Mon, 01 Dec 2003

Terror in Turkey

Terror is still at large, seeking its prey. During this week, after Saudi Arabia, Turkey became the target. Last Saturday at least 25 people were killed and 150 others injured in blasts that destroyed a pair of synagogues. Further blasts destroyed the HSBC bank and the British consulate on Thursday, leaving 26 people dead and hundreds more injured.

The attacks were believed to be systemized and well planned, instead of a spontaneous display of anger. Therefore, it is feared that there will be another, more horrible blast in the future.

Turkey is a die-hard supporter of U.S.-led moves against terror, and the attacks could become a reminder for George W. Bush, currently visiting the UK.

Given the blasts in Turkey, the international community's worry that the antiterror drive declared by Bush would be countered, is being proven. Here in Indonesia, it is not easy for people to forget the horrible JW Marriott Hotel bombing. They are also hoping that the police will arrest the number one suspect, Azahari.

The fight against terror is now a global predicament, not the problem of America only. A bomb attack can happen anywhere, anytime.

Indonesian religious leaders' messages conveyed to President Bush in a meeting in Bali some time ago were clear: One of the complex problems was the perceived arrogance of America, with its biased policies in dealing with international affairs.

The messages do not mean that terrorism is acceptable. We condemn any acts of terrorism, including those taking place in Turkey. Using terror to settle problems is a backward step for civilization.

-- Republika, Jakarta