Thursday, May 29, 2008

Turkish conflicts: PKK, KLA

The conflict between the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (Kurdistan Workers' Party)) and the TSK (Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri (Turkish Armed Forces)) has spread through their allies, friends and funding networks, so that the PKK is aligned with the "Orthodox Axis" of Russia, Serbia and Greece (and southern Cyprus) and the TSK is in an "Unholy Alliance" with the United States, Albania and the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) and, latterly, Kosovo; Russian-armed Serb nationalist Slobodan Milošević was ousted from Kosovo by the British-and-American-trained KLA.

One of the Kosovo War's many conflicts was the proxy war between the Turkish-supplied KLA and the Russian-armed PKK fighting over the fundraising drug and prostitution rackets. While Serbia had its paramilitary Red Berets and the allied Zemun Gang (and others since its disruption) and the Red Berets, the Zemun Gang and the Serb Volunteer Guard all funded their activities by smuggling heroin, cigarettes, etc., Serbian criminologist Dobrivoje Radovanović (2003: 87) judged that 'a "Serbian mafia" per se does not exist', rather that 'Serbia is home to Albanian, Chinese, and Russian organized crime groups'.

As I showed in a previous post, the Russian mafia arms and must cooperate in smuggling heroin with the PKK; as well as fighting, Russian mercenaries (Kontraktniki) worked with ultranationalist Serb groups, like the Serb Volunteer Guard, on smuggling operations during the Yugoslav wars and, likewise excluded from the Albanian, Turkish and Kurdish-dominated western European heroin trade, presumably also work with their Russian friends' Kurdish friends, the PKK.

Down the line, every side in the Yugoslav wars received heroin and used the profits from its smuggling and dealing 'to purchase arms and pay fighters'; within the Kosovan diaspora, there was 'a criminal diaspora that dominated heroin distribution' in transit-and-market countries Switzerland and Germany; this Kosovo Liberation Army-funding crime syndicate fought a turf war with the Kurdistan Workers' Party's heroin producers, smugglers and dealers.

The KLA was used by, but now works with, the Turkish Grey Wolves to smuggle and distribute drugs, guns, people, 'any type of unregistered and illegal commercial activities', from the Balkans through Europe and even into North America, presumably, then, to traffic and trade in illicit antiquities.

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