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Cablegate: Turkey: 1989 Annual Terrorism Report

R 061423Z DEC 89
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9990
INFO AMCONSUL ADANA
AMCONSUL ISTANBUL
AMCONSUL IZMIR

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 17365

DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR S/CT FOR WHARTON

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PTER TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: 1989 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: STATE 363024

---------------------------
1. NAME OF COUNTRY: TURKEY
---------------------------

--------------------------------------------- -------------
A. RESULTS OF ANY 1989 COURT PROSECUTIONS INVOLVING
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AND SIGNIFICANT ACTS OF DOMESTIC
TERRORISM.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
ON FEBRUARY 3 THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS CONFIRMED THE
20-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE IMPOSED ON KARTAL DEMIRAG FOR
ATTEMPTING TO ASSASSINATE THEN-PRIME MINISTER TURGUT
OZAL JUNE 18, 1988. THIS WAS THE FINAL STEP IN THE
LEGAL PROCESS; WITH TIME OFF FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR DEMIRAG
MIGHT BE RELEASED AFTER SERVING 13 YEARS.

ACCORDING TO FEBRUARY 4 PRESS REPORTING, AN ANKARA
APPEALS COURT REVERSED ON TECHNICAL GROUNDS THE STATE
SECURITY COURT CONVICTION OF EIGHT INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD
BEEN ACCUSED OF BOMBING A MUNITIONS FACTORY IN THE CITY
OF KIRIKKALE IN 1986, KILLING SEVEN PERSONS AND INJURING
24.

ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1989 A PASSER-BY THREW A
BOMB OVER A WALL INTO THE COURTYARD OF THE AMERICAN
CONSULATE IN ISTANBUL. ALTHOUGH THE DEVICE WAS POWERFUL
AND SPRAYED SHAPNEL, THERE WERE NO INJURIES. THE
THROWER, A YOUNG TURKISH FEMALE NAMED PEMBEGUL BINBIR,
WAS APPREHENDED AT THE SCENE AND, AS OF THE DATE OF THIS
REPORT, IS IN CUSTODY AWAITING LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
INVESTIGATION IS CONTINUING BUT, AS OF EARLY DECEMBER,
HAD TURNED UP NO FURTHER LEADS.

IN SEPTEMBER 1989 IT WAS LEARNED THAT TWO LIBYANS
CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTING TO BOMB A U.S. OFFICERS CLUB IN
ANKARA IN 1986 HAD RECENTLY BEEN RELEASED AND DEPORTED,
APPARENTLY ON COMPLETION OF TWO-THIRDS OF THEIR ORIGINAL
FIVE-YEAR SENTENCES. UNDER TURKISH LAW SUCH A REDUCTION
IS AUTOMATIC.

ON OCTOBER 16 THE AUTOMOBILE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICIAL WORKING IN THE SAUDI ARABIAN EMBASSY IN ANKARA
WAS BLOWN UP AS HE WAS PARKING NEAR HIS WORKPLACE. THE
OFFICIAL LOST BOTH LEGS, BUT LIVED. NEWS ACCOUNTS
OCTOBER 17 REPORTED THAT ISLAMIC JIHAD CLAIMED
RESPONSIBILITY IN AN ANONYMOUS CALL TO A NEWS AGENCY IN
NICOSIA. THE CALLER SAID THE ATTEMPT WAS IN RETALIATION
FOR SAUDI ARABIA'S EXECUTION OF ISLAMIC JIHAD MEMBERS.
IN OCTOBER 1988 ANOTHER SAUDI EMBASSY EMPLOYEE WAS SHOT
AND KILLED IN FRONT OF HIS HOME IN ANKARA. THERE HAVE
BEEN NO HARD LEADS TO THE PERPETRATORS IN EITHER CASE.

ACCORDING TO PRESS NOVEMBER 28, TWO IRANIAN KIDNAPPERS,
APPREHENDED IN LATE OCTOBER 1988 IN CONJUNCTION WITH TWO
IRANIAN DIPLOMATS WHO WERE TRYING TO SMUGGLE A KHOMEINI
REGIME OPPONENT TO IRAN IN THE TRUNK OF THEIR CAR, WERE
RELEASED AND SENT BACK TO IRAN AFTER SERVING ABOUT ONE
YEAR. (THE DIPLOMATS WERE NOT JAILED BECAUSE OF
IMMUNITY.)

