US embassy cable - 91ANKARA15709

1991 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT FOR TURKEY

Identifier: 91ANKARA15709
Wikileaks: View 91ANKARA15709 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ankara
Created: 1991-11-21 14:47:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PTER TU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 211447Z NOV 91
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7150
INFO AMCONSUL ADANA
AMCONSUL ISTANBUL
AMCONSUL IZMIR
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 15709 
 
 
S/CT FOR BREELAND 
 
E.O. 12356:  N/A 
TAGS: PTER, TU 
SUBJECT:   1991 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT FOR TURKEY 
 
REF: STATE 346420 
 
1.  NAME OF COUNTRY:  TURKEY 
 
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A.  RESULTS OF ANY 1991 COURT PROSECUTIONS INVOLVING 
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND SIGNIFICANT ACTS OF DOMESTIC 
TERRORISM. 
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THERE WAS A MARKED INCREASE IN TERRORIST INCIDENTS IN 
TURKEY IN 1991.  INCLUDED AMONG THE VICTIMS IN THIS 
YEAR'S VIOLENCE WERE THREE AMERICANS.  ON THE MORNING OF 
FEBRUARY 7 AN AMERICAN CITIZEN WORKING AS A CONTRACTOR 
AT INCIRLIK AIR BASE WAS KILLED IN ADANA BY A DEV SOL 
ASSAILANT.  ON MARCH 22 THE SAME GROUP KILLED THE 
AMERICAN MANAGER OF VINNEL, BROWN, ROOT (VBR) AT HIS 
WORKPLACE IN ISTANBUL.   IN OCTOBER, AN AIR FORCE 
SERGEANT WAS MURDERED IN ANKARA WHEN A BOMB PLACED IN 
HIS TRUCK EXPLODED.  THE ISLAMIC JIHAD, AN 
IRANIAN-SUPPORTED GROUP, CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS 
ATTACK AND A SIMILAR ONE AGAINST AN EGYPTIAN DIPLOMAT ON 
THE SAME DAY MARWICK SLAYING, (AS WELL AS ON MARCH 26 
ATTACK AGAINST AN IRAQI DIPLOMAT.)  DEV SOL ALSO CLAIMED 
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ATTEMPTED KILLING OF A U.S. AIR 
FORCE LT. COLONEL IN IZMIR IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR. 
 
DEV-SOL ALSO ESCALATED ITS CAMPAIGN AGAINST 
MEMBERS OF THE NATION'S SECURITY APPARATUS.  IN LATE 
JANUARY THE GROUP KILLED RETIRED GENERAL SAYIN IN ADANA 
AND GENERAL SELEN IN ANKARA.  ON OCTOBER 13 DEV SOL 
MURDERED FORMER MIT UNDERSECRETARY RETIRED GENERAL ADNAN 
ERSOZ IN ISTANBUL.  EARLIER IN THE MONTH, THE DEV-SOL 
SHOT FIVE TURKISH NATIONAL POLICEMEN IN SEPARATE 
AMBUSHES IN ISTANBUL.  THE OCTOBER KILLINGS OF THE 
POLICEMEN AND OF GENERAL ERSOZ DEMONSTRATED RESUMED 
DEV-SOL CAPABILITIES, WHICH HAD BEEN DAMAGED BY MID-JULY 
POLICE RAIDS IN ANKARA AND ISTANBUL. 
 
DEV-SOL WAS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR SCORES OF 
BOMBINGS AGAINST AMERICAN, AS WELL AS OTHER FOREIGN, 
INTERESTS IN TURKEY, INCLUDING ATTACKS ON THE CONSULATE 
IN ADANA, THE TURKISH-AMERICAN ASSOCIATION IN IZMIR AND 
ADANA (THE LATTER BEING HIT TWICE) AND SEVERAL U.S. 
MILITARY RELATED BUILDINGS IN ISTANBUL AND IZMIR.  THE 
BOMBING ATTACKS PEAKED ON MARCH 16 WHEN 13 AMERICAN 
ASSOCIATED BUSINESSES WERE HIT IN ADANA, ANKARA, 
ISTANBUL AND IZMIR. 
 
