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Viewing cable 04ANKARA7106, A RARE GLIMPSE INTO TURKISH MILITARY INTEL: IRAQ,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04ANKARA7106 2004-12-22 05:24 2011-04-07 19:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Ankara
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
id: 24456
date: 12/22/2004 5:24
refid: 04ANKARA7106
origin: Embassy Ankara
classification: SECRET//NOFORN
destination: 
header:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



----------------- header ends ----------------

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 007106 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/21/2029 
TAGS: PREL PINR PINS MOPS MARR TU IZ
SUBJECT: A RARE GLIMPSE INTO TURKISH MILITARY INTEL: IRAQ, 
PKK CONCERNS, PARANOIA, ANTI-NATO CAMPAIGN 
 
(U) Classified by CDA Robert Deutsch; reasons: E.O. 12958 1.4 
(a,b,c,d). 
 
1. (S/NF) Summary: Long-term Embassy contact with deep 
experience in intel and national security analysis has 
relayed to us from his sources the belief that (1) PKK and 
Sunni radicals collaborated in Dec. 17 murder of five Turkish 
security guards in Mosul; (2) PKK is readying a serious 
terrorism campaign in Turkish cities; (3) Turkish Jandarma 
intel is besieged by paranoid orders from Ankara to uncover 
"Armenian separatists" and an "Israeli land grab" in the 
southeast; and (4) a serious disinformation and psyops 
campaign against NATO is being waged on more junior Turkish 
officers.  Our contact has proven accurate in the past but we 
caution that we have no corroborating evidence for much of 
the information in this cable -- especially relating to the 
Mosul attack.  End summary. 
 
2. (S/NF) Just returned from two trips to Turkey's southeast, 
where he is involved in a major anti-smuggling investigation 
at the behest of Turkey's Energy Minister, a pre-eminent 
Turkish national security analyst (XXXXXXXXXXXX -- strictly 
protect) briefed us Dec. 20-21 on several aspects of current 
Turkish security questions, and, in particular, Jandarma 
intel (JITEM) ops and preoccupations.  He based his report to 
us on meetings with approximately 40 JITEM officers -- 
lieutenants, captains, and majors, some of whom were our 
contact's students -- involved in field investigations and 
ops from Mersin to Mardin. 
 
Murder of Five Turkish Police Security Guards Transiting Mosul 
--------------------------------------------- ----------------- 
 
3. (S/NF) Dec. 21 our main contact and another contact of 
ours from TNP bureau of intelligence together discussed with 
us what they have heard regarding the Dec. 17 murder of the 
Turkish security guards in transit through Mosul on their way 
to the Turkish embassy in Baghdad.  Our main contact said he 
had had two phone conversations with a former member of the 
PKK leadership whom he has known for a long time and who is 
now being run as a Jandarma agent in northern Iraq.  This 
agent told our contact that all signs (not further explained) 
point to collaboration in the attack between the PKK and 
Sunni tribal Arab radicals and that two of the drivers in the 
convoy disappeared unharmed after the attack (sic); tracking 
them down would be key to establishing the attackers' 
identity, our main contact added.  Our TNP contact agreed 
that this may be a case of PKK-Sunni radical collaboration 
but TNP is also checking to see whether there is any KDP 
connection. 
 
4. (S/NF) Our main contact added that the Turkish military is 
aware of how stretched Task Force Olympia (TFO) is but, along 
with TNP, would like to be invited to participate in a joint 
investigation with the Americans.  He also notes that proof 
Sunni Arabs were behind the murder would be as compelling a 
weapon as exists to help quash the rampant anti-American 
disinformation campaign in Turkey about our operations in 
Iraq.  He and the TNP contact agreed that, in any event, the 
murder marks a watershed in how Turkey will deal with any 
such future attacks: the presence of all high GOT and State 
officials at the Dec. 20 memorial service in Ankara reminded 
our interlocutors of similar attendance at the funeral of 31 
Jandarma soldiers killed in a 1993 PKK ambush and the 
subsequent uncompromising Turkish response.  Both expected 
that, once the Turkish authorities determine who was 
responsible (not hard to do, they asserted), Turkey will take 
revenge through covert action. 
 
PKK 
--- 
 
5. (S/NF) Running anti-PKK operations flat-out in the 
southeastern provinces of Urfa, Mardin, and Diyarbakir, JITEM 
is troubled by the amounts of weapons, especially heavy 
machine guns and similar, and explosives being smuggled into 
Turkey from Iraq, our contact reports.  JITEM figures it is 
intercepting only one in three trucks.  Some of the arms 
appear to be flowing to Kurdish feudal landlords (agas) who 
are arming their followers to give them muscle in land grabs 
in anticipation of EU harmonization which will bring land 
registry under tighter control.  The mere fact of arming with 
such weaponry sets these groups against the Turkish State. 
 
