May 31, 2010 will no doubt be remembered as a day of infamy, when Israeli commandoes slaughtered nine unarmed Turkish activists — bearing humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip — in international waters.
But those nine martyrs for Palestine weren’t the only ones to die that day: only hours before the massacre on the high seas, seven Turkish naval personnel were killed in Turkey’s Iskenderun seaport in an attack claimed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), ending a years-long truce.
The uncanny timing has led to speculation about the links between Israel — well known for training, funding and arming terrorist outfits — and the PKK.
The following media reports suggest the possibility that the recent upsurge in PKK attacks on Turkish targets is in fact Israeli payback-by-proxy for Ankara’s vocal opposition to the longstanding Zionist blockade of the Gaza Strip.
USAK Director Laciner implies link between Israel and PKK
The Journal of the Turkish Weekly (Turkey)
31 May 2010
Sedat Laciner, head of the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), has made comments on the rocket-attack on a military vehicle near a naval base in Iskenderun town of Hatay killing six soldiers and Israel’s strike against the aid convoy heading to Gaza.
Comparing these two attacks, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Laciner indicated that there can be a relationship between some of the Israeli groups and the terrorist organization, PKK. The PKK terrorist organization attacked a Turkish naval base when the Israeli forces attacked the international civilian aid flotilla including Turkish aid workers.
Laciner said, “Some Israelis support the PKK. Even though the Israeli state does not support it as a state, the people who left Mossad or retired from the army advocate the PKK. All these were reported by the US and Israeli media in recent past.”
Highlighting the obvious relationship between Israel and the terrorist organization, Laciner stated that it was a known fact that the PKK militants who planned to make bomb attacks in some cities were trained by Israel.
Laciner iterated that the recent attack in Iskenderun, a Mediterranean Turkish coast town, was far from being a typical PKK attack. Furthermore, by making an emphasis on the timing of the two attacks, Laciner said, “There is something weird. This was not a conventional PKK or terrorist attack.”
Laciner stated, “Israel is a small country and its power is hidden in dark places rather than conventional sources. Such a country traditionalized use of such measures can do many things to Turkey that is a country with many deficiencies. Turkey has several weaknesses and its political and cultural structure is open to any kind of interventions.”
Laciner indicated that Turkey had openly challenged Israel in “one minute” and Iran issues; thus the attitude of Israel was not something unexpected. He counted two main issues which could be used by Israel against Turkey: PKK and Ergenekon.
[Wikipedia: Ergenekon is the name given to an alleged clandestine, Kemalist ultra-nationalist organization in Turkey with ties to members of the country’s military and security forces. The group, named after Ergenekon, a mythical place located in the inaccessible valleys of the Altay Mountains, is accused of terrorism in Turkey.
[Its agenda has variously been described as Eurasianist, and isolationist. The defendants portray themselves as defenders of secularism and national sovereignty. According to the indictment, the group’s claim to legitimacy is that it allegedly protects national interests, which the defendants believe are incompatible with the rule of the democratically elected government of Justice and Development Party and are harmed by Turkey’s alleged concessions to the West.
[In Turkey, the extensions of the state — the establishment — that are considered responsible for this are referred to as the “deep state.” The existence of the “deep state” was affirmed in Turkish opinion after the Susurluk scandal in 1996. Alleged members have been indicted on charges of plotting to foment unrest, among other things by assassinating intellectuals, politicians, judges, military staff, and religious leaders, with the ultimate goal of toppling the incumbent government in a coup that was planned to take place in 2009.
[This follows allegations published in Nokta that several abortive coups with the same intent were planned a few years ago. The proximate motive behind these false flag activities is said to be to discredit the incumbent Justice and Development Party and derail Turkey’s accession process to the European Union.]
Stating that the PKK has become a subcontractor organization and been trying to get profit from speculative developments, Laciner said, “It is normal that the PKK is trying to ally with Turkey’s enemies at this level. However, the main problem here is that Turkish intelligence units and state units are not able to act together.”
“The attack against the Gaza aid convoy is tried to be made an issue of Turkey-Israel. Israel also wants to show the ruling party of Turkey as something equal to Hamas. Israel wants to create such a bias in minds.”
He also said that the bloody attack on the convoy was a conscious attack which was made in order to give a lesson to the rest of the world and Turkey.
Laciner defined the action as a breach of both international and national law and a crime. By stating that there is no way to justify the action, Laciner said that the crisis has not finished yet.
