last minute.

Minister of Asylum and Migration Theo Francken’s party NVA had the following statement on their website regarding the meeting: “The information provided by our side can be used against the Kurdish people, we cannot take this risk as it can be used with the intention of oppressing the Kurdish people.”

Francken also pointed out that they made a choice of principle by withdrawing from the agreement, which hinted that they were facing a Turkish committee with no regard to principles or law.

Before these meetings, the Kurds in Belgium put up a tent, with permission from Belgian authorities, in front of the European Council building in Brussels to draw attention to Turkey’s massacres in Kurdistan. The Kurdish people wanted to draw both European and Belgian authorities’ attention to the massacres in Kurdistan with this action.

But failing to get what they wanted from the Belgian committee, Erdoğan and the AKP started pushing news that there was a “PKK Tent in front of the European Parliament” from their own visual and printed media. Despite the targeting, Belgian authorities didn’t intervene with the Kurds’ tent. First, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu targeted the Kurds’ tent and said it was a challenge to Turkey. Then Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan in a statement on March 18 said, “It may not mean much to you to watch the bombs exploding in Turkey from television screens. When the same bombs start to explode in your cities, you will definitely know what we feel. But then it will be too late. There is no reason that this bomb won’t explode in Brussels where terror sympathisers are allowed to put on a show in the middle of the city, or in any other city in EU.”

Following Erdoğan’s threat, the tent Kurds put up in front of the European Council was burned down by a group of fascists in the night of March 19. The burning of the tent in Europe’s capital, so easily and in a place covered inch by inch by cameras, and the failure to determine the perpetrators created questions. Reports say the police have told the Kurds on duty in the tent at night that they didn’t need to stay in the tent and the security of the place was in the police’s hands. The tent is attacked after the two guards leave, in the most protected part of Europe, and the attackers can not be caught. The attackers are yet to be apprehended, although they have taken selfies in the tent they burned and shared them on social media.

Despite the tent being burned down, the Kurds continued their demonstration in front of the European Council. And the tent was targeted by AKP media once again.

On the day of the attack in Belgium, March 22, 2016, AKP newspaper Star came out with the headline, “Terrorist Belgium”. The AKP newspaper the tent was repaired, Öcalan posters were put up again and the police was protecting the demonstrators, thus putting the tent in target again.

It is not a coincidence that Belgium’s Zavantem International Airport and Maalbeek metro station are targeted simultaneously on the day Star came out with the headline “Terrorist Belgium” and right after Erdoğan threatened Belgium on March 18. It is a clear indication that Erdoğan, not getting the support he wants against the Kurdish people and the PKK, will not refrain from committing massacres in Europe’s capital Brussels, like the ones committed in Cizre and Sur.