A Report on the PKK and Terrorism

Turkey is situated in the center of an area characterized by unpredictable radical changes. She has also been one of the prime targets of international terrorism in the past decades. First it was the ASALA (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia), claiming the lives of innocent diplomats and their families. Ironically, as ASALA terrorism subsided, PKK terrorism accelerated. At present PKK, with its Marxist-Leninist ideology and violent methods, continues to be a menace detrimental to the promotion of democratic way of living in the region.

In the annual report of the U.S. State Department published in April 1993 under the title of "Patterns of Global Terrorism" the PKK is described as a "Marxist Leninist terrorist group composed of Turkish Kurds seeking to setup a Marxist state in Southeastern Turkey"

The PKK is recognized and classified as a terrorist organization by all Western countries including the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. France and Germany, recently, banned the activities of this terror group and other West European governments, are closely monitoring the situation.

Since 1984, indiscriminate violence and terror waged by the PKK have claimed, thousands of lives. Women children and the old were not spared. People were murdered before their family members or kidnapped and summarily executed.

O R I G I N S

The PKK's origins can be traced back to 1974, when Öcalan, in Ankara, led a small group of radicals out of Revolutionary Youth (DEV-GENÇ). The Kurdistan Workers Party, "Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan" (PKK) was established in 1978. Öcalan, the leader of the organization took refuge in Syria, after 1980, following the efficient struggle against such organizations by the Turkish Security Forces. The organization, whose ideology is based on Marxism-Leninism, seeks to establish an independent Kurdish state encompassing Turkey's southeastern provinces.

S T R U C T U R E

The PKK has a Central Committee, presided over by a Central Executive Committee. Öcalan, the Party's Secretary General since its founding, heads the Central Committee. He rules with absolute power, making all the decisions. The organization is divided further into internal and external centers.

PKK's Subordinate Military Committee established under the name of Liberation Units of Kurdistan (Hazen Rizgariya Kurdistan-HRK) was dissolved and replaced by Kurdistan Peoples Liberation Army (Arteshen Rizgariya Gelli Kurdistan-ARGK) after the Third Congress of the PKK held in Damascus-Syria in October 1986.

The external center of the PKK operates through the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (Eniya Rizgariya Netewa Kurdistan-ERNK) which was established on March 21, 1985. The ERNK started to operate after 1989 when the European countries opened their doors and allowed it to flourish in their territories.

The PKK describes the duties of the ERNK in Europe under ten headings, on a document titled "The Mass Character of our Party and the Front", dated 1988. In this document, special emphasis are given to these four issues:

1. Mass activities (Press meetings, raids, occupations, etc.)

2. Activities targeting Turkey:

a. Determining on cadres and sending them to become fighters,

b. Carrying out combat training,

c. Sending fighting forces to Turkey,

d. Providing logistic support,

e. Organizing links between those in Europe and in Syria.

f. Maintaining contacts with other armed groups.

g. Maintaining contacts with groups in prisons.

3. Working on intelligence and party security activities

4. Creating financial resources for the movement (narcotics trafficking, extortion, etc.)

In the words of the PKK, its militants are "fighting under the flag of the ERNK and armed with the weapons of the ARGK".

Some of the financial sources of the PKK can be cited as follows:

*Revenues obtained from the "special nights" organized by branch organizations in Europe.

*Aid campaigns periodically organized by the party.

*Grants and subscriptions.

*Sales of the publications.

*Revenues obtained from the commercial establishments belonging to the organization.

*Money collected through robbery

*Money collected through drug trafficking and arms-smuggling.

* Extortion

*"Aids" received through intimidation from constructors and merchants running business in the region.

* Smuggling of illegal workers.

*Transfer of money to the organization from the persons who are entitled to payments in European countries, under refugee status.

F A C T I O N S I N P K K

During the second party congress held in 1982 in Syria, differences of opinions have surfaced for the first time. Some of the militants who established and worked for the survival of the party, left the organization; or they were personally pacified by the leader. The PKK has murdered some of the defectors and took some of them under custody. A major split has become apparent within the PKK, after Hüseyin Yildirim, long-time spokesman of the party in Europe, announced in Brussels in 1988, his disagreement with the party leader, Öcalan. His defection from the main group together with some followers intensified the ongoing inter-factional PKK violence in western-Europe.