6. (S/NF) Arms and explosives are also being smuggled into 
Turkey's cities, which the PKK has now thoroughly penetrated, 
according to our contact's JITEM sources.  (Note: Jandarma 
has no authority in or responsibility for urban areas, which 
are the domain of TNP.  End note.)  According to our source, 
JITEM has information that PKK militants from western Europe, 
chosen for their clean-cut, educated manners to blend 
undetectably into an urban environment, have been trained in 
urban terrorism -- assassinations and explosions -- in at 
least one camp in northern Iraq (not further identified) 
shared with Ansar al-Islam.  JITEM expects the PKK to launch 
extensive terrorist actions in Turkey's cities in the wake of 
the EU decision to grant Turkey a 2005 accession negotiation 
start date, he said. 
 
7. (S/NF) Pointing to a regional trend toward PKK-Sunni Arab 
collaboration, our contact said he has heard for some time 
that PKK-related Kurds in Syria have allied with hard-core 
Sunnis in the Syrian military against Bashir Assad.  Adana 
Consul has heard similar rumors in his travels in the 
southeast. 
 
Paranoia 
-------- 
 
8. (S/NF) The Turkish State's fear of history is reflected in 
a steady stream of orders from Ankara to JITEM posts in the 
field to combat "Armenian separatism."  Our contact's JITEM 
acquaintances told him that for a long time they were 
mystified by the insistence of the orders, given that there 
is literally only a handful of Armenians left in the 
southeast.  As they worked in vain to uncover any signs of 
Armenian separatism, they came to realize that Ankara was 
basing its suspicions on the meticulous population registry 
(nufus kutugu) of family lineage which, among other things, 
shows how many citizens -- especially concentrated in certain 
regions of the east and southeast -- actually have an 
Armenian background underneath their forebears' voluntary or 
forced conversions or adoptions during the period when 
Armenians were being deported and murdered en masse by the 
Ottoman authorities and local Muslim bands.  The distant and 
suppressed Armenian connection is so pervasive that JITEM 
even came across a village imam with Armenian roots, our 
contact relayed.  In our own extensive travels throughout 
Anatolia, especially east of the Kizilirmak River, we have 
been repeatedly struck by (a) the common knowledge among 
ordinary citizens of what happened in 1915, a knowledge which 
most will readily share; and (b) the number of people with 
apparent Armenian features. 
 
9. (C) We note that the population registry, a continuation 
of the Ottoman system akin in some ways to parish baptismal 
records but more centralized and detailed, is a system whose 
maintenance even today illustrates the extraordinary 
attention to, and fear of, "foreign elements" among the 
citizenry. 
 
10. (S/NF) JITEM has also been burdened by an endless loop of 
orders to investigate allegations that Israelis are buying up 
land in the fertile Harran plain south and east of Urfa, our 
contact reports.  After a square-inch by square-inch review, 
JITEM in Urfa could find no evidence of such a trend. 
Noticing that Ankara was relying for its orders on material 
published in the weekly "Aydinlik" by Dogu Perincek, a 
notorious source of pro-"Eurasian", anti-U.S., anti-NATO, 
anti-Israeli disinformation -- which many of our Turkish 
contacts say is provided and financed in great measure by the 
Russians -- one local JITEM commander, to get Ankara off his 
back, slyly suggested in his final report that Ankara should 
consider whether this information had been provided by Syrian 
intelligence or by the Israelis themselves to make Turkey 
fear Israel's might. 
 
Anti-NATO Campaign 
------------------ 
 
11. (S/NF) Our contact reports that his JITEM contacts are 
disturbed by a focused campaign to poison younger officers 
against NATO.  The campaign includes lectures and house 
visits to Jandarma officers in Urfa, Mardin and elsewhere by 
people such as Ankara University professor Anil Cecen 
(pronounced "Chechen"; he is of Chechen descent), a 
well-known "Eurasia" advocate and NATO opponent.  Our contact 
noted to us that there are anti-NATO cells of instructors at 
the Military Academies in Istanbul as well. 
 
12. (S/NF) DAO Ankara has also observed and reported an 
undercurrent of anti-Americanism and open questioning of the 
alliance by junior and mid-level officers, expressions 
sanctioned by more senior leadership, e.g., in the Turkish 
special forces. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
13. (S/NF) As we have experienced ourselves in travelling 
with him throughout Anatolia, our contact, a 12-year veteran 
of Turkish military intelligence and former police academy 
instructor, has maintained a country-wide network of contacts 
in Turkey's three main intel services, especially JITEM and 
the national police (TNP).  He has proven to be a timely and 
accurate source for us on Turkish intel, military matters, 
socio-anthropology and, given his XXXXXXXXXXXX origin and religious training (XXXXXXXXXXXX), on ruling AK Party, the sociology and politics of the Kurds, and Turkey's extensive network of Islamic brotherhoods and lodges.  That said, we have no way to evaluate the 
reliability of his specific reports. 
 
14. (C) Baghdad minimize considered. 
DEUTSCH