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Turkish Hizballah: A Case Study of Radical Terrorism

NCJ Number
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Volume: 30 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2006 Pages: 75-93
Suleyman Ozeren; Cecile Van De Voorde
Date Published
19 pages
Following an overview of the resurgence of radicalism and terrorism in Turkey, this article identifies the main characteristics of Turkish Hizballah and compares it to another Turkish terrorist group (Kurdistan People's Congress) and Hizballah in Lebanon.
Turkey has established itself as a major participant in the global war on terror, and it could have an important part in countering international terrorism and dismantling global terror networks worldwide. Although Turkey has been struggling with political violence and terrorism on many fronts for more than 30 years, the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism has caused major concerns among Turkish authorities and mainstream Turkish society. The radical, fundamentalist Turkish Hizballah, composed predominantly of Sunni Muslim Kurds, is committed to overthrowing Turkey's constitutional secular regime and establishing a strict Islamic, Iran-inspired state. Turkish Hizballah has no official ties with either the Lebanon-based Islamist terrorist group, also named Hizballah, or its offshoots throughout the Middle East. The Kurdish People's Congress wants to create an independent United Democratic Kurdistan in southeast Turkey (Anatolia), northern Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Since the early 1980s, it has waged guerilla warfare and terrorism against Turkish authorities with the collaboration and protection of various countries and groups, mainly in Syria and Greece. Turkish authorities have adapted their policies and responses to cope more effectively and independently with various terrorist groups. Turkish law enforcement officials have regularly reassessed, adapted, and altered some of their tactics in order to address the continually evolving threat posed by the various terrorist groups in the country. 5 notes and 44 references