In his criticism and eventual rejection of all the major methods used in the natural sciences, Paul Feyerabend had said that the only principle that allows progress in science is "anything goes".

Anything that gets the job done is welcome, he may have added. The motto became one of the defining elements of post-modernity: what defines things is not reason, truth, tradition or coherence but whatever you come up with as your version of reality.

While this anti-realist rule of postmodernism has lost much of its elan now, its frivolous voice pops up here and there. It looks as if the debate about Turkey among some Western liberal and leftist authors is underlined by a similar "anything goes" frivolity.

Syrian refugees in Turkey wait for fighting to end

Slavoj Zizek's short piece on Turkey published in the New Statesman on December 9 is a case in point. Zizek claims that "the so-called 'war on terror' has become a clash within each civilisation, in which every side pretends to fight [ISIL] in order to hit its true enemy". This is probably the only meaningful sentence in his piece that borders on frivolity and bigotry.

Zizek accuses Turkey of supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), treating its injured militants, facilitating its oil go through Turkish territories and even insinuates that Turkey shot down the Russian warplane on November 24 because it was bombing ISIL targets. He then continues with his ranting against the European Union for agreeing to pay 3bn euros ($3.3bn) to Turkey for the Syrian refugees.

Zizek not only works on a fallacious logic but more alarmingly fails to get his facts right. He uses made-up stories spread by Iranian and Russian propaganda websites to attack Turkey. His "sources", including AWD News, are so false and so poorly selected that the editors of the New Statesman had to remove part of the piece in which Zizek attributed a totally false statement to Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkish intelligence.

His claim that Russia bombs ISIL targets along the Turkish-Syrian border has been disproved many times by all as credible sources. In fact, since it started its air campaign, 90 percent of Russian air strikes have targeted Syrian opposition groups and civilians who have nothing to do with ISIL.

There are no ISIL terrorists in the Turkmendagi-Jisr al-Shughr-Idlib area, and the number of civilian deaths under Russian bombardment has exceeded 700 so far. If Zizek cares, I will be happy to send him a map of Syria showing Russian bombings so that he can at least get his facts right about one thing.

The PKK is trying to conceal its terror crimes on the pretext of fighting ISIL. The fact is that Turkey does not bomb any Kurdish targets in Syria. It only goes after the PKK terrorists that put Turkish and Kurdish lives in danger.

 

Zizek's false claims about Turkey's discreet help to ISIL are a regurgitation of cliches uttered by Moscow these days. The funny thing is that Zizek - otherwise a staunch opponent of the Russian propaganda - takes sides with it when it comes to attacking Turkey.

As a philosopher who frequently talks about honesty and complains about its absence in political debates, Zizek should at least take the time to check the validity of such false claims which he quotes freely.

The same applies to his claim that Turkey buys oil from ISIL. This claim has no factual basis. But what we know for fact is the following: The US and the EU have sanctioned key people for buying oil from ISIL on behalf of the Assad regime. They include George Haswani, the Syrian businessman, Mudalal Khuri, the Syrian banker, and Kirsan Ilyumzhinove, the wealthy Russian businessman and the President of the World Chess Federation.

Besides simple facts, here is a tragi-comical case of intellectual confusion-cum-bigotry: A left-liberal philosopher backing Iranian and Russian claims without a single fact-check to attack Turkey, which hosts 2.2 million Syrian refugees flying Assad's brutal and immoral war.

If Zizek really cares about the Syrian people and the refugees, he should thank Turkey for saving thousands of men, women and children from chemical weapons, barrel bombs, mortar shells and air attacks.

By the way, the 3bn euros which seem to have upset Zizek is not paid to Turkey, but to be spent on the Syrian refugees. The money is meant to protect European streets and borders rather than Turkey or the Syrians. Zizek should check the shameful record of his country and other European nations on their handling of the refugee crisis.

For the record, Turkey is part of the anti-ISIL coalition and has opened its airspace and airbases to the allies. To date, "Turkey has denied entry to 33,746 people from 123 countries suspected of joining terror activities in Syria […] has detained and deported 2,783 suspects from 89 countries." More than one thousand people have been arrested and put on trial on charges of ISIL-related activities.

Turkey and EU seal deal on refugees

As for the claim that Turkey is fighting the Kurds fighting ISIL in Syria, it is another example of ignorance-cum-arrogance. Turkey is fighting against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists in Turkey and in Iraq where they have several training camps.

Over the past six months, the PKK, which is on the list of terrorist organisations in the United States and the EU, has killed more than 100 security officials and civilians, among them many Kurds.

The PKK is trying to conceal its terror crimes on the pretext of fighting ISIL. The fact is that Turkey does not bomb any Kurdish targets in Syria. It only goes after the PKK terrorists that put Turkish and Kurdish lives in danger.

It might be useful to remind Zizek that it was Turkey that opened its doors to the people of Kobane last year when the city was attacked by ISIL. It was also Turkey that facilitated the passage of the Iraqi Peshmerga forces and the Free Syrian Army to Kobane to expel ISIL from the city.

The reason why there was no civilian massacre in Kobane was because Turkey had let more than 190,000 residents of the city in within days and hosted them in refugee camps in Turkey. To this day, Turkey continues to send humanitarian aid, food, medicine, milk, baby diapers and other vital needs to the Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen of Syria.

In the meantime, Amnesty International has accused the Democratic Union Party (PYD) - PKK's Syrian branch - of "war crimes" for "razing of villages" in Tel Abyad where thousands of Arab and Turkmen residents of the city have been forced to flee their homes.

Zizek, who appears to be fed up with the wishy-washy fight against terrorism, does not say a word about the PKK terrorism. I hope this is not because he holds the old leftist platitude that violence committed by the left is revolution but violence committed by the right is fascism.

The fact that the vast majority of terrorist acts in Europe and the US are committed by home-grown terrorists should be a wake-up call for the failure of multiculturalism and social imagination in Western societies.

 

If we are against terrorism, we must be against them all whether it is ISIL, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, ETA or PKK terrorism. The fact that PKK is a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organisation does not absolve it of its crimes.

We have to fight against ISIL and its like by all means possible. As I have argued, Muslims should play a leading role in this fight.

But we also have to ask questions about the radicalisation wave in Europe that produces ISIL militants on one hand, and on the other hand such extremist, xenophobic and racist movements as PEGIDA and Neo-Nazis in Germany, Andres Breivik in Norway and others across Europe.

The fact that the vast majority of terrorist acts in Europe and the US are committed by home-grown terrorists should be a wake-up call for the failure of multiculturalism and social imagination in Western societies. Instead of making the laughable claim that Turkey is somehow responsible for the Paris attack, Zizek should pay attention to the facts on the ground.

Everyone, including philosophers is entitled to making political remarks about current affairs. Yet, no one has the right to bend the facts and accuse an entire country on self-contradictory claims and cheap propaganda.

No, it is not true that "anything goes" when it comes to talking about Turkey. Facts, details, evidence and coherence do matter. Zizek's predecessors including Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan would not have traded any of these for intellectual frivolity.

Ibrahim Kalin is the spokesperson for the Turkish presidency.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

Source: Al Jazeera