Assessment on The Annual Report About Terrorism Regarding Turkey And Greece

 

Themistocles KonstantinouCountry reports

After a short look at these two reports I tried to make an assessment about the terrorism over the two countries and the overall view of the US policy in the region. I deploy the 3 parts of the overall report after the assessment as follows:

The U.S. according to standard tactic in recent years published their annual report for the global terrorism with particular reference to Europe. In the introduction, even before partially apportioned to the various European countries, what one realizes is reported separately in the Turkish organization PKK and the overall image of the terrorist attacks in Turkey. Mention is made for assaulting 5 Israelis in Bulgaria and poor activity of anarchists in Greece.

TURKEY

U.S. officials in 2012 are summarized in a set of 226 cases in Turkey, singling out 12 cases as most important, which killed 73 people and wounded about 200 others. In operations against the PKK, according to information provided by the Turks in the U.S. and in the report for the first 10 months of 2012, we have the following tragic toll:

• 494 rebels dead and 21 wounded

• 44 arrested while 155 others surrendered to authorities.

As far as the legal framework and the number of terrorist groups, as classified by the Turkish authorities indicated the following:

The organizations that plague Turkey with their action – unless the PKK who acts primarily and operates from areas in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq and targets mainly Turkish security forces – is the far-left DHKP-C with anti-American and anti-NATO views that seeks the violent collapse of the Turkish state, the Turkish Hezbollah (unrelated to her acting in Lebanon) and some smaller inactive but which are characterized.

Regarding the legal framework in Turkey, the Americans described as inadequate by many gaps, as among other shortcomings, there is no adequate information exchange between the U.S. and Turkey. In the “money laundering” Turkey although theoretically belonged to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as an observer in the European mechanism to combat financial crimes because of shortages downgraded in 2011 and in 2012 was driven by a member until they comply and modify the legal framework governing it in combating financial crimes related to terrorism.[i]

Finally the issue of religious extremism, Turkey tries through two programs to combat the phenomenon, while in the second program involved 66,000 Sunni imams, in order to guide the masses through their sermons.

GREECE

As regards Greece, U.S. officials are limited to reporting minor incidents of terrorism. The first on February 25, a group under the name “February 12 Movement” claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack at the Egaleo subway station and an attack in which a van full of IIDs was driven through the front of the Microsoft headquarters building (American interests) without casualties from the organization “Deviant Behaviors for the Proliferation of Revolutionary Terrorism – International Revolutionary Front”.

The legal framework is now a reference to adjudication hurdles of court cases due to the strike in 2012 is outlined and illegal and extensive penetration of Turkey a large number of immigrants, both from the land border and sea through the Aegean islands. They are referred to in the provision of education by U.S. police officers and Coast Guard to tackle smuggling in an effort to deal with terrorism.

In the field of economic crime, U.S. officials said the adequacy of Greece in the legal and institutional framework and are dealing with 3586 cases, but there were insufficient data for financial support of international terrorism in the country. Greece is also a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

EPILOGUE

Having analyzed the annual report on terrorism seems clear that in Turkey the PKK is a permanent destabilizing factor, and the inadequate legal and institutional framework classifies it into one of the most difficult countries in the issue of security and the maintenance of order, especially in the southern and southeast of the country. Unlike Greece despite the problems with illegal immigration, and that because mainly responsible Turkey (due to the indifference of – at least – to prevent illegal entry to Greece various criminal and non-persons) is characterized by good “image” mainly due to the minimum and victimless cases. Greece is therefore characterized as a safe and “peaceful” country with full participation in all European and NATO ‘forums’ and organizations with very good results.

REFERENCES

[1] In October 2012, FATF issued a Public Statement noting that, “Given Turkey’s continued lack of progress in these two areas, as a counter-measure, the FATF has decided to suspend Turkey’s membership on February 22, 2013 unless the following conditions are met before that date: (1) Turkey adopts legislation to adequately remedy deficiencies in its terrorist financing offence; and (2) Turkey establishes an adequate legal framework for identifying and freezing terrorist assets consistent with the FATF Recommendations.”