Reminding Murat Karayilan (one of the prominent figure of the PKK)’s statements calling for the US to use them rather than abolishing the terrorist organization, Laciner said, “While Turkey is challenging both Israel and the West in issues like Iran, the statements of Karayilan may come true in response to Turkey’s actions. Therefore, the international conjuncture in favor of Turkey may change and a disadvantageous atmosphere may emerge. PKK can be used against Turkey and we may see the signs of it in the near future.”
Israel has supported the PKK against Iran. Israeli advisers also encouraged the Kurdish groups to rise up against Baghdad to establish a separate Kurdish state in the Northern Iraq.
Dr. Nilgun Gulcan also underlined the link between the PKK and Israel. Dr. Gulcan said, “Many Israelis are active in Northern Iraq. They legitimate their existence with the help to the local Kurds yet everybody knows that they have hidden agenda and secret relations with the armed groups in the region.”
The above article can be found at: http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/102583/-jtw-analysis-usak-director-laciner-implies-link-between-israel-and-the-pkk.html
Turks suspect ‘Israeli link with PKK’
June 16, 2010
TEL AVIV — As relations between Israel and its erstwhile ally Turkey deteriorate following the Israeli navy’s May 31 killing of nine Turks, authorities in Ankara are investigating whether Israel had links to a deadly attack by Kurdish separatists on the same day.
Shortly after midnight May 31, fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, attacked a military vehicle at the naval base at the port of Iskenderun, in Hatay province near the border with Syria, and killed seven naval personnel.
Iskenderun has never been a target for the PKK, which has been fighting the Turkish state since 1984 for an autonomous Kurdish enclave, although it has carried out attacks across Turkey.
A few hours later, Israeli naval commandos stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, flagship of a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Israeli-blockaded Gaza, in international waters. They killed nine Turks they claimed attacked them and wounded dozens of pro-Palestinian activists aboard the vessel.
Relations between Israel and Turkey, under strain since Turkey’s Islamist prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, furiously denounced Israel’s December 2008 invasion of the Gaza Strip, nosedived into bitter acrimony.
Many Turks saw the two murderous incidents as two sides of the same coin.
This was reflected within the political elite. Huseyin Celik, deputy chairman of Erdogan’s Justice and development Party, or AKP, noted, “We do not think it’s a coincidence that these two attacks took place at the same time.”
Turks were furious at the Israeli action in the eastern Mediterranean and turned out at the funerals of their slain countrymen in huge numbers, led by senior government officials.
So far as is known, Turkey’s intelligence service hasn’t been able to provide any proof of possible Israeli involvement in the Iskenderun killings. Erdogan’s interior minister, Besir Atalay has even sought to calm tempers.
“I don’t want to say these (incidents) are related,” he said. “Such investigations require close attention and we want to refrain from careless statements lacking tangibility…
“These subjects are delicate, especially when they have international dimensions.”
Still, the Turks point to Israel’s involvement with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq since the 1960s. Israel aided them off and on, depending on the geopolitical environment, because they fought against the Baathist regime which was virulently anti-Israel.
The Israelis returned to Iraqi Kurdistan prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 to train the peshmerga — “those who face death” — who were key US allies.
Israelis have also been reported to be operating with Kurdish rebels in Iran along with US and British agents, or Special Forces, in what Tehran claims is a systematic campaign to destabilize the Islamic Republic.
The Israelis have no history of supporting Turkey’s Kurdish separatists. But if the crisis reaches the point where Israel, along with the United States, decides an Islamist government in Turkey is a liability, all things are possible.
Israel kept clear of the PKK because the Jewish state had maintained a discreet intelligence link with Ankara since the 1950s. That eventually produced a 1996 military cooperation pact.
Turkey, one of the first countries to recognize Israel in 1948, was strategically important to Israel because it was the only Muslim state with which it had relations. For all intents and purposes that is no longer the case.
The relationship began to change when the Islamist AKP took power in 2002 and Erdogan sought to restore Turkey’s traditional role as a regional power.
For a time, Ankara put out feelers to the PKK in hopes of ending 26 years of bloodshed in which 40,000 people have perished. But in recent months, the separatists have resumed attacks.
PKK activity usually picks up in the spring when the mountain snows melt. But Ankara has been bracing for a surge in violence, particularly in urban areas, which could harm AKP prospects in upcoming elections.
If Israel and Turkey are hurtling toward a final split, with Erdogan’s government more oriented toward Iran and Syria than the Jewish state, the gloves may indeed come off.
Ankara is reported to be seeking to assemble another aid flotilla to challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Meantime, Erdogan has placed his loyalists in charge of Turkey’s intelligence service and other security agencies, effectively closing links with Israeli intelligence and long-used back channels that Israel’s leadership valued greatly.
