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Cablegate: 1991 Annual Terrorism Report for Turkey

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.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
B. DID THE HOST GOVERNMENT EXTRADITE OR REQUEST THE
EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED TERRORISTS FOR PROSECUTION?
--------------------------------------------- -------------
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.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
C. ANY SIGNIFICANT IMPEDIMENTS TO HOST GOVERNMENT
PROSECUTION AND/OR EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED TERRORISTS.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
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."

--------------------------------------------- -------------
D. HOST GOVERNMENT RESPONSES OTHER THAN PROSECUTION.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
TURKEY HAS ROUTINELY CONDEMNED TERRORIST ACTIVITY AND
HAS IN THE PAST COOPERATED WITH U.S. AUTHORITIES TO
DETER TERRORIST THREATS.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
E. A REVIEW OF MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS
UNDERTAKEN IN 1991, INCLUDING STEPS TAKEN IN
INTERNATIONAL FORA.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
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.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
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.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
TURKEY PROVIDES NO SUPPORT TO INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST
GROUPS.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
G. HAS THE HOST COUNTRY MADE ANY PUBLIC STATEMENTS IN
SUPPORT OF A TERRORIST-SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON A TERRORISM
ISSUE?
--------------------------------------------- -------------
NO.

--------------------------------------------- -------------
H. DESCRIBE ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE SINCE 1990, POSITIVE
OR NEGATIVE, IN THE HOST GOVERNMENT'S ATTITUDE TOWARD
TERRORISM, INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC.
--------------------------------------------- -------------
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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