What is Turkish Hizbullah?

I find it amazing that members of Turkish Hizbullah who are responsible for so many murders could be released from prison. Admittedly, the fact that in ten years their case has not come before a high court judge is also a scandal and more than a “technicality”, but another response might have been to hear the cases now! Click here for my previous post about the group and the legal rationale for their release. This article gives some background; excerpt below. Click here for a more thorough account of Hizbullah’s history, including its alleged links to the “deep state”, elements of the military and the state believed to be acting extrajudicially.

We’ll have to wait and see what the effect will be as five of their jailed members, including their leaders, rejoin them. One of their “civic” organizations is Mustaza-Der. Click here and here for my posts on their recent activities and my speculations about whether or not they are linked to the other Islamist organizations involved in the Mavi Marmara expedition. The Turkish press should be following these links. If Hizbullah (in its not-so-white sheep’s clothing) is linked with Mavi Marmara and with the AKP (assuming there was AKP assistance with the Mavi Marmara), that should sound all kinds of alarms.

The recent release of leading members of the Turkish Hizbullah, an illegal organization that has left a bloody trail behind in Southeast Anatolia, has prompted speculation regarding the organization’s possible revival. The organization, unrelated to the Lebanese Hezbollah, is regarded as responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people during the mid-1990s, the worst years of the conflict between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and Turkish government forces…

Hizbullah came to prominence in the late 1980s in southeastern Turkey. Some experts say its aim is to destroy the secular order and spread “true Islam” throughout the country, by force if necessary. However, strong claims have surfaced that it was the state itself that established the organization to fight the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, through illegal means, such as summary executions. Other experts dismiss such claims, but acknowledge that the Turkish state has long failed to appropriately investigate the group.

Indeed, many of those killed in the Southeast during the 1990s, usually with meat cleavers or a bullet in the neck, were known to be active pro-Kurdish politicians or journalists. Many members of groups that preceded today’s Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, are believed to have been killed by Hizbullah, though hundreds of such murders still remain unsolved…

The organization’s collapse began when Turkish security forces killed one of the group’s leaders, Hüseyin Velioğlu, during an operation in Istanbul in January 2000. Subsequent operations led to the discovery of dozens of mass graves containing the bodies of victims who had been kidnapped, tortured and buried alive.

Velioğlu’s death led the group to target Turkish security forces in 2001, a principal motivation behind government crackdowns on the organization in the following years.

The organization is also charged with the murders of 188 people, including Islamist feminist writer Konca Kuriş and Diyarbakır Police Chief Gaffar Okkan, who commanded huge respect in the city…

The organization entered its second phase when it laid down arms and displayed its “civic sensibilities” by maintaining social and cultural activities, such as coordinating websites, running publishing houses and establishing foundations, associations and local newspapers following Velioğlu’s death, according to Çakır…

4 Responses to “What is Turkish Hizbullah?”

  1. With all due respect, this is such a ridiculous post. How about investigating Hizbullah’s much more concrete links to the atrocious Turkish army and its war criminal (but oh-so-secular) generals in the 90’s, rather than making stupid insinuations about its links to AKP? Here is a useful starter from Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/legacy/english/docs/2000/02/16/turkey3057.htm. You might especially want to dig deep into the role of the notorious war criminal Teoman Koman (here is a cue: http://www.stratejikboyut.com/haber/hizbullah,-org.komanin-hatasi–9976.html). In fact, when asked about Hizbullah, this guy once told reporters:

    “Hangi Hizbullah? Bir İran’daki Hizbullah vardır bir de PKK’nın baskılarına karşı kendini koruyan, dini inançları kuvvetli vatandaşlar.”

    Certainly, a rather surprising answer coming from a “staunchly secular” general, right?

  2. Playing two enemies against each another is not unheard of: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/opinion/27atran.html

  3. [...] What is Turkish Hizbullah? from Kamil Pasha by Jenny White [...]

  4. We do not have to like either PKK or Hizbullah which use violence and kill people.

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