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Narcoterrorism in Turkey: The Financing of PKK-KONGRA GEL From Illicit Drug Business (From Understanding and Responding to the Terrorism Phenomenon: A Multi-Dimensional Perspective, P 140-152, 2007, Ozgur Nikbay and Suleyman Hancerli, eds. -- See NCJ-225118)

NCJ Number
Ahmet Pek; Behsat Ekici
Date Published
13 pages
This study examined links between the PKK-KONGRA GEL, a Turkish-Kurdish separatist terrorist organization, and transnational organized illicit drug trafficking organizations.
The study concludes that the PKK-KONGRA GEL covertly financed its growing militant and propaganda activities from the illicit drug business in cooperation with several Kurdish organized crime networks. The PKK-KONGRA GEL initially extorted taxes from the heroin traffickers and cannabis cultivators in northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and southeastern Turkey. After the 1990s, however, intelligence reports showed the PKK-KONGRA GELs direct involvement in drug trafficking, heroin production, street delivery of drugs, money laundering, and the assassination of rival drug network members. This comprehensive involvement in the illicit drug business was facilitated by the wide network of the organization from Central Asia to Western Europe. This analysis of the PKK-KONGRA GELs involvement in and dependence on the illicit drug business as a funding source for its terrorist activities was launched in 2003 under the title of the Narcoterrorism Project. The project was promoted by the head of Turkey’s Department of Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime (KOM) and the Director of Central Narcotics Division. The project also involved liaison officers from Interpol, the German Federal Criminal Police Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and several European law enforcement agencies. Hundreds of narcoterrorism cases were analyzed over 2 years, using data from National Organized Crime and Terrorism Databases, case reports, the statements of the criminals involved, and members of PKK-KONGRA GEL. 4 tables and 18 references