Uslu, Emrullah

On November 20 and 25, 2003, Istanbul was rocked by four suicide bombing attacks in which trucks heavily loaded with explosives killed over 60 people. The November bombers first attacked two Jewish synagogues; five days later, the British Consulate General and the Istanbul headquarters of the HSBC bank were the targets. These dramatic, deadly assaults were unexpected and without precedent. They revealed that radical Islamic terrorist groups in Turkey pose a new and serious threat. Their goals and targets have become global rather than local, and their doctrine now sanctions the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians. In support of their new modus operandi, their members are undergoing a thorough process of radicalization and training. As all of this suggests, these new terrorists generally share the aims, values and ideological orientation of al-Qaeda but are not directly subordinated to the organization.

Indeed, the group that carried out the bombings was typical of the many largely independent local al-Qaeda “franchises” identified in the Middle East today. Credible reports indicate that group leaders received some general funding from alQaeda sources. However, they recruited their subordinates, selected their targets, performed their operational planning, and acquired their vehicles and explosives on their own. They assembled their group on the basis of past organizational affiliations, kinship, tribal ties (to a limited extent) and, primarily, close personal and hometown relationships. Of course, these factors often overlapped. For example, several of the terrorists both had common roots in the radical Kurdish Hizbollah organization (see below) and were natives of the southeastern town of Bingol,1 traditionally a major center of radical right-wing Islamism in Turkey.

Almost all group members by and large had previously belonged to Kurdish Hizboflah and other Turkish right-wing extremist groups, which, in most cases, had been harassed and broken up by the Turkish National Police over the previous decade. Several had fought abroad, particularly in Chechnya, where the extremist Muslim opposition attracted many Turkish militants. Some of its members had trained at alQaeda camps in Afghanistan. (According to police estimates, 450 Turkish militants received terrorist training in Afghanistan.2)

No further proof of the group’s independence from al-Qaeda is necessary than the amateurish character of their major operation, whatever its grim results. The assaults were mistimed, so that in the case of the synagogues, the great majority of those killed were Turkish Muslim pedestrians rather than the intended victims, Jewish worshipers.

After the explosions, police found numerous clues that led to the apprehension of most group members, including identity documents the drivers should have destroyed in advance. These errors do not bespeak alQaeda professionalism. Nevertheless, some of the group escaped to neighboring countries over obviously well-planned routes, which suggests continuing ties with elements of alQaeda ‘s international network. (While they were in Afghanistan, according to police interrogation reports, group leaders were told by their al-Qaeda contacts that they should make an attack against the American Consulate General in Istanbul their first priority.1 After one look at the Consulate General’s new heavily guarded hilltop location, the terrorists quickly concluded it was a target well beyond their capabilities).

This paper examines the radicalization process of Turkish Islamists, with a specific focus on the terrorist organization Hizbollah, often referred to as Kurdish Hizbollah to distinguish it from the Lebanese group using the same name. Hizbollah is the largest and most significant of Turkish extremist groups that are currently active. Hizbollah is also of interest in that its members and leaders are predominantly and passionately Kurdish and can be seen as virtually the linear descendants of the participants in the failed Sheyh Said revolt of 1925, a Kurdish/Islamist insurrection that sought to remove the secular Kemal Ataturk regime and restore the caliphate. We seek to answer how and why Hizbollah members join the jihad and become terrorists. Whom do they read, and why? How do they interpret the Quran? What is their view of world events? The data used include police reports and interrogation documents, media reports, and Islamic texts used mostly by the Turkish militant groups.

The paper will also analyze the internationalization of Turkey’s radical Islamic movement, a development that begins in the late 1990s. Among the events leading to this transformation, two in particular stand out. First, on February 28, 1997, Turkish Army generals forced the Islamist government of Necmettin Erbakan to resign, in what Turkish scholars refer to as “history’s first postmodem coup d’état.” Turkey’s secular military acted largely because they believed that Islamic movements were spreading rapidly under the Erbakan regime. Then, on January 17,2000, the Turkish National Police cracked down heavily on Hizbollah. Its leader was killed and 2000 Hizbollah members quickly taken into custody. These events influenced some of the more important Islamic terrorists still at large to leave the country, move their operational bases abroad, and shift from domestic to international targets, exporting militants to fight in troubled areas of the Islamic world.

As a theoretical basis, this paper uses the constructivist approach, which “assumes that any society is a human construction and subject to multiple interpretations and influences.”4 Hizbollah, as a state-centric movement, is largely an outcome of shrunken opportunity spaces in Turkey and an idiosyncratic Islamic ideological input. We acknowledge Hakan Yavuz’s approach – that “structural conditions either shrink or expand opportunity spaces, which in turn shape the goals and strategies of Islamic movements as either ‘withdrawal’ ‘confrontation’ or ‘participation.'”5 Yet this approach does not explain why some movements in the same geographic and cultural areas, exposed to the same sociopolitical developments, took the path of violence – as did Kurdish Hizbollah – while others have not adopted violent tactics – as did the Naksibendi movement’s Menzil lodge (which have no relations with Hizbollah’s Menzil wing) in Adiyaman, a city in southeastern Turkey.

Certain specific developments, both internal and external, influenced Hizbollah to pursue its goals through violent means. The internal developments were the following: The 1981 military coup and the 1997 “soft coup” shrank opportunity spaces in the southeastern region of Turkey. The imposition of martial law reinforced bans on the use of the Kurdish language, music and proper names. Contrary to Kurdish nationalists, Kurdish Islamists interpreted these restrictions as an extension of the banning of Islamic informal associations, such as tariqas, Sufi lodges (tekke), and local Islamic schools (medrese) during the early years of the republic, as part of the Westernization/ modernization project. The Kurdistan Workers party’s (PKK) attacks on Hizbollah forced the organization to go underground.

Ironically, going underground expanded opportunity spaces for the organization. This might seem contradictory; yet, for Hizbollah, its underground existence offered many opportunities to enhance its influence throughout the region and later to the western part of Turkey as well.