[i] In October 2012, FATF issued a Public Statement noting that, “Given Turkey’s continued lack of progress in these two areas, as a counter-measure, the FATF has decided to suspend Turkey’s membership on February 22, 2013 unless the following conditions are met before that date: (1) Turkey adopts legislation to adequately remedy deficiencies in its terrorist financing offence; and (2) Turkey establishes an adequate legal framework for identifying and freezing terrorist assets consistent with the FATF Recommendations.”

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[1] http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209981.htm

Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 – Chapter 2

http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/

 

Excerpt of the Annual Report (Optional Input)

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EUROPE

Various terrorist groups continued to plot against European targets and interests in 2012, and the year was marked by several high-profile attacks. European security services continued their effective efforts to counter terrorism through close cooperation among countries and with the United States, and through the use of the sophisticated technical capabilities available to most partner states. Nonetheless, in March, before he was killed by police, “lone wolf” violent extremist gunman Mohammed Merah killed seven persons, including three children, in Toulouse and Mantauban, France before he was killed by police.

In July, a terrorist attack carried out on a passenger bus in Bulgaria killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian citizen. During the same month Cypriot authorities arrested an individual suspected of plotting a similar attack in that country. On February 5, 2013, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetan Tsevtanov, publically linked Hizballah to the Burgas bombing. On March 21, 2013, a Cyprus court found a Hizballah operative guilty of charges stemming from his surveillance activities of Israeli tourist targets.

A wide range of violent extremist ideologies remained a threat: anarchists in Greece continued to launch low-level attacks against government offices, private businesses, and symbols of the state, and long-active radical ethno-nationalist groups like the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey continued their campaigns of violence. Of these groups, the deadliest was the PKK. According to the NATO Centre of Excellence-Defence Against Terrorism in Ankara, there were 226 terrorist incidents reported through November.

Transatlantic cooperation on counterterrorism, including the sharing of intelligence and judicial information, capacity building in non-European countries, extradition of terrorist suspects, and efforts to counter violent extremism remained excellent, though differing perspectives on issues like data privacy and long-term detention sometimes complicated efforts. A number of European countries signed or ratified agreements with the United States on preventing and combating serious crime. The EU and a number of European countries continued to play leading roles in the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).

Counterterrorism cooperation with the Russian Federation continued bilaterally and in various multilateral fora, including the GCTF. The activities of two joint counterterrorism working groups supported these efforts, one led by diplomatic counterparts under the auspices of the Bilateral Presidential Commission, and the other bringing together law enforcement and intelligence professionals of the two countries.

Prosecutions of suspected terrorists continued apace, with significant trials and/or convictions taking place in several countries. In Norway, violent nationalist extremist Anders Breivik was convicted of murder in August for his 2011 attacks on government offices and a political party youth camp that killed a total of 77 people. A German court sentenced to life imprisonment Arid Uka, who was responsible for shooting U.S. airmen at Frankfurt Airport in 2011.

TURKEY

Overview: Turkey is a long-standing counterterrorism partner of the United States. It co-chairs the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) with the United States, and received U.S. assistance to address the terrorist threat posed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2012.

The limited definition of terrorism under Turkish law, restricted to activities targeting the Turkish state and its citizens, represented an impediment to effective action by Turkey against global terrorist networks. For example, although Turkish police temporarily detained several al-Qa’ida (AQ)-affiliated operatives attempting to transit through Turkey illegally in 2012, Turkish authorities chose to deport these individuals to their countries of origin quickly rather than pursue domestic legal action against them, at least in part because of the lack of appropriate legal tools.

In 2012, Turkey faced a significant internal terrorist threat and has taken strong action in response. Most prominent among terrorist groups in Turkey is the PKK. Composed primarily of ethnic Kurds with a nationalist agenda, the PKK operates from areas in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq and targets mainly Turkish security forces. Other prominent terrorist groups in Turkey include the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C), a militant Marxist-Leninist group with anti-U.S. and anti-NATO views that seeks the violent overthrow of the Turkish state, and Turkish Hizballah (unrelated to the similarly-named Hizballah that operates in Lebanon). Public sources also highlighted detentions of Islamic Jihad Union members as well as supporters of AQ and other groups. The Turkish Workers’ and Peasants’ Liberation Army, though largely inactive, was also considered a potential threat by the Turkish government.

