ANKA News Agency & MEMRI Turkish Media Blog December 27, 2007 | Turkish news agency ANKA is reporting that Isa Altsoy, a key leader of the Turkish Hizbullah terrorist organization was captured in Germany as he was crossing the border into Switzerland. According to ANKA news agency, Turkish Directorate of Security, through Interpol, has requested information from Germany, where Altsoy (whose photo was also published) is being questioned.
Growing Influence of the Hezbollah
NZZ Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH)/Qantara.de 2006 Amalia van Gent - Translated from the German by Paul Cohen | Yet the Hezbollah in Diyarbakir and Batman is closely linked to an extremely dark page in history. Turkey's Hezbollah was founded in 1983 and, aside from its name, the organization had nothing in common with Hezbollah in Lebanon. It was not until 1991 that the Hezbollah gained importance in the war-torn Kurdish region of southeastern Turkey.
In Diyarbakir the Hezbollah was divided into the Ilim and the Menzil groups. The Ilim group was ideologically close to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and did not hesitate to use violence. In the early 1990s, the Ilim group in Diyarbakir attacked the rival Menzil group. During weeks of bloody fighting, the Menzil group, which had distanced itself from the use of violence, was destroyed.
At the time, the founder of the Turkish Hezbollah, Hüseyin Velioglu, settled in Batman. His bearded fighters staged heavily armed demonstrations on the city's main street, which had not yet been named Turgut Özal. They ordered all women to wear veils and punished teenage girls when they dared to speak to male schoolmates on the street.
Fighting the "PKK atheists"
This reign of terror was not only tolerated by the government in Ankara, it was actively supported. Velioglu was a convenient ally against Kurdish nationalists. He fiercely fought the PKK who he viewed as atheists.
Former Turkish police chief Teoman Koman praised Velioglu at the time as "an individual with deep religious convictions who is endeavoring to resist the PKK." Police intelligence chief Hanefi Avci later admitted in front of a parliamentary investigative committee that the Hezbollah stood under the protection of the police intelligence service in the early 1990s.
Hezbollah has been blamed for the murder of dozens of Kurdish activists. Even the Kurdish member of parliament Mehmet Sincar was assassinated by the organization in the heart of Batman.
Velioglu fell out of favor in the late 1990s when his organization began extorting money from businessmen, even in western Turkey, and murdered those who refused to pay. A total of 52 people were brutally murdered before Velioglu was killed in a police raid in the Istanbul district of Beykoz in 2000. Thereafter roughly 6,000 Hezbollah members were arrested and their widely feared organization retreated from Batman.
Meanwhile, the memory of Velioglu's Hezbollah has faded in the ghettos. The young generation of refugees holds the PKK Kurdish nationalists responsible for the loss of their ancestral home – and the Turkish state for their current hopelessness and lack of opportunities.
They are now inspired by the struggle of the Palestinian Hamas. With virtually no place else to turn, they seek refuge in the Islamist brotherhoods that have always been an important element of Kurdish identity. In Batman the Naksibendi brotherhood is particularly influential. The mosques filled up when the Syrian-born Naksibendi Sheik Hiznavi visited Batman, says a young journalist.
According to political analyst Önder Aytac, the new head of the Turkish Hezbollah is Isa Altsoy, a Kurd who lives in Germany. Under his leadership, the Hezbollah recruits new members, even in the Kurdish diaspora, publishes books and magazines, and has its own bookstore in Diyarbakir, just like the Ilim and the Menzil groups did a decade ago.
In contrast to his predecessor, Altsoy rejects the idea of a centrally controlled organization in favour of smaller associations and non-governmental organizations that can be quickly deployed. (...)
Isa Altsoy is the terrorist who ordered others to kill Diyarbakir police chief
Isa Altsoy, who is the new leader of the Hezbollah terroristorganization and who lives in Germany firstly included Gaffar Okkan,the police chief in Diyarbakır to its black list and later orderedterrorists to kill Okkan on the anniversary of prominent writer and journalist Ugur Mumcu's death.
Terrorists hid in mosque
The ''death team'' of the Hezbollah terrorist organization who wascomposed of 15 terrorists and who staged the armed attack on theDiyarbakır police chief Gaffar Okkan, hid in the mosque before stagingthe attack. The terrorists were in three groups each composed of five terrorists.
People of Diyarbakir mourn for Okkan and five policemen
32 non-governmental organizations made a joint statement yesterday inDiyarbakir. Human Rights Association (IHD) Diyarbakir Chairman OsmanBaydemir said the attack came after a long period of peace andtranquility in the city. The strong reaction after the attack left itself to quiteness and sorrow in Diyarbakir. People want theauthorities to catch the murderers in the shortest time. It wasreported that Hezbollah terrorist organization which is believed to be
behind the assasination motivated its members by verses which haveviolent connotations in Koran.
Iran under suspicion
The close ties between Hezbollah terrorist organization which isbelieved to have assasinated Gaffar Okkan and five policemen and Iranraised suspicions about the conservatists in Iran who control theIntelligence Ministry. The Turkish Foreign Ministry had earlier sent a file on the terrorist organization Hezbollah but received no replybecause the Iranian conservatists had blocked it. Foreign MinisterIsmail Cem is expected to visit Tehran in February and raise the issueone more time. Police start man hunt all over Turkey to catch four murderers
Security forces found important hints about the four assasiners whokilled Diyarbakir Security Director Gaffar Okkan and five policemen.Police have started a wide operation to find the terrorists, HasanGurbuz, Haydar Solmaz, Ramazan Elmas and Huseyin Sariagac. The ballistic examinations of the weapons used in the killings revealedthat Hezbollah members committed the murder. It is believed that themurderers were hidden in a yard of a mosque before their violent act.The murderers used 11 weapons to kill Okkan and five other policemen
Memri Turkish Media Blog
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