Various other factors helped Hizbollah expand its influence while remaining an underground organization. First, the state, despite the imposition of martial law, was unable to maintain order in the southeast for various reasons, but especially because of PKK terrorism. second, its underground existence protected Hizbollah against the PKK; indeed, the PKK’s attacks legitimized Hizbollah’s underground existence in the eyes of the local population. Third, local feudal structures and relationships, which also were targeted by the PKK, provided Hizbollah with a network to promote its interests. Fourth, while in western Turkey the state had been largely successful in its program to ban religious associations and establishments, it could not fully implement the same restrictions in the southeast. Religious establishments, including the religious schools, went underground and survived.

Given the situation, establishing an underground religious organization was an acceptable idea for the people in the region. Moreover, state policy on religion was contradictory, for to counter Kurdish nationalist separatism, the state tried to promote the concept of religious brotherhood. Hence, formerly banned religious networks in the region gained de facto legitimacy. The state did not see the religious networks as nearly the threat posed by Kurdish nationalist demands for secession, and some officials simply ignored Hizbollah’s activities in the region.

The question remains: Why did Hizbollah become a violent organization when other local religious networks did not? The answer lies in the development of political Islam in Turkey. As Yavuz has stated, Turkish Islamic identity-based movements emerged along two diametrically opposed axes: state-centric (vertical and dogmatic) and societal-centric (horizontal and pragmatic).6 This differentiation is an outcome of two different Islamic understandings: one embodied in imported Islamic ideology, the other in domestic Islam (Turkish Islam). Outside of Hizbollah, Islam in the region has existed as a local religion, part of everyday life and incorporating Sufi Islamic themes. However, the Hizbollahi understanding of Islam is based on imported ideologies incorporating characteristics of both Iranian revolutionary philosophy and the doctrines of a traumatized Syrian Muslim brotherhood. Thus, a combination of sociopolitical circumstances and an idiosyncratic ideological input created Hizbollah as a militant Islamic organization.


Until the incident of January 17,2000, many elements of the general public had come to regard Hizbollah as a quasi-official terrorist or counterterrorist organization. This misconception was based on the fact that Hizbollah had conducted numerous successful and murderous operations against the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK, without interference from Turkish security elements, which, of course, were also in hot pursuit of the PKK. Moreover, the famous “Susurluk” incident of November 1996 revealed that the government was willing to collaborate with the most unsavory elements of Turkish society to suppress the Kurdish insurrection.7

Indeed, it often seemed as if Hizbollah’s assassins acted with the connivance or even on the instructions of Turkey’s counterinsurgency forces, popularly known as “kontragerilla.” Hizbollah members gunned down PKK personnel freely and seemingly without fear of arrest by the police. Between 1992 and 1995, in the southeastern cities of Diyarbakir and Batman, Hizbollah killed roughly 500 members of the PKK, suffering 200 deaths themselves.8 Reports appeared in the leftist press that some Hizbollah members had gone to a police shooting range in Diyarbakir for firearms practice.9 The proKurdish and left-wing press rechristened the Islamist group “Hizb-i Kontra,” a name that soon became popular.10

These suspicions were by and large unfounded, although there may have been occasional partnerships of convenience between individual Turkish security personnel and Hizbollah gunmen. Moreover, during the February 28 coup, the military’s failure to identify Hizbollah as its most important target, while cracking down on more peaceful Islamist organizations, inevitably provided grist for the mill of Turkish conspiracy theorists. However, the PKK claimed to be the true spokesman of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey, and Hizbollah viewed this claim as a threat to its own identity that had to be crushed.”


The Turkish public was understandably surprised when the police launched a nationwide operation against Hizbollah following the January 17,2000, raid. In fact, the authorities, particularly senior police officials, had recognized Hizbollah as a threat to the state and had been collecting information on its personnel and activities since 1993. In particular, the capture of the organization’s computer files in Mardin in March 1999 provided shocking information as to the size of the group and revealed that Hizbollah had become a nationwide organization.12 Many of its operatives had moved westward along with the general Kurdish migration away from the strife-torn southeastern provinces. Turkish security forces had failed to act against the Hizbollah threat because they were preoccupied fighting the PKK, clearly the larger threat to internal stability. But as the PKK menace subsided follow-ing the February 1999 capture of its leader, Abdullah Ocalan, security forces found their hands free to tackle Hizbollah. In the early 2000s, in a series of often violent clashes, nearly 6,000 Hizbollah members were arrested.13

However, while these operations represented a serious setback for Hizbollah, the organization remains very much alive. Hizbollah estimates its current strength at 20,000 sympathizers,14 but Turkish counterterrorism experts believe the true figure is substantially larger. Under the new leadership of Isa Altsoy, a Turkish Kurd living in Germany, the organization has withdrawn from violence to reestablish grassroots support. (In doctrinal terms, this represents a retreat to the propaganda stage; see below.) Hizbollah is conducting publicity, fundraising and recruitment operations throughout the Kurdish diaspora in Europe as well as in Kurkey. It is printing books and publishing magazines in Turkey and Europe and has opened new bookstores in Eastern Turkey.15

Approximately 950 Hizbollah militants were released from prison after July 29, 2003, when the Turkish parliament approved an amnesty law intended to benefit PKK members still at large (of whom only 720 took advantage of the amnesty!). Some high-ranking members of the group, including members of its military wing, avoided arrest and fled to Europe and Syria, and reportedly as many as 100 have made their way to northern Iraq. Reports persist that Hizbollah is receiving funding from al-Qaeda and may be assisting alQaeda militants in moving into Iraq.16

Recent information suggests that the adult populations of many villages throughout Turkey’s Kurdish southeast are almost universally Hizbollah sympathizers. Recently, Hizbollah activists managed to organize a demonstration of an estimated 100,000 people in Diyarbakir to protest the notorious Danish cartoons of Muhammed. (Though most of the demonstrators were neither members nor sympathizers of Hizbollah, the legal wings of Hizbollah were the principal organizers of the demonstration. These legal entities are organized as nongovernmental organizations and include a human-rights association that defends the rights of Hizbollah members in prisons.)17 In contrast, the PKK has been able to muster only a few thousand for its demonstrations in the southeast’s largest city.18


The January 17, 2000, assault on the Hizbollah leader’s headquarters and the police operations that followed revealed some of Hizbollah’s most gruesome secrets, including the existence of large underground caches of the tortured and mutilated bodies of the “enemies” they had slaughtered – who turned out to be not only PKK militants but moderate Kurds from various walks of life. These disclosures horrified Turkish society and encouraged many intellectuals, including Islamic thinkers, to attempt to understand this organization, its membership, its ideology and the role Islam plays in it, and to answer the question, how did Hizbollah members become terrorists in the first place?