2012 Terrorist Incidents: The PKK continued to demonstrate its nation-wide reach. Typical tactics, techniques, and procedures included ambushes of military patrols in the countryside, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along known military or police routes, and bombings of both security and civilian targets in urban areas. According to the NATO Centre of Excellence-Defence Against Terrorism in Ankara, there were 226 terrorist incidents reported through November. The following 12 attacks garnered particular attention and condemnation:

• On March 1, an explosion near the ruling party’s headquarters in Istanbul wounded at least 16 people, most of them policemen traveling by bus. No claim of responsibility was issued.

• On March 5, a small bomb exploded near the Turkish Prime Ministry building in Ankara about an hour before a cabinet meeting was scheduled; one person was injured.

• On May 25, a policeman was killed and 18 others wounded in a suicide bombing outside a police station in the central Turkish province of Kayseri.

• On August 4, clashes between Kurdish rebels and the Turkish military near the Iraqi border left 22 people dead, according to reports quoting the area’s governor. Turkish media reported the rebels launched simultaneous attacks on Turkish border posts, causing casualties in the village of Gecimli in Hakkari province.

• On August 9, a vehicle belonging to the Turkish Navy was bombed in Foca, a small coastal resort north-west of Izmir; two navy personnel were killed and another was injured.

• On August 20, a remote-controlled car bomb exploded outside a police station in Gaziantep, close to the border with Syria. At least nine people were killed and 69 were injured, most of them police officers. Security officials suspected the PKK was behind the attack, although the group later denied this.

• On September 2, around 100 suspected PKK fighters simultaneously attacked four government and security buildings in the small town of Beytüssebap, near the Syrian border, killing at least 10 soldiers and three of the attackers; seven soldiers were injured.

• On September 11, a policeman was killed and several injured in a suicide bombing at a police station in the Sultangazi district of Istanbul. The DHKP-C claimed responsibility.

• On September 16, a roadside bombing in Turkey’s southeastern Bingol Province killed eight soldiers and injured nine others, less than a day after four officers were killed in an attack near the borders with Iran and Iraq.

• On September 18, PKK militants killed 10 soldiers and wounded at least 60 when they fired rockets at a military convoy traveling between the provinces of Bingol and Mus in eastern Turkey.

• On September 25, an IED hidden in a car exploded as an Army patrol was passing by in the eastern Turkish city of Tunceli, killing six soldiers and a civilian. Several others were injured in the blast, which authorities blamed on the PKK.

• On December 11, one police officer was killed and two civilians were injured in an attack in the Gaziosmanpasa district of Istanbul.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Council of Europe Convention on Prevention of Terrorism entered into force for Turkey on July 1, 2012. Also, Turkey deposited the instrument of ratification for the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism on September 24.

As a result of ongoing military operations targeting PKK forces, 494 insurgents were killed, 21 injured, and 44 arrested, while 155 surrendered themselves to the authorities during the first 10 months of the year. Counterterrorism law enforcement efforts in Turkey remained focused on the domestic threat posed by several terrorist groups, including the PKK. Turkey’s methodology and legislation are geared towards confronting this internal threat.

Efforts to counter international terrorism are hampered by legislation that defines terrorism narrowly as a crime targeting the Turkish state or Turkish citizens. This definition of terrorism posed concerns for operational and legal cooperation. Several AQ-affiliated operatives were temporarily detained by Turkish National Police (TNP) authorities while transiting Turkey, but were deported to their countries of origin as expeditiously as possible. Also, criminal procedure secrecy rules prevent TNP authorities from sharing investigative information once a prosecutor is assigned to the case.

In the aftermath of the 2011 TNP arrest of 16 people involved in an AQ cell who were likely targeting the U.S. Embassy in Ankara among other locations, U.S. Embassy officials have been denied any additional information regarding the conduct of the case.