P K K A F F I L I A T E D I N S T I T U T I O N S:

In certain Western countries, the activities of Turkish separatist terrorist organizations are being regrettably disregarded, while their propaganda activities are, to say the least, tolerated. PKK has established pseudo wings or front organizations in order to bolster their propaganda and operational capabilities. This strategy is extensively employed by the PKK in some member countries of NATO. Various front organizations, disguised as socio-cultural associations (Kurdistan Committees) and so-called "information centers" are manipulated and guided by the PKK's facade branch-ERNK. These institutions in fact provide the political, moral and substantial financial support indispensable for PKK's survival.

Within this framework and using its front institutions, the terrorist organization is trying to establish its diaspora in Europe, by organizing and inciting asylum seekers. Furthermore, "organized crime" which constitutes an integral part of this diaspora, carries out extortion, drug smuggling, money laundering activities in order to gather funds, required to enhance its terrorist activities. Simply, these funds in turn are used to finance the procurement of weapons and ammunition. The prohibition of PKK and its front organizations in Germany and France at the end of 1993 has partially reduced the financial and moral support this terror organization was receiving. As a result, PKK is presently channeling its activities to other European countries where the organization can freely operate.

C O N N E C T I O N S

PKK acts as a sub-contractor of the international terror network. It maintains relationships with some Middle Eastern, African, European, and Latin American terrorist groups. Furthermore, it collaborates with terror organizations such as the DEV-SOL and HIZBULLAH .

Its militants are trained along with thesd and the other terrorist organizations in Bekaa Valley/Lebanon under Syrian control and in Greece.

Various underground organizations utilize PKK in the fields of arms trading, narcotics trafficking and illegal transfer of labor .

N A R C O - T E R R O R

PKK's drug trafficking activity constitutes a major part of its financial apparatus. The money gained from illicit drug dealings and marketing is channeled to funding its arms purchases, which is required to continue its terrorist activities.

The United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotic Matters, has published a report in 1992, called "International Narcotics Control Strategy". This report stipulates that the European drug cartel is controlled by PKK members.

PKK smuggles narcotics brought from Southeast Asia and Middle East to Europe. For the first time, an organization is involved in all aspects of the drug connection, namely, the acquisition, importation and distribution of drugs in Europe. The amount of money generated from this illegal activity is substantial.It amounts to hundreds of millions of U.S. Dollar.

Some of the money acquired from drug trafficking and extortion, goes to the purchase of firearms and other equipment. While the rest is pocketed by those who carry out these activities as a way of life.

PKK has already been transformed into a professional organization that will always be in need of committing crimes and murders in order to survive. Since PKK has no "lebensraum" in Turkey, it will sooner or later pose a threat to those states, including European countries, which tolerate it.

For example, recently, an article in a German newspaper (Kölnische Rundschau), dated February 2, 1995 reports that a drug trafficking cartel which operates in South America called "Medellin" has close links with PKK drug dealers who work in Europe. In this connection, 25 PKK sympathizers were apprehended in Cologne, with 143 kg. of heroin. Ht is clearly evident that the PKK is a company of bandits that use every available illegal means to make money.

S Y R I A - P K K

As mentioned above, after PKK's leader Öcalan took refuge in Syria, this country has provided military, logistic and financial support to this terror organization.

The talks between the Turkish and Syrian authorities on security matters, unfortunately, have not been beneficial in eliminating the PKK presence in Syria.

S T R U G G L E A G A I N S T T E R R O R I S M

Terrorism is a widespread issue challenging the contemporary world.

No nation in today's world can be considered safe from terrorism. The phenomena of international terrorism will be the paramount illness of the post-Cold War era. There is solely one single way to overcome this collective plight. That is cooperation of all countries and decisively implementing the international instruments, particularly UN resolutions, which stipulates that countries should adopt a common policy against terrorism.

NATO's New Strategic Concept, agreed by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Rome on 7th-8th November 1991, stipulates that "Alliance security must also take account of the global context. Alliance security interest can be effected by other risks of wider nature (among them) terrorism."

The same document states that "the fundamental operating principle of the Alliance is of common commitment and mutual cooperation among sovereign states in support of indivisibility of security for all its members."

In this framework, one can also cite Resolution no: 2625 adopted by the 25. UN General Assembly on 24 October 1970 and Vienna Declaration and Program of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 and UN Resolution no 48/122 adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 1993.