To understand the political idiom and organizational structure of Hizbollah and the motives of its members, we must first examine the intellectual history of Turkish reactionary Islam under the republican regime.

From the founding of the Republic, reactionary Islam confronted two hostile currents in Turkish discourse: the topdown, secular Kemalist Westernization project and the traditional adherence of Turkish Muslims to Sufi orders. The Kemalists aimed to eliminate religion’s role in state and social affairs. They banned private Islamic institutions and instruction in the Quran; placed mosques under state control and mandated that the Ezan, the traditional Arabic call to prayer, be recited only in Turkish translation. The use of the Arabic text of the Quran was discouraged, and, as the leading reactionary Islamist Metin Onal Mengusoglu19 has complained, it took many years for Omer Riza’s translation of the Quran into Turkish Tanri Buyrugu (God’s Order) – to be published. Only one interpretation of the Quran, by Elmalili Hamdi Tazir, was available, and only scholars could understand his writings. Therefore, the average Turkish Muslim was unaware of the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. Another right-wing Islamist, Ahmet S. Erturk, expressed his concern that decades after the death of the Islamist intellectual and poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy (who wrote the words to the Turkish national anthem) no intellectuals had seriously addressed the numerous issues facing Turkish Muslims.20

Until the early 1960s, Kemalist policies prevented the development of political Islam in Turkey. However, in the second half of the 1960s, Islamists found a way to initiate a dialogue on Islamic issues through interpretations of the writings of foreign Muslim scholars, such as Sayyid Qutub, Moadudi, Abdulkadir Udeh, Hasan al-Banna, Malik Binnebi, Muhammed Qutub, Medvi, Muhammed Hamidullah and Fazlurrahman Ensari. Most of these authors wrote in a reactionary Islamic context.21 From the 1970s to the 1990s, most books on jihad available in Turkish were not written by Turks but were translations of the works of influential Islamic thinkers. The most popular of these included Jihad by Mawdudi and Qutb (1986); Invitation to the Jihad by Banna and Mawdudi (1977); Jihad within Islam by Qutb, Banna and Mawdudi (1992); The Mujahid’s Ethical Strategies by Mawdudi (1975); and Islamic Theory and Practice by Hassan al Banna (1989).22

Influenced by this literature, reactionary Turkish Islamists constructed a system of thought on sociopolitical issues within an Islamic framework that was based on a rejection of the traditional understanding of Islam and used the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizbut Tahrir as structural models. Correspondingly, after 1960, new terms entered the discourse of Turkish Islamists, for example, ignorance, social justice Jihad, unification, polytheism, idolatry and worshiping false gods.23 (This new terminology, as employed by Hizbollah, is analyzed below.) These new models and concepts separated radical Turkish Islamists from traditional Muslims. As Erturk noted, the new wave of Islamism in Turkey makes a clear distinction between Islamists and conservatives; whereas conservatives often support the status quo, Islamism is a reaction against the status quo. Politically conscious Muslims, he argues, should therefore not be members of a conservative party, but rather should reject the traditional social, institutional and ideological bases of the society in which they live.24 They should specifically reject imperialism and communism. Radical Islamists characterize Turkey’s various Kemalist regimes as imperialistic. Ozkazancigil, for example, alleges that Turkey’s alliances with France and England and later NATO clearly demonstrate the imperialist tendencies of Kemalism.25

While there was consensus in Turkish political Islam regarding the goal of establishing Islamic law (Sharia) in Turkey, there was a sharp debate over methodology. Some reactionary Islamists wanted to create nonviolent organizations to establish an Islamic state; others favored revolutionary models. The first violent Islamic organization in Turkey was the Turkish branch of Hizbut Tahrir,26 established by Turkish and Jordanian students at Middle East Technical University in Ankara in the 1960s. Its most prominent member was Ercument Ozkan.27 The most important violent organization was (Curdish Hizbollah.


Hizbollah’s history begins with the person of Huseyin Velioglu, who founded the organization after the Iranian revolution in 1979. At first, the objective was to create an Islamic state resembling Iran. In the 1970s, Velioglu and his associates believed that such an Islamic state could be established through democratic processes, and to this end they merged the National Turkish Student Association (MiUi Turk Talebe Birligi or MTTB),28 and the youth organization of the National Salvation party (Milli Selamet Partisi, or MSP). After the 1980 military coup, however, Velioglu abandoned all hope for success through the ballot box. He concluded that Turkey’s powerful army was determined to maintain secularism as the basis of the Turkish state. He was also influenced by the Syrian army’s massacre of the Muslim Brotherhood in the famous incident at Hama, also in 1980. Well-informed sources agree that Molla Ahmed, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, escaped from his homeland, took up residence in the small city of Mardin in southeastern Turkey, and became a major influence on Velioglu’s decision to organize a new, illegal organization. After the Hama incident, Ahmed had no doubt that Muslims were obliged to take up arms against the “infidel” if they were going to create an Islamic state.39

Velioglu foresaw Hizbollah’s developing through three distinct stages:

* Propaganda (teblig): radicals strive to persuade the people to adopt Islamic religious practices, establish an Islamic state and administration, live in accordance with Islamic rules, and struggle to safeguard the Islamic way of life.

* Community (cemaat): communities are restructured in accordance with Islamic rules and practices.

* Struggle (Jihad): armed struggle is initiated to safeguard the Islamic way of life.


For Hizbollah, Islamic identity is primary, but Kurdish identity also played an important role in its development. The Kurdish character of the organization helped it to gain support in the southeast. In turn, Hizbollah reinforced the Kurdish consciousness of Islamist Kurds in Turkey. Although it was well known that most of the members of the organization were Kurds, until 2004 it was not clear how the organization characterized Kurdish identity and Kurdish nationalism. This was because Hizbollah did not publish a single document, whether for educational or propaganda purposes, until that year, except for Friday sermons (hutbe). For many potential recruits its doctrine remained vague. However, in 2004, its new leader, Isa Altsoy, wrote a book under the pseudonym I. Bagasi: Hizbollah in Its Own Words; Selections from the History of the Struggle, initially published and distributed underground, to clarify the objectives and strategies of the organization.30 Hizboilah also set up discussion groups on the web31 (370 messages from these groups were analyzed for this study). The flood of books and periodicals mentioned above soon followed, as the organization began to function much more openly.

