US embassy cable - 93BERN5779

NOVEMBER 4 PKK ATTACKS IN SWITZERLAND

Identifier: 93BERN5779
Wikileaks: View 93BERN5779 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Bern
Created: 1993-11-10 16:28:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PTER TU SZ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 101628Z NOV 93
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4140
INFO AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
USMISSION USNATO
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
C O N F I D E N T I A L BERN 005779 
 
BUDAPEST, ANKARA, ATHENS, AND USNATO FOR PDAS 
VERSHBOW 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS: PTER, TU, SZ 
SUBJECT:  NOVEMBER 4 PKK ATTACKS IN SWITZERLAND 
 
REFS:  A) STATE 341663; B) BERN 5719 (NOTAL) 
 
1. CONFIDENTIAL -- ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2. SUMMARY:  THE GOS HAS NOT TAKEN SPECIFIC 
ACTION AGAINST KURDISH GROUPS AS A RESULT OF 
THE NOVEMBER 4 ATTACKS ON TURKISH 
ESTABLISHMENTS IN SWITZERLAND.  THE TURKISH 
GOVERNMENT HAS REITERATED ITS REQUEST THAT THE 
PKK BE BANNED IN SWITZERLAND, BUT THE GOS SAYS 
THAT THE GROUP DOES NOT FORMALLY EXIST HERE. 
AS A RESULT OF THE ATTACKS, SWISS POLICE ARE 
WATCHING KURDISH GROUPS MORE CLOSELY.  END 
SUMMARY 
 
3. AS REPORTED REF B, A SERIES OF ARSON 
ATTACKS ON TURKISH ESTABLISHMENTS WERE CARRIED 
OUT NOVEMBER 4 IN SEVERAL SWISS LOCALITIES: 
BERN, ZURICH, BASEL, OLTEN, SOLOTHURN, AND 
BIBEREST.  AN UNIDENTIFIED PERSON THREW A 
MOLOTOV COCKTAIL AT THE TURKISH 
EMBASSY BUILDING IN BERN; NO DAMAGE WAS 
REPORTED.  NO CASUALTIES WERE REPORTED IN 
CONNECTION WITH ANY OF THE INCIDENTS.  ONE 
SUSPECT HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN ZURICH. 
 
4. SWISS AUTHORITIES HAVE TAKEN A LOW-KEY 
APPROACH TO THE ATTACKS.  DFA DIVISION I (US 
AND EUROPE) DEPUTY DIRECTOR PHILIPPE WELTI 
TOLD US ON NOVEMBER 10 THAT THE NOVEMBER 4 
ATTACKS WERE NOT AS SERIOUS AS THE JUNE 24 
INCIDENTS AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THEREFORE 
SAW NO NEED TO TAKE SPECIFIC ACTION OR TO MAKE 
A SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC COMMENT.  WELTI SAID THE 
DFA RELEASED A BRIEF PRESS COMMUNIQUE AFTER 
THE NOVEMBER 4 ATTACKS WHICH CONTAINED THE 
FOLLOWING POINTS: 
 
-- THE DFA CONDEMNS THE ATTACKS. 
 
-- THE SWISS GOVERNMENT WILL NOT TOLERATE ACTS 
OF VIOLENCE EVEN IF UNDERTAKEN FOR POLITICAL 
PURPOSES. 
 
AS FAR AS WELTI CAN DETERMINE, THIS COMMUNIQUE 
WAS IGNORED BY THE SWISS MEDIA. 
 
5. WELTI TOLD US THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT HAD 
NOT FORMALLY CONTACTED THE GOS REGARDING THE 
NOVEMBER 4 ATTACKS BUT HAD REITERATED ITS 
REQUEST FOR A BAN ON THE PKK IN SWITZERLAND. 
 
6. WELTI COMMENTED THAT IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR 
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE FORMAL ACTION 
AGAINST THE PKK, WHICH HAS NO CORPORATE 
IDENTITY IN SWITZERLAND.  HE SAID THAT MANY 
TURKISH KURDS RESIDE LEGALLY IN SWITZERLAND. 
SOME PARTICIPATE IN RATHER INNOCUOUS-SOUNDING 
GROUPS, E.G., SPORTS AND SOCIAL CLUBS.  THE 
GOS KNOWS SOME OF THE GROUPS HAVE PKK TIES, 
BUT THE PKK ITSELF HAS NO OFFICIAL 
HEADQUARTERS.  WELTI ADDED THAT THE SWISS 
POLICE WERE OBSERVING KURDISH GROUPS MORE 
CLOSELY AS A RESULT OF THE ATTACKS. 
 
FLORA 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04