The above article can be found at: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/06/16/Turks-suspect-Israeli-link-with-PKK/UPI-86741276717399/
Squaring Israel’s defeats in the Middle East
June 20, 2010
Recently, US lawmakers warned Turkey that unless it abandons its policy of befriending Iran and shunning Israel, it would pay a hefty price.
“With regard to Congress of the United States, there will be a cost if Turkey stays on its current path of growing close to Iran and more antagonistic to Israel,” US Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana told Turkey’s envoy to Washington last Thursday.
Democratic Representative Eliot Engel joined the criticism, adding that as a NATO ally, Turkey’s actions were “even more disgraceful.” He rapped Ankara for no longer “looking at the West and NATO.”
In a letter addressed to US President Barack Obama, 126 members of the US House of Representatives asked the White House to protect Israel from international condemnations following the deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid convoy three weeks ago.
At first glace, the anticipated US punishment would be recognizing as genocide the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I. The issue has been previously brought up in the US Congress.
However, the current incidents involving the Turkish military seem to hint that the “cost” could be referring to other US policies.
Just as the Turkish flagship of the Freedom Flotilla, MV Marmara was attacked and its supplies confiscated, clashes broke out between Turkish armed force and members of the banned Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). Since then, the death toll from either side has risen almost daily.
Despite the organization’s Marxist ideology, it has strong ties with capitalist governments, among which Israel boasts longtime influence.
The public meeting between the PJAK — the Iranian offshoot of the PKK — and US officials in Washington, and other documents prove that the terror cell has close links to the US.
The Turkish National Intelligence Organization has evidence suggesting that Israel’s spy agency Mossad has been organizing similar PKK sting attacks on Turkish soil from its base in northern Iraq.
Analysts say that Israeli and US intelligence experts believe reigniting Turkey’s internal conflicts could effectively undermine Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency and his Justice and Development Party.
They are seeking to question Erdogan’s decisions by diverting the spotlight to Ankara’s relations with its minority Kurdish community.
Israel is at the peak of US policies in the Middle East, and any threats to its precedence are penalized.
Turkey enjoyed US support for as long as it mediated the Israel-Syria talks, but Tel Aviv is now seeking to hamper growing Ankara Damascus ties.
An attack by the Syrian offshoot of the PKK on a Turkish army base in the port city of Iskenderun was designed to goad Turkey into believing Damascus organized the assault or did nothing to prevent it.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad traveled to Turkey shortly afterwards.
A high-ranking Turkish intelligence official says that there is some proof suggesting the PKK is now working directly under Mossad chief Meir Dagan. Now with James Clapper elected as the US intelligence director, it can be assumed that the group’s activities will expand.
Turkish media, citing intelligence sources, say advanced Israeli weapons and telecommunications equipment have been confiscated from PKK rebels.
US officials have meanwhile adopted a contradictory stance toward Turkey. President Obama sought to grow closer to the Muslim world by visiting Turkey and not Israel. But US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates blamed the European Union’s delays in accepting Turkey’s ascension as the source of Ankara’s sinful hostility toward Israel. Yet another group within the administration heaps all the blame on Turkey.
Is it possible to imagine that as soon as Turkey becomes a member of the European bloc, the nation would change its sentiments towards Gaza and the Palestinian suffering overnight?
It is also clear that Turkish security agencies are not ruling out assassination or coup attempts, but newspaper headlines and statements by political party leaders uniformly attest to the country’s support of Ankara’s stance on the May 31 attack on MV Marmara.
It seems that the West must pay more attention to the psychological factor of Turkish sentiment.
Assassination of a Hamas leader, discussion over Israel’s atomic arsenal in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the attack on Gaza-bound aid convoys, and the international push for the lifting of the Gaza blockade are the three corners of Israel’s recent defeats which can be squared off with revelations that would trace recent unrest in Turkey to Israel.
The above article can be found at: http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=131277
‘Israel supports PKK, PJAK’
June 24, 2010
Israel supports Kurdish militants in their attacks against Turkey in order to put pressure on Ankara, a Turkish political analyst says.
Yavuz Selim, in an interview with Press TV, said that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its offshoot Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) are “definitely supported by Zionists.”
He noted that the main reason behind the Israeli support for the Kurdish militants is the fact that Turkey poses a threat to the “illegal existence” of Israel in the Middle East region.
Earlier in June, Sedat Laciner, the head of the International Strategic Research Organization — a Turkish think tank — said Mossad agents and Israeli military retirees had been sighted providing training to PKK militants in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Laciner said Tel Aviv does not have a positive perception of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, which is led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.
Over 40 Turkish soldiers have been killed in PKK attacks over the past few months.
The above article can be found at: http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=131853