The Bagasi book explains that Hizbollah is “an Islamic movement that emerged from Kurdistan and is centered in Kurdistan. A majority of its members are Kurds, However, this should not imply that the organizations and its community consist of Kurds alone. It includes people from many different races.”32 Furthermore, Hizbollah does not consider itself a local organization dealing merely with local issues. On the contrary, Hizbollah aims to liberate Islamic society as a whole, not just a single region or ethnicity.33 “Hizbollah seeks to establish an Islamic system on earth that will demolish tyranny, injustice, segregation and exploitation.”34 Another passage states, “Hizbollah does not waste its energy occupying nearby lands or geographic regions. It uses its energy to ensure that Allah’s rules dominate the earth. Hizbollah is the army that will combat disbelief and polytheism (fitnah) until they disappear from the earth and God’s religion is established everywhere.”

However, even though Bagasi claims that Hizbollah seeks the liberation of the entire Muslim ummah, his primary concern is clearly the Kurdish community. He describes Kurds as belonging to a great nation that has lived in the same area for 3,500 years and that, after accepting Islam, helped the ummah to expand. He identifies the ethnic Kurd Salahaddin Ayyubi (Saladin), who recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders, as a historical figure of whom Muslim Kurds can be justly proud. Kurds, he continues, have never fought against other Muslims for the advantage of their own race. He grieves that, while Kurds helped their Muslim brothers, the Turks, during World War 1 and the War of Independence, the Kemalist regime, ignoring Kurdish sacrifices, tried to destroy the Islamic identity of the Kurdish people, throwing Muslims in jail, where they were tortured and killed. Muslim Kurds, he suggests, suffered twice as much as others whom the Kemalist state sought to suppress, in that they were persecuted both for their reigious fervor and for their Kurdishness.35

Hizbollah, the book continues, wants all organizations that originated or are based in Kurdistan to consider the Kurdish question in an Islamic framework. If Islamic societies are liberated, it contends, the Kurdish problem will automatically be solved. To this end, Bagasi concludes, “Hizbollah is an Islamic movement, centered in Kurdistan, dedicated to defend the Muslim Kurds’ Islamic and human rights, and to find solutions to historical, social, political, economic and cultural problems through an Islamic approach. Hizbollah’s duty is to struggle against oppression, tyranny and injustice to make Kurds free.”36


Recent media reports indicate that Kurdish Hizbollah may form a political party, or at least field independent candidates in the Turkish parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2007.37 This will seriously undermine the prospects of secular Kurdish nationalist parties. The largest of these, the Democratic Society party (DTP), has therefore asked the government in Ankara for “secular cooperation,” warning that without state support to the DTP, Islamist political forces in Turkey’s southeast would grow stronger.38 DTP President Ahmet Turk recently expressed concern that the people of the large Kurdish majority province of Diyarbakir had turned their backs on the DTP.39 Turk, however, is caught in a dilemma of his own making. The DTP has close ties to the PKK. He cannot expect any government cooperation without reciprocal assistance against PKK terrorism.

Lately, pro-Islamist associations are opening branches in even the smallest towns, and in the large city of Diyarbakir hundreds of such organizations are garnering significant support.40 In a new and highly successful tactic, Hizbollah has been organizing wedding ceremonies, bringer together thousands of participants who are then exposed to Hizbotlah propaganda.

The question arises, why are Islamist Kurds almost invisible in the public sphere? Why aren’t these developments reflected in everyday politics? First, no Kurdish Islamist political party has yet been formed. But Kurdish Islamists themselves believe such a party is an inevitability, possibly in the very near future. second, the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), has a close association with certain prominent Kurdish Islamists. In the March 2004 municipal elections, their collaboration wrested control of several important Kurdish cities from DEHAP, the DTP predecessor and, like the DTP, a pro-PKK party (DEHAP/DTP did, however, manage to retain control of the Diyarbakir municipality). There is natural resistance among many Islamists to tampering with this useful collaboration prior to the November 2007 general elections.

Meanwhile, Kurdish Islamists in northern Iraq are also accumulating significant grass-roots support. Iraqi Kurdish leaders and western “experts,” several of whom are on the Kurdish payroll, portray the Kurds as a secular nation, but the Kurds are a nation with strong Islamic elements, and Islamist groups are capitalizing on this to spread their Islamist/nationalist doctrine. The process is well underway, but Western intellectuals, either deliberately or through misreading the facts, have ignored this development.


Hizbollah selected the elements of its ideology in an eclectic manner. Incorporated in its training manuals are passages from the writings of such disparate thinkers as Sayyid Qutb, Ayatollah Khomeini, Ihsan Sureyya Sirma, and to a lesser degree, since the police crackdown in 2000, Said Nursi, the founder of the Nurcu movement in Turkey. When a Muslim author whose views it generally endorses espouses a position that conflicts with Hizbollah’s understanding of Islam, the organization simply ignores that aspect of his thinking.

In the world view of Hizbollah, everything is subordinated to the struggle for fslam, and the organization’s activities on behalf of this struggle find theirjustiflcation in the events of the early Muslim era. The struggle for Islam is seen as larger than life, part of the great metaphysical conflict between good and evil having its roots in the great battles of the legendary past. For example, during the mid 1980s, Hizbollah members committed robberies to prop up the organization’s finances. To justify these crimes, Hizbollah claimed, “What we do today is the same as what the Prophet Mohammed did in his time. Then, the Muslims of Medina attacked the caravans of non-believers and stole their goods. That was allowed by Mohammed, who would endorse our current actions.”41

In a remarkable historical allusion, Hizbollah even evaluates its own “birth” as comparable to the birth of the Prophet, as in this passage:

According to religious law (Shariah), spending one day as a member of the Hizbollah organization is more beneficial and virtuous than spending 70 years outside of Hizbollah. Allah may bestow on [Hizbollah members] the greatest of his rewards. Because the earth is the true place for the way of Allah, just as in the case of Mohammed, when Hizbollah was born it shook the infidel structures and states to their foundations.42