In addition to these documents, on 16 November 1994, the UN Sixth Committee, with Turkey's immense support, has adopted a resolution under the title "Measures to eliminate international terrorism" which has been also adopted by the General Assembly by consensus, as decision No: 49/60.

Furthermore, Turkey has submitted a draft resolution to the Third Committee of the UN titled "Human Rights and Terrorism" which has been also adopted on 23 December 1994 as decision No:49/185.

Turkey, within the framework of the Mediterranean Forum has initiated a process by drafting a text to collectively combat international terrorism. Similarly, again with Turkey's initiative a resolution at the Organization of the Islamic Conference was adopted on the Preparation of a Code of Conduct for Combatting International Terrorism.

All of these decisions, attribute obligations to states. That is, no state shall organize, assist, instigate finance, incite and tolerate the activities of terrorist organizations.

T U R K E Y'S A N T I-T E R R O R I S T E N C O U N T E R

As for strategy, PKK leadership believes that they must resort to terrorism against the state, civilians and rival groups.

Although counter-terrorism cannot work miracles overnight, effective inter-agency coordination since the establishment of the State of Emergency Regional Governorship and the decisive struggle of the security forces have led to a notable decline in PKK's activities.

PKK continues its attacks aiming at the authority and effectiveness of the State, such as assaults on teachers and village guards.

It remains beyond doubt that the PKK will pursue its main tactic of intimidating the local people through terrorism .

PKK can also be expected to continue its policy of force recruitment by kidnapping to offset its heavy losses, which has dramatically increased in 1994.

Due to the growing efficiency of counter-terrorism in the southeast, PKK can also be expected to initiate acts of terror in the urban areas. Some of the attempts in this direction undertaken with quite amateurish methods, have been foiled by the security forces.

The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Turkey is beyond discussion. Turkey is not the only European country where a separatist outlawed band of terrorist conduct armed atrocities. Spain has its Basque separatists, France its Corsicans, UK its IRA. All three Governments are fighting back. Turkey is doing exactly the same.

In the Republic of Turkey, which relies upon the rule of law, everyone has the freedom to pursue their rights through legal means. Turkey is a party to the European Human Rights Charter and other main human rights conventions and has recognized the individual's right to apply to the European Human Rights Commission and also has accepted the binding decisional powers of the European Court of Human Rights.

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, these international conventions constitute inseparable parts of Turkish domestic law. Every citizen has the right to contribute to the composition of the government through democratic elections. The constitution of the Republic of Turkey treats every individual on equal footing before the law irrespective of their language, race, color, sex, political opinion, conviction, religion and creed.

No one can justify the terrorist acts of PKK in a country where all legal and democratic means for the prevalence of justice is open for all. It is the legitimate right of any country facing terrorism to root it out with all legal means available to it.

Turkey's freely elected parliament mirrors both the ethnic diversity of its citizens and the various geographic areas of the country. At present, one third of the deputies in the Turkish Parliament are of Kurdish origin.

Turkish citizens are free to form or to support a political party that expresses their political views and all Turkish citizens, regardless of ethnic background, have the right to participate actively in Turkey's multi-party system. All citizens are free to organize and to join political prdssure groups, including human rights organizations.

Turkish citizens of Kurdish ethnic origin live throughout the country and are not found exclusively in Southeastern Anatolia. It is estimated that two thirds of Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin live in the larger cities and towns outside the Southeast. They participate in all walks of social, economic and political life.

The Southeastern part of Turkey is faced with economic problems which are being violently exploited by the PKK. The Turkish state, particularly in early mid-eighties, inaugurated major programs to remedy the situation. Among such development projects, the primordial one is certainly the Southeastern Anatolia Project which was started in the 1970's. This project aims at changing the whole complexion of the arid geography and consequently the social and economic fabric of the region.

Turkey, throughout history, has opened its borders to foreigners. Five hundred years ago, Jews escaping the Spanish inquisition found refuge in the Ottoman Empire. Turkey in 1988 provided a safe haven to 60.000 Kurds fleeing from Iraq and recently helped hundreds of thousands of Kurds escaping from this country.

The Anatolian people have a common past. They have lived together for ten centuries thus creating a Turkish identity. The term "Turkish" refers to being a Turkish citizen. It does not reflect any ethnicity. The Anatolian people as a whole struggled for the independence of Turkey and everybody has contributed immensely in building this state.

