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Cablegate: A Rare Glimpse Into Turkish Military Intel: Iraq,

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

id: 24456
date: 12/22/2004 5:24
refid: 04ANKARA7106
origin: Embassy Ankara
classification: SECRET//NOFORN
destination:
header:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


----------------- header ends ----------------

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 007106

SIPDIS

NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/21/2029
TAGS: PREL PINR PINS MOPS MARR TU IZ
SUBJECT: A RARE GLIMPSE INTO TURKISH MILITARY INTEL: IRAQ,
PKK CONCERNS, PARANOIA, ANTI-NATO CAMPAIGN

(U) Classified by CDA Robert Deutsch; reasons: E.O. 12958 1.4
(a,b,c,d).

1. (S/NF) Summary: Long-term Embassy contact with deep
experience in intel and national security analysis has
relayed to us from his sources the belief that (1) PKK and
Sunni radicals collaborated in Dec. 17 murder of five Turkish
security guards in Mosul; (2) PKK is readying a serious
terrorism campaign in Turkish cities; (3) Turkish Jandarma
intel is besieged by paranoid orders from Ankara to uncover
"Armenian separatists" and an "Israeli land grab" in the
southeast; and (4) a serious disinformation and psyops
campaign against NATO is being waged on more junior Turkish
officers. Our contact has proven accurate in the past but we
caution that we have no corroborating evidence for much of
the information in this cable -- especially relating to the
Mosul attack. End summary.

2. (S/NF) Just returned from two trips to Turkey's southeast,
where he is involved in a major anti-smuggling investigation
at the behest of Turkey's Energy Minister, a pre-eminent
Turkish national security analyst (XXXXXXXXXXXX -- strictly
protect) briefed us Dec. 20-21 on several aspects of current
Turkish security questions, and, in particular, Jandarma
intel (JITEM) ops and preoccupations. He based his report to
us on meetings with approximately 40 JITEM officers --
lieutenants, captains, and majors, some of whom were our
contact's students -- involved in field investigations and
ops from Mersin to Mardin.

Murder of Five Turkish Police Security Guards Transiting Mosul
--------------------------------------------- -----------------

3. (S/NF) Dec. 21 our main contact and another contact of
ours from TNP bureau of intelligence together discussed with
us what they have heard regarding the Dec. 17 murder of the
Turkish security guards in transit through Mosul on their way
to the Turkish embassy in Baghdad. Our main contact said he
had had two phone conversations with a former member of the
PKK leadership whom he has known for a long time and who is
now being run as a Jandarma agent in northern Iraq. This
agent told our contact that all signs (not further explained)
point to collaboration in the attack between the PKK and
Sunni tribal Arab radicals and that two of the drivers in the
convoy disappeared unharmed after the attack (sic); tracking
them down would be key to establishing the attackers'
identity, our main contact added. Our TNP contact agreed
that this may be a case of PKK-Sunni radical collaboration
but TNP is also checking to see whether there is any KDP
connection.

4. (S/NF) Our main contact added that the Turkish military is
aware of how stretched Task Force Olympia (TFO) is but, along
with TNP, would like to be invited to participate in a joint
investigation with the Americans. He also notes that proof
Sunni Arabs were behind the murder would be as compelling a
weapon as exists to help quash the rampant anti-American
disinformation campaign in Turkey about our operations in
Iraq. He and the TNP contact agreed that, in any event, the
murder marks a watershed in how Turkey will deal with any
such future attacks: the presence of all high GOT and State
officials at the Dec. 20 memorial service in Ankara reminded
our interlocutors of similar attendance at the funeral of 31
Jandarma soldiers killed in a 1993 PKK ambush and the
subsequent uncompromising Turkish response. Both expected
that, once the Turkish authorities determine who was
responsible (not hard to do, they asserted), Turkey will take
revenge through covert action.

PKK
---

5. (S/NF) Running anti-PKK operations flat-out in the
southeastern provinces of Urfa, Mardin, and Diyarbakir, JITEM
is troubled by the amounts of weapons, especially heavy
machine guns and similar, and explosives being smuggled into
Turkey from Iraq, our contact reports. JITEM figures it is
intercepting only one in three trucks. Some of the arms
appear to be flowing to Kurdish feudal landlords (agas) who
are arming their followers to give them muscle in land grabs
in anticipation of EU harmonization which will bring land
registry under tighter control. The mere fact of arming with
such weaponry sets these groups against the Turkish State.