Hizbollah tries to establish ideological relationships between itself and other Islamic movements and thinkers. For example, it shows great respect for Sayyid Qutb in an interpretation of the following Quranic verse during a Friday sermon:

Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah [i.e., they have gone out for Jihad (holy war) and showed not their backs to the disbelievers). Of them some have fulfilled their obligations [i.e., have been martyred], and some are still waiting, but they have never changed in the least [i.e., they never betrayed the covenant that they concluded with Allah] – Verse 33:23

Hizbollah’s interpretation of this verse is this:

After Sayyid Qutb was sentenced, he wrote his famous books in prison and spread the message of the Koran under the threat of execution. Like Qutb, the true believers (muhavvidin) do not fear death. For them, death is the path to reach the lover (Allah), and they never hesitate to go to him. Becoming a martyr (shahid) is the ultimate means to reach God directly. Thus he who becomes a shahid will always be honored by the people of Hizbollah and, like Sayyid Qutb, will never be forgotten….43

The influence of the Iranian revolution appears in Hizbollah’s interpretation of the following verses:

And fight the infidel until there is no more Fitnah (false beliefs; polytheism) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [all over the world]. But if they cease (worshiping others besides Allah), then certainly Allah is the All-seer of what they do. Verse (8:39).

Hizbollah’s interpretation of this verse is this:

…Like the ignorance (jahiliyya) era in the Arab peninsula, the Islamic world was (again) in ignorance and Islam had been turned into a religion for funerals by this ignorance. However, the Iranian revolution rose up like sunshine for the Islamic world, and it has eclipsed the jahiliyyah darkness. The revolution has become a great example for Hizbollah’s fighters (mujahid) to build a state as great as Iran on behalf of Allah ….44


For Hizbollah, the cosmic struggle between good and evil or, as it is often phrased, between Islam and Godlessness (Kufr) is unending. Sometimes Islam will reach the summit, and sometimes Kufr. An individual has two choices: to be a soldier for God and serve God’s causes or to serve Satan. In this context, jihad is inevitable, as is martyrdom. In this century Islam has withdrawn into solitude, and Kufr is dominant. Muslims are oppressed, vulnerable and destitute. Their wealth has been stolen by the colonialists, who want to eliminate their faith and culture as well.45 Given these dire conditions, all Muslims are obliged to join the cosmic battle, in which they have three duties to fulfill: jihad, patience (sabir) and martyrdom (shehadet). They must fight against false deities and false leaders (taghut), tyranny (zulm) and those who sow discord (munafik), An explanation of these terms follows.


The Hizbollah manual definesjihad, the last of Hizbollah’s projected three stages of development, as the battle to establish and maintain Allah’s rule on earth. This battle, depending on an individual’s status, can be fought through sacrificing one’s possessions, wealth or life; through advocacy; or by waging war. Without an acceptance of jihad, it is impossible to understand the Prophet Muhammad’s life and struggle. Those Muslims are deceived who take the apologetic position, “Islam is not the religion of the sword.” “Life for us,” reads one Hizbollah sermon, “is faith (iman) and jihad. If any individual, organization, or government strives to convert Muslims by deception, threats or other means, it is the Muslims’ duty to prevent them from obstructing the path of Islam. The jihad should not end until the rule of Allah prevails over the entire earth.”46

Patience (Sabir)

Patience has two related meanings in Hizbollah doctrine. On the one hand, Muslims must be patient in waiting for the “promised day,” when Islam will triumph over its enemies. Also, they must be patient while engaged in jihad, specifically, when they are confronted with obstacles. Sabir in a sense symbolizes resistance to the existing order. It is a key principle for Muslims confronting infidel regimes. As an illustration of sabir, Hizbollah texts use the Quranic verses that tell of Joseph’s long imprisonment, after which Allah rewarded him with the kingdom of Egypt.47 (Since the verses of the Quran are eternally valid, the Joseph narrative is as applicable to today’s Muslim, as it was in the past.)

Martyrdom (Shehadet)

Martyrdom for Hizbollah is “the greatest benefit for the Muslim ummah and the greatest investment for the ummah’s future. Every drop of the Sehid blood, like spring rain, gives life to the ummah that has been suffering.” Hizbollah makes an analogy between the biblical story of Gabriel and the concept of martyrdom in the following way: “Martyrdom is the spirit that awakens the Muslim ummah…as the horn of Gabriel, which will awaken human beings at the day of judgment.”48

Moreover, for Hizbollah, martyrdom is the most important goal to which a Muslim can aspire. Hizbollah takes the story of Abraham and lsmail49 as its paradigm for martyrdom, with specific reference to the religious commemoration of that event, the annual ceremony of sacrifice (kurban bayrami) at which a lamb is ritually slaughtered. This celebrates the heritage of Abraham, who was prepared to sacrifice his only son, and create in him a martyr for Allah.50

As Abraham would have sacrificed his Ismail, contemporary Muslims in other lands, Hizbollah reminds its followers, sacrificed many Ismails, in Halabja, Hama, Sabra and Shatila, for example. Meanwhile, Turkish Muslims have their own martyred heroes, victims of oppression in Nusaybin, Cizre, Batman and other towns of the southeast. (Of the Turkish martyrs enumerated by Hizbollah, most were victims of the PKK rather than Turkish security forces. In particular, a 1992 PKK raid on the village of Susa, in Diyarbakir province, in which 10 Hizbollah adherents were slaughtered, became a rallying point for the organization.) Like other parts of the Islamic world, Kurdistan, Hizbollah explains, is under tyranny, its citizens oppressed, its mothers and sisters weeping for its martyrs, who have made the ultimate sacrifice, both to protect Islam and its institutions and to show the world that they reject the systems of Satan. When Muslims celebrate kurban bayrami, they honor not only Abraham, but also the blood shed by their contemporary martyrs.51

Thus Hizbollah texts repeatedly glorify the concept of martyrdom, often using the most elaborate imagery. For example, it is predicted that the blood shed by shahids in Chechnya, Palestine, Algeria, Kurdistan and elsewhere will flow as one current into the throats of local tyrants and choke them.” The prayer of an individual Hizbollah member asks, “When will you come to me, O martyrdom? Don’t you see that I am eagerly waiting for you, as a lover waits for his beloved. Hurry to me, O martyrdom, I cannot wait much longer….”53