THE YEAR ALSO WITNESSED A SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN 
TERRORIST PKK ATTACKS AGAINST MILITARY TARGETS IN THE 
SOUTHEAST - A FACT UNDERLINING THE CHANGING NATURE OF 
THE CONFLICT IN THE REGION.  ON OCTOBER 6 THE KURDISH 
SEPARATIST/TERRORIST GROUP ATTACKED A TURKISH MILITARY 
PATROL NEAR A BRIGADE SIZE GENDARMERIE POST IN CUKURCA 
AND KILLED 11 SOLDIERS.  THE ATTACK WAS THE BLOODIEST IN 
YEARS; THE GOVERNMENT THEN LAUNCHED A CROSS-BORDER 
OPERATION AGAINST SUSPECTED PKK CAMPS IN NORTHERN IRAQ. 
ON OCTOBER 25 AN ESTIMATED 400 TO 500 PKK GUERRILLAS 
ATTACKED A GENDARMERIE POST IN CUKURCA.  THE ATTACK LEFT 
17 PEOPLE DEAD AND AN ADDITIONAL 60 WOUNDED, AND AGAIN 
CAUSED THE GOVERNMENT TO CROSS THE IRAQI BORDER IN 
PURSUIT OF THE GUERRILLAS.  DESPITE THE GROWING 
MILITARIZATION OF THE CONFLICT, THE PKK WAS STILL 
INVOLVED IN A LARGE NUMBER OF TERRORIST ACTIONS WHICH 
RESULTED IN THE DEATHS OF HUNDREDS OF NON-COMBATANTS. 
IN ADDITION TO THE KIDNAPPINGS OF 10 GERMAN TOURISTS ON 
AUGUST 2 AND OF FIVE RESEARCHERS, INCLUDING THREE 
AMERICAN CITIZENS IN LATE AUGUST, THE PKK HAS CONTINUED 
ITS CAMPAIGN AGAINST SELECTED CIVILIAN AND COMMERCIAL 
TARGETS IN THE REGION.  ON SEPTEMBER 26, FOR INSTANCE, 
TWO ANKARA UNIVERSITY ARCHEOLOGISTS WERE KILLED IN 
MARDIN BY A CAR BOMB. 
 
IN EARLY AUGUST THE MALATYA STATE SECURITY COURT 
RELEASED NINE OF 18 SUSPECTED DEV SOL MEMBERS WHO WERE 
ACCUSED OF INVOLVEMENT IN KILLINGS AND BOMBINGS IN 
ADANA.  THE RELEASE OF THE NINE SUSPECTS, WHO ARE 
BELIEVED TO BE INVOLVED IN THE MURDERS OF AN AMERICAN 
CITIZEN AND BRIGADIER GENERAL CINGOZ, BROUGHT TO 21 THE 
NUMBER OF ALLEGED DEV SOL MEMBERS FREED PENDING TRIAL. 
 
PEMBEGUL BINBIR, THE WOMAN WHO THREW A PIPE BOMB 
OVER THE WALL OF THE CONSULATE IN ISTANBUL IN 1989, WAS 
SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON AND FINED TL 30,000 
(ABOUT SIX US DOLLARS).  HOWEVER, BINBIR HAS FAILED TO 
APPEAR IN COURT SINCE SEPTEMBER 1990, AND HER SENTENCE 
WAS GIVEN IN ABSENTIA.  SHE REMAINS FREE. 
 
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B.  DID THE HOST GOVERNMENT EXTRADITE OR REQUEST THE 
EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED TERRORISTS FOR PROSECUTION? 
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EMBASSY KNOWS OF NO REQUEST BY TURKEY THAT ANOTHER 
COUNTRY EXTRADITE A PRISONER SUSPECTED OF INVOLVEMENT IN 
A TERRORIST ACT, NOR OF ANY REQUEST FROM A THIRD COUNTRY 
THAT TURKEY EXTRADITE A PRISONER FOR SIMILAR INVOLVEMENT. 
 
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C.  ANY SIGNIFICANT IMPEDIMENTS TO HOST GOVERNMENT 
PROSECUTION AND/OR EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED TERRORISTS. 
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TURKEY RARELY PRESSES FOR THE EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED 
TERRORISTS, IN PART BECAUSE OF ITS CONCERN THAT WEST 
EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS WILL NOT BE RESPONSIVE TO SUCH 
REQUESTS. 
 
THE GOVERNMENT'S PROSECUTION RECORD AGAINST 
PEOPLE SUSPECTED OF INVOLVEMENT IN TERRORIST RELATED 
INCIDENTS IS MIXED.  THE ABILITY OF SOME TERRORISTS 
GROUPS, MOST NOTABLY DEV-SOL, TO INTIMIDATE SECURITY AND 
COURT OFFICIALS MAKES DELIVERING JUSTICE A RISKY AND 
DIFFICULT BUSINESS.  ON OCTOBER 29, FOR EXAMPLE, TWO DEV 
SOL ACTIVISTS WHO WERE STANDING TRIAL FOR THE MURDER OF 
FORMER GENERAL HULUSI SAYIN, ESCAPED FROM ANKARA CENTRAL 
PRISON.  IBRAHIM BINGOL AND LUTFU TOPAL REPORTEDLY 
WALKED AWAY FROM THE PRISON WHEN THE FACILITY WAS OPEN 
TO VISITORS.  THE CHIEF GUARD AND TEN OTHER PRISON 
OFFICIALS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY DETAINED BY THE STATE 
SECURITY COURT PROSECUTOR ON SUSPICION OF AIDING THE 
"ESCAPE." 
 