Article 157 of the Turkish Criminal Procedure Code states: “Unless provided otherwise by the code and under the requirement to not harm the defense rights, procedural interactions during the investigation phase shall be kept a secret.” This language has been interpreted by Turkish prosecutors and police to require an investigation to remain secret once a prosecutor becomes involved in a criminal case. After the investigation, the evidence and files are transferred from the prosecutor to the court where they are also sealed. Only parties to a case may access court-held evidence. This legal interpretation has resulted in limited information sharing on criminal cases between U.S. and Turkish law enforcement officials.

The TNP received training in counterterrorism skills through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. The TNP has highly developed counterterrorism capabilities in a number of areas and is planning to expand its law enforcement training for other countries in the region.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Turkey is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and an observer of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, a FATF-style regional group. In February 2010, the FATF publicly identified Turkey for its strategic deficiencies in its counterterrorist financing regime. At that time, Turkey had provided a high-level political commitment to address these deficiencies by December 2010. Due to Turkey’s continued lack of progress in adequately criminalizing terrorist financing and establishing a legal framework to freeze terrorist assets, the FATF downgraded Turkey to its Public Statement in June 2011. In October 2012, FATF issued a Public Statement noting that, “Given Turkey’s continued lack of progress in these two areas, as a counter-measure, the FATF has decided to suspend Turkey’s membership on February 22, 2013 unless the following conditions are met before that date: (1) Turkey adopts legislation to adequately remedy deficiencies in its terrorist financing offence; and (2) Turkey establishes an adequate legal framework for identifying and freezing terrorist assets consistent with the FATF Recommendations.”

According to the Turkish Banks Act, Nr: 4389, only banks and special financial establishments are authorized to carry out banking activities, including money remittance or transfers. Informal banking networks are not allowed to operate in Turkey. A duly issued license is required for all kinds of banking activities. As alternative remittance services are illegal in Turkey, there is no regulatory agency that covers their activities.

The nonprofit sector is not audited on a regular basis for counterterrorist finance vulnerabilities and does not receive adequate AML/CFT outreach or guidance from the Turkish government. The General Director of Foundations issues licenses for charitable foundations and oversees them, but there are a limited number of auditors to cover the more than 70,000 institutions.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Turkey is a founding member of the GCTF and is co-chair along with the United States. Foreign Minister Davutoğlu co-chaired the second GCTF Ministerial meeting in Istanbul in June, and the third GCTF Ministerial in Abu Dhabi in December. As co-chair, Turkey has provided extensive secretariat support. Turkey also participates actively in the OSCE. Turkey has taken part in expert meetings on the prevention of violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT) organized by the OSCE/Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the OSCE Secretariat, including through the participation of the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the OSCE, as moderator of one session of the October 23-24 meeting on “Youth Engagement to counter VERLT.”

The TNP also created a new multilateral training organization, the International Association of Police Academies, to increase sharing of policing research and best practices in the field of police education. The TNP offers 18 counterterrorism-related training programs at its Anti-Terrorism Academy that are designed primarily for law enforcement officers from Central Asian countries.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Turkey has two significant programs in place to counter radicalization and violent extremism. The first, administered by the TNP, is a broad-based outreach program to affected communities, similar to anti-gang activities in the United States. Police work to reach vulnerable populations (before terrorists do) to alter the prevailing group dynamics and to prevent recruitment. Police use social science research to undertake social projects, activities with parents, and in-service training for officers and teachers. Programs prepare trainers, psychologists, coaches, and religious leaders to intervene to undermine radical messages and prevent recruitment. The second program, administered by the Turkish government’s Religious Affairs Office (Diyanet), works to undercut violent extremist messaging. In Turkey, all Sunni imams are employees of the Diyanet. In support of its message of traditional religious values, more than 66,000 Diyanet imams throughout Turkey conducted individualized outreach to their congregations. Diyanet similarly worked with religious associations among the Turkish diaspora, assisting them to establish umbrella organizations and providing them access to instruction. Diyanet supported in-service training for religious leaders and lay-workers via a network of 19 centers throughout Turkey.

