A Sunni Turkish/Kurdish Muslim militiacalled Hezbollah – Party of God (Not connected to Hizbullah in Lebanon ), encouraged at first by the Turkish army, was established in the early 80s’ in order to fight the secular Kurd separatists. Mainly the socialistKurdistan Workers Party, known as PKK, in East Turkey.
Tansu Ciller the former Prime Minister of Turkey and the leader of the True Path Party, admitted to supporting the Turkish Hezbollah by helping provide them with weapons in 1994.
The Militia was operating from the early 80s’ and had strong influence on young Turks in the remote and poor areas of East Turkey on the borders with Iran and Iraq. Turkish Hezbollah seeks to establish an independent Islamic state. Many young Turks, inspired by Turkish Hezbollah went to fight in Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan and some of them joined Al Qaeda.
Eventually Turkish Hezbollah turned also against the secular Turkish regime with a terror campaign in the 90s’. In 1998 Turkish authorities initiated a severe crackdown on Hezbollah’s domestic activities, detaining 79 alleged members from both the “armed” and the “political” wings of the group. Guns seized during the raids were later matched with four unsolved murders that had occurred between 1993 and 1996 across the southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
In 2000 Turkish police recovered nearly 70 bodies of Turkish and Kurdish businessmen and journalists that Turkish Hezbollah had tortured and brutally murdered during the mid-to-late 1990s’. On 02/2001 a 20-man assassination team ambushed the Diyarbakir police Chief Gaffar Okkan, killing him and five Turkish policemen. Turkish Hezbollah is accused of killing about 3000 Turkish citizens.
Many of the Double Istanbul attack perpetrators, committed in 11/2003, came from East Turkey, were inspired or in connection with the Turkish Hezbollah and eventually joined Al Qaeda network in Turkey.
* Huseyin Velioglu the leader of the Turkish Hezbollah was killed on 01/17/2000 by the Turkish Police.
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