In the texts of Hizbollah, Islam has three enemies that the Muslim must confront and destroy:

Taghut (False Deities, False Leaders)

Taghut is a broadly defined term that in different contexts may refer to individuals, groups, ideologies or abstract concepts like wealth or illicit sex. Generally, taghut refers to whomever or whatever prevents people from worshiping Allah and his Prophet, obstructs their freedom to pray, or enforces ungodly laws and rules.54 Although Taghut is defined broadly, when Hizbollah members use the term, they usually are referring to the Turkish state or army or, in some cases, Turkey’s democratic order. For Hizbollah, its battle against taghut will end when these Turkish entities are overthrown.55

Zulm (Tyranny, Evildoing, Injustice, Oppression)

Whatever changes Turkish society has undergone since the founding of the republic in 1923, Hizbollah regards the regime in Ankara as still essentially Kemalist, secular and intent on keeping Islam out of the public sphere. It sees the Kemalist state as generally oppressive but particularly so in Turkey’s Kurdish region, because the Islamic consciousness of the Kurds is greater than that of the Turks in the west, and because the Kemalists want to eliminate Kurdish national identity.56 To be imprisoned by the Kemalists represents proof for Hizbollah members that they are on God’s path. The surah of the Quran called “Yusuf,” a narrative of the prophet Joseph, is interpreted as verifying this judgment, and Hizbollah reinforces the argument with a quotation from Saidi Nursi: “The right path for my followers is the path of the people who face the greatest zulm, who suffer the most imprisonment, and who have the most martyrs. This is the community that fights for the cause of Allah.”57

Munafik (Hypocrite, One Who Sows Discord, Mischief-Maker)

Hizbollah uses this term in two senses: first, with specific reference to the “Menzil” group of radical Turkish Muslims, with whom they at one time collaborated but whose views they later found too moderate; second, generally, to refer to a person or group associated with the Turkish state that aims to disrupt Hizbollah activity or make propaganda against Hizbollah in accordance with the state’s carefully laid plans.58 But one Hizbollah web page assigns this rubric to all lslamists who criticize Hizbollah; “Today the socalled Muslim community dignifies the Godless state. They avoid the struggle and they call us unbelievers. You cowardly munafik, you will pay a price for your attitudes.”59


Although there is an ideological overlap between these two organizations, the relationship between Hizbollah and al-Qaeda is based on tactical and pragmatic considerations. After the January 17, 2000, police assault, Hizbollah was in danger of disintegrating. Internal communications were virtually destroyed. Those who sought to take the place of the martyred Huseyin Velioglu as the organization’s leader were in most cases quickly identified by the police and arrested. Eventually, Isa Altsoy, who had escaped capture by taking refuge in Germany, took command. He soon set about the twin tasks of reorganization and the recruitment of new members.

Altsoy adopted two fundamental strategies: first, to retreat to the propaganda stage and to engage only in legal activities in Turkey, publishing books and magazines and developing web sites, with the aim of promoting and expanding the organization; and second, to locate Hizbollah headquarters in Europe, so as to exploit both Europe’s arrest-free environment and the presence of four million Turkish expatriates across the European continent, a large proportion of them ethnic Kurds who had fled both the civil war and the unpromising economic conditions in Turkey’s southeast in search of a better life. Moreover, as the gruesome revelations of Hizbollah atrocities had badly tarnished the organization’s reputation in Turkey, it seemed far easier to operate in Europe, where those appalling images had never appeared in the public media.

Bagasi’s book provides a doctrinal basis for close collaboration between Hizbollah and al-Qaeda. He identifies September 11 and its aftermath as a major opportunity for Hizbollah, explaining that the imperialists and Zionists have used the pretext of 9/11 to declare war against Muslims worldwide and have occupied territories within the Muslim umma. They have even placed their war in a meaningful historical context by referring to it as a “crusade.” Several other states have chosen to join the crusade, and Turkey is one of them, playing the role of “frontier warrior” and thereby reinforcing American and Israeli power. Turkey does this out of hatred for Islam.60

Bagasi adds that these circumstances oblige all Muslim communities to collaborate closely to make the anti-imperialist struggle effective. However, this cooperation must be based on certain principles. Hizbollah, Bagasi explains, has told other groups who sought its cooperation that all it required was that they be truly independent and have no connections with any official organizations or agencies. In turn, Hizbollah assured them that it sought no leadership role and indeed would be pleased if others would lead the way in the search for solutions to the Islamic movement’s many complex problems.61 Here, Bagasi is making an obvious reference to al-Qaeda’s greater reach and experience.

On the other hand, Turkey, through Islamic radical organizations like Hizbollah, offers al-Qaeda a bridge for the transit of militants and the transfer of funds from east to west. Moreover, cooperation with Hizbollah opens doors for al-Qaeda to the Kurdish community in Europe and even the United States.” On its web page, for example, Hizbollah openly supports alQaeda, carries al-Qaeda’s messages, and asks its members to join thejihad in Iraq.63 (An estimated 1,500-2,000 Turkish mujahidin fought alongside al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but most have no particular terrorist affiliation now. The Turkish National Police conducted a survey of 800 of these veterans. Ninety percent condemned the Istanbul bombings. However, the police report concludes, 20 percent of the ex-mujahidin – 300 to 400 – remain potentially dangerous.)64

In matters of faith and ideology, the positions of al-Qaeda and Hizbollah overlap but are not congruent. Hizbollah members generally identify themselves as belonging to the Salafist or Wahhabi tradition – in that they reject contemporary Sunni/Sufi practice and desire to return to an earlier and purer version of the faith. Both Hizbollah and alQaeda view Turkey, in Islamic terms, as part oftheDaral-Harb(HouseofWar). These common beliefs facilitate their collaboration.

