Kyle Orton Profile picture
Jul 9, 2018 17 tweets 15 min read
<Brief Thread> on some CIA reports as the #PKK insurgency was beginning in #Turkey.
HT @Ayei_Eloheichem, who found these materials. He covers Russia, Israel, terrorism, espionage, and more. Give him a #FF.
In August 1985, the CIA believed that the #PKK insurgency in #Turkey that had begun exactly a year before was all-but finished because of the internal divisions in the Kurdish population and the gangsterism of the PKK, plus no support from Iraqi Kurds. bit.ly/2uk88k3
The Kurds in #Turkey were the first to revolt against Ataturk, citing both Islam and nationalism. By the 1970s, the Marxist students had captured the movement and with #Iran's intrusion into northern #Iraq it created a vacuum of authority the #PKK exploited to begin its war.
Even early the CIA was able to detect two broad #PKK trends: a significant hinterland in [then-West] Germany and a ferocious hatred of other Left-wing groups.
The CIA was able to detect support from Clerical #Iran and Muammar al-Qaddafi's #Libya for the #PKK in the summer of 1985.

[Perhaps it is in the redacted text: the biggest supporter of the PKK was Asad's #Syria, acting in part as an intermediary for the Soviet Union.]
The CIA (1985) worried that the #PKK insurgency would divert #Turkey from its #NATO obligations.

This was the purpose of the Soviet Union in backing the PKK, though, interestingly, while the CIA sees a Soviet hand, it quite strongly denies the possibility of Soviet support.
The CIA (1985) concludes it's "probably unrealistic" that Asad's #Syria or Qaddafi's #Libya would provide "large-scale" support for the #PKK.
This was flatly mistaken with respect to #Syria, which built the #PKK into a viable insurgency and sheltered and supported it ever-afterwards. In Cold War terms, Syria acted as a cut-out for the Soviets, especially in dealing with terrorist groups.
By late 1986, CIA seems to have a better handle on the #PKK, particularly its support from Asad's #Syria and its near-total dominance of a sustainable insurgency against #Turkey, as well as its ruthlessness towards Kurds who dissent from their doctrine. bit.ly/2L2K38H
The CIA makes a specific reference to Cetin Gungor as one of the #PKK dissidents who was murdered in Europe. He had set up the group's European wing in 1981.
Even by 1986, the extent of the #PKK's surveillance of the Kurdish diaspora and its own operations in Europe, and its willingness to murder [suspected] dissenters is clear, as is the extortion of these populations and the front-groups used to get do it.
The CIA report [1986] includes a section on the "circumstantial evidence" the #PKK was involved in killing Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme in February of that year.
The CIA concludes [Dec. 1986] that whatever success #Turkey was having in suppressing #PKK terrorism internally was not affecting the PKK abroad; that even in Turkey the PKK was able to attack #NATO installations; and #Syria was providing the PKK crucial cross-border assistance.
CIA gives a list of people the #PKK assassinated in Europe between 1979 and 1986.
CIA report: in Jan. 1996, the #PKK:

- assassinated one of its members in Adana, #Turkey

- stopped a bus in Kocyurdu, "shot and killed one of the passengers" before they "set the vehicle on fire, killing the remaining passengers trapped in the bus"

bit.ly/2zlWgE7
Less brief than intended, but hopefully underlines some points about #PKK:

- It was on the other side in the Cold War

- It always focused on dissident Kurds and Leftists as much as #Turkey

- It's foreign terrorism apparatus in Europe is extensive [and extant]

<End thread>

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