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Cablegate: Assaults Against Turkish Institutions

VZCZCXRO0515
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHVI #1557 2951406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211406Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1134
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1209

UNCLAS VIENNA 001557

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL PGOV TU AU
SUBJECT: Assaults against Turkish institutions

1. Summary. Over the past days, Turkish institutions in Austria
have been the subject of several assaults which are suspected to
have been committed by Kurds protesting alleged mistreatment of
former PKK leader Abdullah Oecalan who is imprisoned in Turkey. End
Summary.

2. In the city of Salzburg, the Turkish consulate was the object of
an arson attack in the early morning of Sunday, October 19. Two
Molotov cocktails were thrown into the consulate at 4.30 a.m. No one
was injured since the building was empty. Turkish consul in Salzburg
Nesrin Bayazit said she suspects the assault to have been committed
by the Kurdish PKK party, since the Turkish missions in Austria had
received respective threats. Bayazit had asked Austrian authorities
for enhanced police protection also for non-office hours, when the
consular building is empty. This was, however, only provided after
the assault. According to Austrian police, there were similar
attacks in Switzerland in the course of the past days.

2. In the evening of October 19, an arson attack was directed
against the club rooms of a Turkish association in Vienna's 17th
district. At around 23.00, two Molotov cocktails were thrown into
the club rooms. Nobody was injured; fire brigades extinguished the
fire.

3. In the city of Graz, on October 19, shortly after midnight, a
group of Kurds reportedly threw rocks at the club rooms of a Turkish
association and cars parked in front of them. Reportedly, some 40
Kurds and Turks subsequently engaged in a fistfight.

4. On October 17, a group of 40 Kurds unsuccessfully attempted to
enter the Vienna International Center to hand over a petition to
protest the alleged mistreatment of the former PKK leader Abdullah
Oecalan. On October 18, 300 demonstrators gathered at a protest
march at the Turkish Embassy. The demonstration was peaceful.

Girard-diCarlo

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