According to a December 10, 2003, study by Olga Levitsky, published by the Center for Defense Information, “hundreds” of Hizbollah members fled to Iran and northern Iraq after January 2000. It is believed that some of those in Iraq contacted Ansar al-Islam, a radical Kurdish organization collaborating with other insurgent groups.65 It is likely that these refugees collaborated in the escape of those few November 2003 bombers to neighboring countries. One of these was Habib Akdas, regarded as the group’s mastermind. According to several media reports, he was killed in an American bombing raid in the Anbar region of Iraq in early September 2004.66

On January 30, 2007, police in the provinces of Istanbul and Konya launched an operation that resulted in the arrest of 47 al-Qaeda members. This operation revealed some new al-Qaeda secrets. The Turkish media reported, and police sources confirmed, that the arrested al-Qaeda members belong to the new generation of al-Qaeda and have received training in alQaeda camps in last two years.67 Despite American officials’ claim that there are no al-Qaeda camps anymore in Afghanistan, Turkish sources maintain that al-Qaeda still operates terrorist camps on the Afghan-Pakistani border and that 34 of the arrested al-Qaeda members have received training in these camps in the last two years. In addition, this operation revealed that alQaeda had altered its “cell” type of organization. In countries like Turkey, instead of staying with cell members and/or meeting often with them, the new generation of al-Qaeda members stay with their parents and, when it is necessary, meet with their peers in safe houses for ideological training and planning terror attacks. The safe houses are also used for religious training for children in conservative Muslim cities like Konya.68


Although there is no organic relationship between Kurdish Hizbollah and its more famous Lebanese namesake, the group’s monthly magazine, Inzar, gave extensive coverage to the Lebanese faction’s “success” against Israel. An editorial condemned the Israelis as “inhumane and barbaric murderers” and credited “our God” for foiling their ambitions. The editorial warned, however, that the Israelis would continue their savage attacks until the final days, when all nations would unite against Zionism and eliminate this “scourge,” as promised by God.69

An unsigned article in the same issue, moreover, noted that, while Lebanese civilians suffered severe losses, for the first time the Zionist regime also paid a heavy price. Israel was shown to be a “paper tiger,” and Hizbollah’s political and military position was growing stronger as its popularity spread well beyond the borders of Lebanon.70 A third entry, under the name of Omer Saruhan (presumably a pseudonym), glorified Lebanese Hizbollah’s victories in chronological order; the 1982 bombing of the U.S. compound in which 250 Marines were killed; the expulsion of the Israelis from Lebanon in 2000; and the most recent “success” in 2006. Saruhan calls on his Sunni readership to think of Lebanese Hizbollah not as a Shiite organization, but as fellow Muslims united against a common enemy.71


Violence is a characteristic of extremist fringe groups in all of the great religions, not only Islam. The Oklahoma City bombing and the Aum Shinrikyo Tokyo subway attack come quickly to mind.72 But explanations of why extreme lslamist violence is a more widespread and dangerous phenomenon vary. The “essentialist” explanation emphasizes the text without considering the social context – for example, historical humiliation or opportunity spaces. For essentialists, violence in Islam is rooted in quasi-military traditions shared by the entire Muslim umma. War is generally a more important element in the Quran and the Hadith than in the sacred texts of other religions. The contrast between the lives of the pacifist Jesus and the triumphant warrior Muhammad, as related in their respective scriptures, underscores the point. Early in the history of Islam, Muslim leaders identified the basic aim of Islamic policy as to incorporate the Dar al-Harb, the House of War, where infidels ruled, into the Dar al-Islam, the House of the Believers, a project that inevitably involves armed conflict.73 Therefore, Muslim terrorist leaders can pursue the indoctrination of younger followers within an already familiar intellectual framework of continuing struggle. Moreover, as several scholars have observed, the identification of the “other” with evil, sin and Satan serves the purpose of dehumanizing targets. This removes the natural inhibitions, moral and psychological, of engaging in the indiscriminate killing that is the inevitable consequence of terrorism.

However, the struggle to establish the worldwide rule of Islam is not merely a war against oppressive rulers, but a jihad to achieve the victory of God and the defeat of Satan- a battle of cosmic dimensions against evil in all its forms. And, as most people are aware, for most Muslims this struggle is not intrinsically violent. It is an inner war to conquer sin within oneself rather than combat external oppression. Additionally, martyrdom can have many meanings. In Turkey, for example, it is usually employed to signify members of the armed forces who have died in service to the Turkish nation (hardly a concept Hizbollah would endorse). The sacrifice of Abraham is, for Hizbollah, Islam’s most significant ritual. But for the average Turkish villager, as Carol Delaney points out,74 Abraham’s near sacrifice, while commemorated in Turkish villages with great fanfare, is a symbol less of the Jewish patriarch’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command than of the supreme role of the male in family and community as the gender God has authorized to make the important decisions. In contrast, in Hizbollah’s rhetoric, the martyr is God’s holy warrior against tyranny. Martyrdom opens the gates of Paradise, and the martyr becomes the beloved of Allah for eternity. This message is endlessly repeated without substantial elaboration. Hizbollah texts, which by and large shun argument or rational discourse, drum in their points through simple repetition with modest changes in vocabulary. For youth receptive to their message – whether victims of poverty, mistreatment by the authorities or other adverse social factors – the vision of contributing to the triumph of Islam and securing a permanent place in God’s bosom can be overwhelming.

The Palestinian film Paradise Now demonstrates that not every militant terrorist is psychologically equipped to become a suicide bomber. Still, the Hizbollah rank and file – recruited from Kurds in Turkey with their strong grievances against their government’s policies on ethnic issues, or from Kurdish Muslim refugees in Europe alienated from the continent’s progressive Christian society will always provide a fair share of willing martyrs. As Hizbollah again progresses through the cemaat to the jihad stage, the danger that the November 2003 bombings will be replicated in new venues stands to increase, and al-Qaeda will have a new and dangerous ally.

1 “Isle Bombacilar,” Vatan, November 18, 2003.

2 Erdal Kilinc, “El Kaide’nin eginigi 450 Türk aranyor.” Milliyet, December 16, 2003.

3 Savas Ay, “Dehset Itiraflar.” Sabah, December 1, 2003.

4 Hakan Yavuz. Islamic Political Identity in Turkey ( Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 20.

5 Yavuz, p. 27.

6 Yavuz, p. 21.

7 A car accident outside the northwest Anatolian town of Susurluk claimed the lives of the driver, a prostitute, a police chief, and a senior member of the Turkish mafia. The sole survivor of the crash was a parliamentary deputy from Urfa, who was also a conservative Kurdish tribal leader. The shock at the exposure of such inappropriate traveling companions was compounded by the discovery of documents in the car that reinforced the image of government/mafia collaboration.