GREECE

Overview: In 2012, Greece continued to experience small-scale attacks like targeted arson and improvised explosive device detonation by domestic anarchist groups. Generally, such attacks did not aim to inflict bodily harm but rather sought to make a political statement. Many members of the two most active domestic terrorist groups, Revolutionary Struggle and Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, have been imprisoned since 2011. Overall, Greek government cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism and the physical security of American interests in Greece was strong.

2012 Terrorist Incidents: On February 25, a group under the name “February 12 Movement” claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack at the Egaleo subway station where an improvised incendiary device (IID) was placed inside an Athens subway car. The device was placed next to a seat and consisted of a plastic container with flammable liquid, a small quantity of an explosive substance, a timer, wires, and batteries. The bomb did not explode, most likely due to faulty construction.

Greece’s two largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, experienced frequent, relatively small-scale anarchist attacks that used inexpensive and unsophisticated incendiary devices against the properties of political figures, party offices, private bank ATMs, ministries and tax offices, and privately-owned vehicles.

One incident was reported against U.S. interests. On June 27, a group calling itself “Deviant Behaviors for the Proliferation of Revolutionary Terrorism – International Revolutionary Front” claimed responsibility for an attack in which a van full of IIDs was driven through the front of the Microsoft headquarters building in an Athens suburb. The IIDs were subsequently detonated, causing a high intensity explosion. No casualties or injuries were reported.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Seven members of Revolutionary Struggle were released from pretrial detention in October 2011 (due to a Greek law that allows a maximum of 18 months of imprisonment without trial proceedings beginning). The Greek Counterterrorism Unit was not informed by the local police precinct that two of the lead members failed to show up for their required check-in (also October 2011) at the precinct until July 2012. Police have not been able to locate the two, and Greek authorities had not prosecuted the case by year’s end.

The trial of 17 suspected members of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, which began in 2011, was repeatedly postponed due to work stoppages by judges and judicial postponements in 2012.

The porous nature of Greece’s borders is of concern. While Greek border authorities try to stem the flow of illegal migration, its ability to control large-scale illegal migration via its land and sea borders with Turkey is limited. The recent political upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East have intensified illegal migration to and through Greece via the Greece-Turkey border and the Greek Aegean islands.

DHS/ICE provided training to Hellenic National Police and Coast Guard in Athens, Crete, Patras, and Thessaloniki to advance knowledge of border security agents. The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center facilitated a multi-day tabletop exercise in Athens in an effort to prepare Hellenic Police Forces for a large-scale terrorist incident. Participation on the part of the Greek government was broad-based and comprehensive.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Greece is a member of the Financial Action Task Force. The Foreign Ministry’s Sanctions Monitoring Unit is tasked with ensuring that Greece meets its commitments to enforce international sanctions, including terrorism-related sanctions. The Financial Intelligence unit inspected 3,586 suspicious transactions in 2012, but did not discover evidence of terrorist financing in Greece. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Greece is a member of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee. Overall, Greece engaged constructively on counterterrorism initiatives in international fora. Greece regularly participated in regional information exchange and seminars through such bodies as the EU, the OSCE, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime, and the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

[1] In October 2012, FATF issued a Public Statement noting that, “Given Turkey’s continued lack of progress in these two areas, as a counter-measure, the FATF has decided to suspend Turkey’s membership on February 22, 2013 unless the following conditions are met before that date: (1) Turkey adopts legislation to adequately remedy deficiencies in its terrorist financing offence; and (2) Turkey establishes an adequate legal framework for identifying and freezing terrorist assets consistent with the FATF Recommendations.”

 

Themistocles Konstantinou was born in Athens on 6th February of 1965. He finished his basic studies in the same town, before its mandatory service as a reservist sergeant in PIC1314the Greek Air Force with the specialty of mechanic in A-7H Corsair aircrafts. After his term was appointed with the same specialty in various types of aircrafts such as F-16 C/D, F-5 A/B, F-4E etc. till his graduation from the Hellenic Open University of Patras (2008). He took his Bachelor degree in Humanitarian studies as Europologist and the next year (2009) followed post-graduating seminars in Mental Health Promotion, a branch of Psychiatry. Since then serving on the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (civil personnel) in Military Intelligence Service as a Military data Analyst.

E-mail: themhs@yahoo.com

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