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D.  HOST GOVERNMENT RESPONSES OTHER THAN PROSECUTION. 
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TURKEY HAS ROUTINELY CONDEMNED TERRORIST ACTIVITY AND 
HAS IN THE PAST COOPERATED WITH U.S. AUTHORITIES TO 
DETER TERRORIST THREATS. 
 
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E.  A REVIEW OF MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS 
UNDERTAKEN IN 1991, INCLUDING STEPS TAKEN IN 
INTERNATIONAL FORA. 
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ON JULY 12, A WEEK BEFORE THE SCHEDULED VISIT OF 
PRESIDENT BUSH, THE GOVERNMENT UNDERTOOK A SERIES OF 
RAIDS AGAINST SUSPECTED DEV SOL SAFEHOUSES IN ISTANBUL 
AND ANKARA.  THE RAIDS, WHICH LED TO THE DEATH OF 10 DEV 
SOL MILITANTS, AND THE ARREST OF 12 OTHERS DEALT A 
SEVERE BLOW TO THE ORGANIZATION'S ABILITY TO CONDUCT 
ACTIVITIES IN THE COUNTRY'S TWO LARGEST CITIES.  THE 
SETBACK WAS, HOWEVER, ONLY TEMPORARY. 
 
FOLLOWING THE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES IN THE 
GULF WAR AND THE RETURN TO NORTHERN IRAQ OF HUNDREDS OF 
THOUSANDS OF KURDISH REFUGEES, THE PKK BEGAN ONE OF ITS 
LARGEST, BLOODIEST, AND, IN SOME WAYS, MOST EFFECTIVE, 
TERRORIST CAMPAIGNS IN YEARS.  UNLIKE OFFENSIVES IN 
PREVIOUS YEARS, THE PKK ATTACKS WERE AIMED PRIMARILY AT 
TURKISH MILITARY OUTPOSTS AND MILITARY CONVOYS.   THE 
GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE ALSO SERVED TO HIGHLIGHT THE 
CHANGING NATURE OF THE VIOLENCE IN THE SOUTHEAST.  THREE 
TIMES THIS YEAR, IN AUGUST AND TWICE IN OCTOBER, THE 
TURKISH MILITARY CONDUCTED CROSS-BORDER OPERATIONS 
AGAINST PKK CAMPS IN NORTHERN IRAQ.  WITH THE CONFLICT 
IN THE SOUTHEAST SLOWLY MATURING INTO A FULLBLOWN 
INSURGENCY, THE GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME INCREASINGLY 
RELIANT ON THE MILITARY TO RESPOND TO THE PKK THREAT. 
 
TURKEY HAS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF THE RELEVANT 
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND AGREEMENTS ON TERRORISM. 
 
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F.  SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT, IF ANY, FOR INTERNATIONAL 
TERRORISM, INCLUDING (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) POLITICAL AND 
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR TERRORIST; DIPLOMATIC SUPPORT 
THROUGH DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION, MISUSE OF THE DIPLOMATIC 
POUCH AND OTHER PRIVILEGES TO SUPPORT TERRORISM, 
SANCTUARY EXTENDED TO TERRORISTS OR TERRORIST GROUPS; 
AND POSITIONS TAKEN ON TERRORISM ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL 
FORA, INCLUDING VOTING RECORDS. 
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TURKEY PROVIDES NO SUPPORT TO INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST 
GROUPS. 
 
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G.  HAS THE HOST COUNTRY MADE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS IN 
SUPPORT OF A TERRORIST-SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON A TERRORISM 
ISSUE? 
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NO. 
 
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H.  DESCRIBE ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE SINCE 1990, POSITIVE 
OR NEGATIVE, IN THE HOST GOVERNMENT'S ATTITUDE TOWARD 
TERRORISM, INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC. 
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THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN TURKEY'S 
ATTITUDE TOWARD INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC TERRORISM, 
WHICH REMAINS ONE OF RESOLUTE CONDEMNATION OF ALL FORMS 
OF TERRORISM. 
 
BARKLEY 

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