DURING 1989 THERE WAS AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF
POLITICAL AND NON-POLITICAL INCIDENTS OF LOW-LEVEL
VIOLENCE THROUGHOUT TURKEY, INCLUDING DOZENS OF NUISANCE
BOMBINGS DESIGNED AND TIMED TO MAKE NOISE AND DO MINOR
DAMAGE BUT NOT TO INFLICT PERSONAL INJURIES. ON THE
NIGHT OF NOVEMBER 9 ALONE THERE WERE 24 LOW-LEVEL
BOMBINGS OF COMMERCIAL FACILITIES THROUGHOUT TURKEY,
INCLUDING A SMALL BOMB THAT WENT OFF WITHOUT INJURIES
BEHIND A U.S. MILITARY COMMISSARY IN IZMIR. THERE IS
OFFICIAL CONCERN ABOUT CLOSER COOPERATION AND GROWING
EXPERTISE AMONG LOW-LEVEL DOMESTIC TERRORISTS AND
ACCOMPLICES, BUT BY THE YEAR'S END NO CLEAR PATTERNS
WERE EVIDENT.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
B. HAS THE HOST COUNTRY MADE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS IN
SUPPORT OF A TERRORIST-SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON A TERRORISM
ISSUE?
--------------------------------------------- -------------

NO. ON AUGUST 1 THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN
ISSUED A STATEMENT DEPLORING THE HANGING IN LEBANON OF
LT. COL. WILLIAM HIGGINS. THE SPOKESMAN SAID TURKEY HAS
SUFFERED FROM TERRORISM AND ALWAYS DEPLORES ANY ACT OF
TERRORISM.

ON OCTOBER 16 THE FOREIGN MINISTRY STRONGLY CONDEMNED
THE CAR-BOMB ATTACK THAT DAY ON A SAUDI ARABIAN EMBASSY
OFFICIAL IN ANKARA. THE STATEMENT SAID, "ON THIS
OCCASION THE FOREIGN MINISTRY ALSO WANTS TO CONFIRM
TURKEY'S DETERMINATION TO COMBAT INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST
ACTION WHATEVER THE SOURCE OR CAUSE MAY BE."

--------------------------------------------- -------------
C. A REVIEW OF MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS
UNDERTAKEN IN 1989, INCLUDING STEPS TAKEN IN
INTERNATIONAL FORA.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
APART FROM ARMED VIOLENCE BY KURDISH WORKERS PARTY (PKK)
SEPARATISTS IN TURKEY'S SOUTHEAST, THERE WERE NO MAJOR
INCIDENTS OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM IN TURKEY IN 1989
BEYOND THE OCTOBER 16 ATTACK IN ANKARA ON THE SAUDI
EMBASSY OFFICIAL.

TURKS WIDELY BELIEVE THAT THE PKK RECEIVES DIRECT
SUPPORT FROM SYRIA AND IRAN AND INDIRECT SUPPORT FROM
THE USSR AND IRAQ. TURKISH SECURITY FORCES MOUNTED
NUMEROUS SIGNIFICANT OPERATIONS AGAINST THE PKK IN THE
SUMMER AND FALL OF 1989. IN A POSSIBLE COUNTER-MOVE, ON
THE NIGHT OF NOVEMBER 24-25 PKK MILITANTS KILLED 28
PEOPLE IN THE VILLAGE OF IKIYAKA, HAKKARI PROVINCE, JUST
INSIDE TURKEY FROM THE IRAQI BORDER. THE VICTIMS
INCLUDED 13 CHILDREN AND SIX WOMEN. THE ASSAILANTS
REPORTEDLY FLED INTO IRAQ. THERE WERE SUGGESTIONS THE
ATTACK PRESAGED A RETURN BY THE PKK TO TACTICS OF
MASS-KILLINGS OF CIVILIANS. THE PKK USED SUCH TACTICS
IN 1987, AND THE ATTACK AT IKIYAKA ENTAILED THE LARGEST
LOSS OF CIVILIANS IN A SINGLE INCIDENT SINCE 1987.
APART FROM GENERAL REITERATION OF STRONG OPPOSITION TO
TERRORISM WHEN THE SUBJECT COMES UP, WE ARE NOT AWARE OF
SPECIFIC STEPS TURKEY TOOK IN 1989 IN INTERNATIONAL FORA.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
D. THE RESPONSE OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, INCLUDING
EXTRADITION ACTIONS, ACTIONS ON TERRORISM AFFECTING
AMERICAN CITIZENS AND FACILITIES, OR DEALING WITH OTHER
SIGNIFICANT ACTS OF TERRORISM.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
SECTION A REFERS. THERE WERE NO TERRORISM-RELATED
EXTRADITION PROCEEDINGS IN 1989. TURKS TAKE THEIR HOST
NATION PROTECTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES SERIOUSLY AND PROVIDE
ROUND THE CLOCK PROTECTION TO FOREIGN FACILITIES SUCH AS
EMBASSIES. THEY ALSO PROVIDE PROTECTION TO PRIVATE
FACILITIES AND PRIVATE CITIZENS AS THREAT ASSESSMENTS
WARRANT. THEY ARE UNFAILINGLY OPEN TO OUR REQUESTS FOR
INCREASED OR SPECIAL PROTECTION.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
E. SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT, IF ANY, FOR INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM, INCLUDING (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) POLITICAL AND
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR TERRORISTS; 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.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
TURKEY PROVIDES NO SUPPORT TO INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM.


ABRAMOWITZ

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