Thursday, May 29, 2008

Turkish conflicts: PKK, TSK

At the height of the war between the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (Kurdistan Workers' Party)) and the TSK (Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri (Turkish Armed Forces)) in south-eastern Turkey, archaeologists Metin Akyurt and Bahattin Devam were specifically targeted and killed by a car bomb in 1991. Turkish-sponsored excavations were cancelled in 1992 and even international teams promised protection by both the TSK and the PKK eventually pulled out in 1993 in fear of extortion through protection rackets or kidnapping, or 'worse'.

The violence may not have been what it seemed: there have been 'secret unit[s] within police [and other security] forces that carried out bombings and killings for which other groups were widely blamed' - that is to say, 'false-flag terrorism' in which Turkish nationalists have killed, but Kurdish nationalists or Islamic extremists have been blamed; still, the tactics used suggest that it was not false-flag terrorism in this particular case.

Although the war has been less bloody since the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in 1999, one way or another, it has continued. 'Peace', after all, 'could be bad for business.' Government and governors, military, police and gendarmerie all backed the use of gangs, private armies and Village Guards (Köy Korucuları), paid for with secret government funds and heroin trafficking, which the Turkish military and Turkish NATO officers were directly involved in.

Crime lord Hüseyin Baybaşin claimed that 'he had received the assistance of Turkish embassies and consulates while moving huge consignments of drugs around Europe, and that Turkish army officers serving with Nato in Belgium were also involved. "The government kept all doors open for us," he said. "We could do as we pleased."'

'[T]he MIT itself accuses its rival organisation, Turkey's national police, of having "provided police identity cards and diplomatic passports to members of a group which, in the guise of anti-terrorist activities, travelled to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary and Azerbaijan to engage in drug trafficking"'; in fact, both were involved, competing in a lethal battle for control of the trade.

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