AREA OF OPERATION• Primarily the Diyarbakir region of southeastern Turkey at first• Later the group gains strength and spreads all over Turkey
Hezbollah: Party of God http://robrimes.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/hezbollah-2.jpg?w=450&h=338
Huseyin Velioglu Born in Batman, Turkey in 1952 Educated in political science at the University of Ankara in the 1970‟s Plays a major role in the movement within Turkey to establish an Islamic state ruled by Islamic law. Founds Turkish Hezbollah in 1987 Leads Turkish Hezbollah in armed struggle to create an independent Islamic state Velioglu leads the group until his death in January of 2001
Known History of the Turkish Hezbollah The group first emerges in Turkey in the mid 1980‟s. They are considered to be a militant Islamic extremist group. Turkish Hezbollah is mainly comprised of Kurdish Sunni Islamists. No connection to the Lebanese and Shi‟a group that is also called Hezbollah. The leader and founder of Turkish Hezbollah was Huseyin Velioglu. The main goal of Turkish Hezbollah is to create an independent Islamic state in Turkey. The group received military training at the Kurdish Workers‟ Party (PKK) military camps in the late 1980‟s. Later, the group has a fallout with the PKK because Turkish Hezbollah accused the PKK of killing other
It is widely believed that a branch of the Turkish government supported Turkish Hezbollah during this period to help suppress the rise of the PKK in Turkey, although it has never been officially proven. After the fallout between Turkish Hezbollah and the PKK an armed conflict ensued resulting in the deaths of over 500 PKK members. Members of Turkish Hezbollah met in bookstores in southern Turkey to discuss ideology, and to recruit new members. A split in the ideological views within the group causes it to split into two factions. The two factions that emerge were the Ilimciler (the scientists) and the Menzilciler (the rangers). The Ilimciler faction supported armed struggle and were willing to do anything necessary to achieve their goals. The Menzilciler faction believed in a more intellectual and nonviolent approach and thought that an armed struggle was unnecessary.
Nonviolent Support for HezbollahHezbollah supporters stage protest in eastern and southeasterTurkey.
With the split ideologically within Turkish Hezbollah between the Ilimciler faction and the Menzilciler faction an internal power struggle ensued. The Ilimciler faction takes full control of Turkish Hezbollah after they kill the leader of the Menzilciler, Fidan Gungor. After the Ilimciler take full control of the group they turn their attentions back to the PKK. After continued conflict with the PKK both groups realized that the conflict between them hindered the completion of both groups final goal, which was to create an independent Islamic state in Turkey. The two rival groups agree to cooperate with each other in the early 1990’s.
Eventually Turkish Hezbollah turn their sights on government and military targets which leads to the groups eventual downfall. The Turkish government crippled Turkish Hezbollah after they killed their leader Huseyin Velioglu in Istanbul. After the death of Velioglu the group begins to disintegrate as most members defect to Iran, and northern Iraq. It is now believed that the Turkish Hezbollah defectors have made connections with other terrorist groups like Ansar al-Islam and al-Qaeda.
“Denial comes in wake of controversy sparked afterDefense Minister Ehud Barak claimed Turkey‟s new topspy was a „friend of Iran‟.” http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/turkey- we-did-not-agree-to-aid-iran-s-hezbollah-arms- shipments-1.307961 Young Hezbollah supporters holding mock ups of Katyusha rockets in front of a portrait of group leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. Photo by: AP
Underlying Motivations Turkish Hezbollah‟s chief motivation is to create an independent Islamic state in Turkey They wish to rule this theoretical Islamic state under Islamic religious law They want to kill or expel any person or business that they deem un-Islamic They also seek to gain more support for the cause by eliminating any competing groups
Methods of Operation Torture and interrogation Videotaped killings Bombings Arson Shootings Kidnappings for ransom Assaults with various weapons Beatings Acid attacks on women who don‟t dress in an Islamic manner
Newspaper Headlines of Turkish Hezbollah Attacks 1984: Hezbollah targeted members of pro-PKK political parties, newspaper workers, and leading Kurdish figures. 1997: An attack on the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was one of the first incidents that gave Hezbollah widespread attention. 2000: A Turkish police raid revealed that Hezbollah members had brutally murdered dozens of people and had videotaped some of the killings. 2002: Sixty people died in Hezbollah attacks on two synagogues, a British bank, and the British Consulate in Istanbul. These are just a few of the groups major operations,
Number of Hezbollah Attacks in Turkey Each Year
Funding and External Aid Turkish Hezbollah secured much of its funding through extorting local businesses which they deemed to be un-Islamic livelihoods. They also kidnapped many prominent Kurdish figures in order to secure ransoms for their release. It is widely suspected that the group received funding and military supplies from Iran. It is also widely believed that Turkish Hezbollah received covert support from the Turkish government because they saw the group as a means to combat the Kurdish separatist movement also known as the PKK.
Present Day Situation in Turkey Today Turkish Hezbollah is a leaderless group, and much of its former leadership and members are either dead or imprisoned, or have fled Turkey. There are still supporters of the group throughout Turkey. There are various rumors that the groups members that fled to places like Iran and northern Iraq are still operating as Hezbollah and are trying to reestablish a Turkish Hezbollah presence in Turkey. The last known Turkish Hezbollah attacks were in 20003.
Work Cited Kayaoglu, Mustafa. “Terrorism and Strain: The Analysis of the Impact that Individual Strain and Negative Affect Have on Violent Behavior Among Trained Turkish Hezbollah Members”. August 2008. Reference: http://www.turkishweekly.net/article/181/turkish-hizballah-hizbullah-a-case-study-of- radical-terrorism.html Reference: http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/exgi_0001_0002_0/exgi_0001_0002_0_00149.html Reference: http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=1928&from_page=../index.cfm Reference: