Originally formed in 1978 as Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, a splinter faction of Dev Genc (Revolutionary Youth). Renamed in 1994 after factional infighting; “Party” refers to the group’s political activities, while “Front” is a reference to the group’s militant operations. The group espouses a Marxist-Leninist ideology and is virulently anti-US, anti-NATO, and anti-Turkish establishment. It finances its activities chiefly through donations and extortion.
Since the late 1980s, the group has targeted primarily current and retired Turkish security and military officials. It began a new campaign against foreign interests in 1990, which included attacks against US military and diplomatic personnel and facilities. To protest perceived US imperialism during the Gulf war, the DHKP/C assassinated two US military contractors; wounded an Air Force officer; and bombed more than 20 US and NATO military, commercial, and cultural facilities. In its first significant terrorist act as DHKP/C in 1996, it assassinated a prominent Turkish businessman and two others. DHKP/C added suicide bombings to its repertoire in 2001, with successful attacks against Turkish police in January and September. Security operations in Turkey and elsewhere have weakened the group, however. DHKP/C did not conduct any major terrorist attacks in 2003, although a DHKP/C operative prematurely detonated her explosive belt in May.
Probably several dozen terrorist operatives inside Turkey, with a large support network throughout Europe.
Location/Area of Operation
Turkey, primarily Istanbul. Raises funds in Europe.