Therefore, PKK terrorism and the economic difficulties of the Southeast must be differentiated. The Turkish Government is adamant to alleviate the economic uneasiness of the region. However, all projects that are envisaged to ameliorate the living standards of the people living in the area are disrupted by PKK terrorism.

As terrorism in the southeast is seriously declining, investments figures will no doubt accelerate.

Turkish people have founded the secular Turkish Republic and then have made the transition to a pluralist democratic system on their own will.

The basic principles of this Republic, which is situated in one of the most vulnerable area in the world, are the unitary state system, respect for human rights, pluralist democracy and a secular establishment.

What Turkey is exercising today, and if needed will exercise in the future, is legitimate self-defense for its territorial integrity and the protection of its people. We believe that it is the duty of the international community and media not to turn a blind eye to the massacre of innocent people in the hands of PKK terrorism.

S T A T I S T I C A L I N F O R M A T I O N

Below are some figures relating to PKK violence:

N U M B E R O F D E A T H S



    YEAR          Terrorist       Civilian         Soldier          Police        Village Guard  

                                                                                                



    1984              11             20              24                -                 -   

    1985             100             82              67                -                 -   

    1986              64             74              40                3                 -   

    1987             107            237              49                3                 10    

    1988             103             81              36                6                  7   

    1989             165            136             111                8                 34    

    1990             350            178              92               11                 56    

    1991             356            170             213               20                 41    

    1992            1055            761             444              144                167     

    1993            1699           1218             487               28                156     

    1994            4114           1082             794               43                265     

    1995            2292           1085             450               47                 87    

(First 6                                                                                        

months)                                                                                         



   TOTAL           10416            5124            2087              313               813    


















C O N C L U S I O N

Still, in certain Western countries, the activities of Turkish separatist terrorist organizations are being regrettably tolerated.

On the other hand, it is becoming harder to convince Turkish public opinion that the measures taken by our European allies were sufficient to impose an end to PKK activities in Europe.

After the prohibition of PKK in France and Germany at the end of 1993, a new wave of optimism emerged in the Turkish public opinion that the rest of the European countries would adopt similar measures. But, unfortunately this was not realized.

These decisions of the mentioned countries, should set an example to the rest of the West European countries. The existence of these pro-PKK institutions, an issue of discomfort, continues to make up a room for this terror organization to carry on its extortion, labor trafficking, drug smuggling activities.

The core of the matter consists of countries that harbor militants or their supporters like the front organizations of PKK. This is an obvious breach of their international commitments. If these terrorist groups exploit the democratic environment of the host state, in order to stage violent acts against a third country, the relevant articles of the international resolutions should be implemented, without any reservation.

A REPORT ON THE PKK AND TERRORISM

Turkey is situated in the center of an area characterized by unpredictable radical changes. She has also been one of the prime targets of international terrorism in the past decades. First it was the ASALA (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia), claiming the lives of innocent diplomats and their families. Ironically, as ASALA terrorism subsided, PKK terrorism accelerated. At present PKK, with its Marxist-Leninist ideology and violent methods, continues to be a menace detrimental to the promotion of democratic way of living in the region.

In the annual report of the U.S. State Department published in April 1993 under the title of "Patterns of Global Terrorism" the PKK is described as a "Marxist Leninist terrorist group composed of Turkish Kurds seeking to setup a Marxist state in Southeastern Turkey"

The PKK is recognized and classified as a terrorist organization by all Western countries including the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. France and Germany, recently, banned the activities of this terror group and other West European governments, are closely monitoring the situation.

Since 1984, indiscriminate violence and terror waged by the PKK have claimed, thousands of lives. Women children and the old were not spared. People were murdered before their family members or kidnapped and summarily executed.

O R I G I N S

The PKK's origins can be traced back to 1974, when Öcalan, in Ankara, led a small group of radicals out of Revolutionary Youth (DEV-GENÇ). The Kurdistan Workers Party, "Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan" (PKK) was established in 1978. Öcalan, the leader of the organization took refuge in Syria, after 1980, following the efficient struggle against such organizations by the Turkish Security Forces. The organization, whose ideology is based on Marxism-Leninism, seeks to establish an independent Kurdish state encompassing Turkey's southeastern provinces.