View Full Version : Counter-Terrorism: Turkey's record

11-25-2009, 10:49 PM
Following a conference in March 2009 entitled ‘Combating International Terrorism: Turkey’s Added Value’. The co-sponsor RUSI (London defence plus think tank, I am also a member) has just published a paper on the bilateral exchange had on counter-terrorism best practice between the UK and Turkey, plus the various dimensions of the terrorist threat in Turkey and the country’s response to it.

Paper: http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/Turkey_terrorism.pdf

Aside from Turkey's strategic position and range of hostile internal groups it is a secular, overwhelmingly Muslim nation - so there maybe lessons to learn.

Rex Brynen
11-26-2009, 01:11 AM
Aside from Turkey's strategic position and range of hostile internal groups it is a secular, overwhelmingly Muslim nation - so there maybe lessons to learn.

Other than, hopefully, "marginalize your Kurds for decades, to the point of refusing to acknowledge their identity, labeling them 'mountain Turks' instead." :D

11-26-2009, 10:28 AM
I don't quite see what we have to learn from the Turks other than how NOT to do COIN. In addition to the comments of Rex Brynen above lets not forget the Army sanctioned (and semi-controlled) use of paramilitary death squads, the establishment of tribal militias given carte blanche to carry out "reprisals" in Kurdish areas, the denial (until very recently) by the far right National Action Party (a group which was disbanded in the 1970s but then reappeared as an Army outlet for its more "ring wing" officer class) of the very concept of "Kurdishness" not to mention the operation of their own death squads (with government/Army approval, collusion, support).....&c. I too was once a member of RUSI. For real reportage and analysis try Chatham House/RIIA or IISS.

11-26-2009, 11:23 AM
Perhaps I should have placed this phrase in bold:
there maybe lessons to learn?

Counter-terrorism is rarely "black and white" and I fully accept the others comments on the realities of Turkish CT.

(Appeared on another thread and deserves to be here. Added 23/1/10).

One of the few open source articles that provides some context for the role of the public is from Turkey:http://ccj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/23/2/142 (Behind a pay wall, although I have a copy).

In November 2003, a series of coordinated suicide bombings were carried out by
al-Qaeda in Istanbul. The targets represented Israel and the West, including two synagogues,
an HSBC bank, and the British consulate. The attacks resulted in 68 deaths and more than 700 injured. The investigation and arrests that ensued revealed that the network involved in the bombings had trained in Afghanistan. Of particular interest was the interpersonal web that grew from the four suicide bombers as well as the range of materials confiscated in the investigation. Specifically, nearly 300 people were identified who had some knowledge of the planned attack. Of these, 48 were viewed as hard-core committed terrorists, leaving approximately 250 community members who were not ideologically committed to al-Qaeda’s goals and who had some information that potentially could have been used in preventive action.

Chilling and possibly a reason why it is the only example in the public domain I know of.

01-22-2010, 10:24 PM
Starts with:
urkish police launched a nationwide crackdown on suspected militants linked to the al-Qaida terror network on Friday, rounding up 120 people in simultaneous pre-dawn raids, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

And ends with:
In June, Turkey's court of appeals upheld life sentences for six militants accused in the 2003 deadly bombings, including Syrian Loa'i Mohammad Haj Bakr al-Saqa, who was charged with masterminding the bombings. The court sentenced 33 others to between three years nine months and 18 years. It acquitted 15 of the suspects, citing a lack of evidence.

Hundreds of other suspected militants are on trial for membership in a terror organization.