6. (S/NF) Arms and explosives are also being smuggled into
Turkey's cities, which the PKK has now thoroughly penetrated,
according to our contact's JITEM sources. (Note: Jandarma
has no authority in or responsibility for urban areas, which
are the domain of TNP. End note.) According to our source,
JITEM has information that PKK militants from western Europe,
chosen for their clean-cut, educated manners to blend
undetectably into an urban environment, have been trained in
urban terrorism -- assassinations and explosions -- in at
least one camp in northern Iraq (not further identified)
shared with Ansar al-Islam. JITEM expects the PKK to launch
extensive terrorist actions in Turkey's cities in the wake of
the EU decision to grant Turkey a 2005 accession negotiation
start date, he said.

7. (S/NF) Pointing to a regional trend toward PKK-Sunni Arab
collaboration, our contact said he has heard for some time
that PKK-related Kurds in Syria have allied with hard-core
Sunnis in the Syrian military against Bashir Assad. Adana
Consul has heard similar rumors in his travels in the
southeast.

Paranoia
--------

8. (S/NF) The Turkish State's fear of history is reflected in
a steady stream of orders from Ankara to JITEM posts in the
field to combat "Armenian separatism." Our contact's JITEM
acquaintances told him that for a long time they were
mystified by the insistence of the orders, given that there
is literally only a handful of Armenians left in the
southeast. As they worked in vain to uncover any signs of
Armenian separatism, they came to realize that Ankara was
basing its suspicions on the meticulous population registry
(nufus kutugu) of family lineage which, among other things,
shows how many citizens -- especially concentrated in certain
regions of the east and southeast -- actually have an
Armenian background underneath their forebears' voluntary or
forced conversions or adoptions during the period when
Armenians were being deported and murdered en masse by the
Ottoman authorities and local Muslim bands. The distant and
suppressed Armenian connection is so pervasive that JITEM
even came across a village imam with Armenian roots, our
contact relayed. In our own extensive travels throughout
Anatolia, especially east of the Kizilirmak River, we have
been repeatedly struck by (a) the common knowledge among
ordinary citizens of what happened in 1915, a knowledge which
most will readily share; and (b) the number of people with
apparent Armenian features.

9. (C) We note that the population registry, a continuation
of the Ottoman system akin in some ways to parish baptismal
records but more centralized and detailed, is a system whose
maintenance even today illustrates the extraordinary
attention to, and fear of, "foreign elements" among the
citizenry.

10. (S/NF) JITEM has also been burdened by an endless loop of
orders to investigate allegations that Israelis are buying up
land in the fertile Harran plain south and east of Urfa, our
contact reports. After a square-inch by square-inch review,
JITEM in Urfa could find no evidence of such a trend.
Noticing that Ankara was relying for its orders on material
published in the weekly "Aydinlik" by Dogu Perincek, a
notorious source of pro-"Eurasian", anti-U.S., anti-NATO,
anti-Israeli disinformation -- which many of our Turkish
contacts say is provided and financed in great measure by the
Russians -- one local JITEM commander, to get Ankara off his
back, slyly suggested in his final report that Ankara should
consider whether this information had been provided by Syrian
intelligence or by the Israelis themselves to make Turkey
fear Israel's might.

Anti-NATO Campaign
------------------

11. (S/NF) Our contact reports that his JITEM contacts are
disturbed by a focused campaign to poison younger officers
against NATO. The campaign includes lectures and house
visits to Jandarma officers in Urfa, Mardin and elsewhere by
people such as Ankara University professor Anil Cecen
(pronounced "Chechen"; he is of Chechen descent), a
well-known "Eurasia" advocate and NATO opponent. Our contact
noted to us that there are anti-NATO cells of instructors at
the Military Academies in Istanbul as well.

12. (S/NF) DAO Ankara has also observed and reported an
undercurrent of anti-Americanism and open questioning of the
alliance by junior and mid-level officers, expressions
sanctioned by more senior leadership, e.g., in the Turkish
special forces.

Comment
-------

13. (S/NF) As we have experienced ourselves in travelling
with him throughout Anatolia, our contact, a 12-year veteran
of Turkish military intelligence and former police academy
instructor, has maintained a country-wide network of contacts
in Turkey's three main intel services, especially JITEM and
the national police (TNP). He has proven to be a timely and
accurate source for us on Turkish intel, military matters,
socio-anthropology and, given his XXXXXXXXXXXX origin and religious training (XXXXXXXXXXXX), on ruling AK Party, the sociology and politics of the Kurds, and Turkey's extensive network of Islamic brotherhoods and lodges. That said, we have no way to evaluate the
reliability of his specific reports.

14. (C) Baghdad minimize considered.
DEUTSCH

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