2776) Transnational Sources Of Support For Kurdish Insurgency In Turkey Including References To ASALA, By Michael M Gunter

Throughout the Spring of 1991 . .
the Kurdish issue has been in the headlines on a daily basis. In March, in the wake of Iraq's defeat in the Second Gulf War, the Kurds of northern Iraq rose up in rebellion against Saddam Hussein's Ba'adhist regime. The remnants of Hussein's army suppressed the revolt, putting some two million Kurds to flight, seeking refuge along the Turkish and Iranian borders. American, British and other coalition forces, and the United Nations, have been drawn into the region to protect and care for die refugees, while Kurdish leaders try to negotiate a modus vivendi with

Saddam Hussein. The tragic situation has focused Western attention as never before on die Kurdish people and their conflicts with the states of the region.
The Kurds are a stateless, largely Sunni Muslim, Indo- European-speaking people whose traditional homeland is concentrated in the rugged, mountainous area of the Middle East where Turkey, Iraq, and Iran converge. Approximately half of thr Kurds in the world live in Turkey. Much smaller numbers also inhabit Syria and the Soviet Union, while a diaspora has now spread to several other Middle Eastern states as well as western Europe and North America.

In August 1984, the Marxist-nationalist Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan (PKK) or Kurdish Workers Party led by Abdullah (Apo) Ocalan resurrected its guerrilla war of independence in southeastern Turkey that had supposedly been smashed by me Turkish military after it had come to power in September 1980. Despite repeated, subsequent claims that this PKK insurgency had been brought under control, clashes continued to occur on an almost daily basis. By the spring of 1990, they had escalated to such a degree that for the first time anti-government demonstrations broke out in more than a dozen small cities in southeastern Anatolia. The Turkish government felt compelled to issue an unprecedented decree which censored the press, authorized internal exile, and provided for die evacuation of villages for security reasons.1
. . .
ASALA was a notorious, left-wing Armenian terrorist group that was responsible for numerous bombings and murders of Turkish officials and citizens, as well as others, during 1975-84. It had ties to radical Palestinians such as Abu Nidal and George Habash, as well as Syria. For an analysis see Gunter, "Pursuing the Just Cause", pp. 41-54. This and the following data were taken from a dissident ASALA source, "Booklet Giving History of ASALA's Existence Gives New Insight into the Revolutionary Movement," The Armenian Reporter, 17 Jan. 1985, p. 2. . .

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