8 Soner Cagaptay and Emrullah Uslu, “Hizballah in Turkey Revives: Al-Qaeda’s Bridge between Europe and Iraq?,” Policy Paper #946, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (W(NEP), January 25, 2005.

9 Martin van Bruinessen , “Turkey’s Death Squads,” Middle East Report, No. 199, Turkey: Insolvent Ideologies, Fractured State (Apr. – Jun., 1996), pp. 20-23.

10 Hizbollah cephaneligi,” Ozgur Politika, January 30, 2000.

11 I Bagasi, Kendi Dilinden Hizbollah ve Mucadeleden Kesitler, Unknown Publisher, 2004, p. 84.

12 John T. Nugent, Jr., “The Defeat of Turkish Hizballah as a Model for Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 8, No. 1, March, 2004.

13 Soner Cagaptay and Emrullah UsIu, op. cit., p.3.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid. Under the new leadership of Isa Altsoy, the organization has moved away from violence to establishing grass-roots support. KH, which has not published before, is now using the media for public outreach. In 2004, the organization printed six books (8,000 copies of each), including one explaining its history. In addition, it has issued three magazines: Gonulden Gonule Damlalar, Inzar (published in Fatih, Istanbul, with an increasing circulation of 7,000), and Mujde (published in Basel, Switzerland). Moreover, the organization has opened two bookstores (Davet Kitapevi in Elazig and Risale Kitapevi in Batman m eastern Turkey) and a nongovernmental organization, Insan Haklari ve Mustazaflarla Dayanisma Dernegi (Association for Human Rights and Solidarity with the Oppressed) in Diyarbakir, WINEP, January 25, 2005.

16 Ibid.

17 Mehmed GÖKTAS, “Yerüzü ‘Lebbeyk Ya Rasûlallah!’ dedi Lakin Diyarbakir Bir Baska Dedi,” Inzar Dergisi, V. 18 March 2006.

18 “Diyarbakir ‘Nevruz’u agirladi,” Sabah, March 22, 2006, On February 15, 2006, to protest the caputre of the leader of the PKK, Abudllah Ocalan, in Kenya, the PKK wanted to organize demonstrations in Diyarbakir. Yet they failed to find large numbers of demonstrators; only a few hundred joined the PKK’s call. Even on the day of Nawroz on March 21 – a special day for many Central Asian and Middle Eastern peoples to welcome the spring season which in recent years Kurds recognize as their national holiday people did not respond to the PKK’s call even though famous singers such as Ibrahim Tatlises and Civan Haco easily reach hundreds of thousands at their public concerts. The organization expected 500 thousand people on the celebration square, yet only 100 thousand participated and it was not known whether they participated to listen to the singers, to join the PKK’s call, to celebrate their national holiday or whether all of these together.

19 Metýn Önal Mengüsoglu. Haksaz Dergisi, May 14, 1994.

20 Ahmet S. Erturk, “‘Kaybolan’in Anlasilmasi ve Aranmasi,” Haksoz Dergisi, V. 1, May 14, 1992.

21 Ibid.

22 Emrullah Uslu, “Difficulties of Combating Islamic Terror: As a Case of Turkish Hizbollah,” presented at Middle East Central Asia Politic Economic. Social Conference, University of Utah, September 2003.

23 Ahmet Erturk, Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Umaran Dergisi, 14 May, 1992.

26 “Islam devleti kurmak isteyen 2 kisî için giyabi tevkif karari alindi,” Cumhiiriyel, April 13, 1967, the official web page of Hizb-ui tahrir goes into detail about their history, aim, and strategy.

27, accessed on M.

28 “Iste Hizbollah Raporu,” Hurriyet, January 20 2000.

29 Asli Aydintasbas, “Murder on the Bosporus,” Journal of Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 7: No. 2 June, 2000.

30 I.Bagasi, KendiD’tlinden HizboHah ve Mucadeleden Kesitler, Unknown Publisher, 2004,

31 There are several web pages available for discussion groups for the member of the organzation including, The most visited web page of Hizbollah is, which also broadcasts radio programs on the net.

32 I. Bagasi, p. 56.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 I. Bagasi, p. 51.

36 Ibid, p. 65.

37 “Hizbollah secime hazirlaniyor,” Milliyet, December 29, 2006.

38 “Nevzat Cicek, “Kurt islamciliginda yeralti donemi bitti,” Nokta, Vol. 1, No. 2, November 9-15, 2006.

39 “Türk: Diyarbakirli bizi yalniz birakti,” Hurriyet, December 24, 2006.

40 Hizbollah Kurt illerinde seçimlere hazirlaniyor, ANF News Agency, December 26,2006.

41 “16 Yil Once Park Edilmis,” Zaman, Feburary 27, 2000.

42 Hutbe, Friday speech series given by Hizbollah, which was confiscated after the police operation at Hizbollah headquarters in Istanbul; it consists of 40 different speech notes (Turkish National Police archive, 2001.

43 Ibid.

44 Ibid.

45 I. Bagasi, p. 65.

46 Hutbe, TNP archive, 2001.

47 Ibid.

48 Faruk Hamza, “Sehadet Bir Ruhtur,” Inzar Dergisi, Vol. 17, February 2006.

49 The Quran does not identify which of Abraham’s sons is offered for sacrifice. Turkish Muslims generally believe that Ismail, Abraham’s eldest son, is the intended victim, not Isaac, as in the Judéo-Christian version.

50 Ibid.

51 Ibid.

52 Ibid.

53, accessed on March 25, 2005.

54, accessed on March 25, 2006.

55 I. Bagasi, p. 34.

56 I. Bagasi, p.70-71.

57, derived on October 31, 2004.

58 I.Bagasi, Kendi Dilinden Hizbollah.

59, accessed on October 31, 2004 (note; contents of this site recently has been changed; it is no longer under control of Hizbollah).

60 I. Bagasi, p. 253.

61 Ibid.

62 Soner Cagaptay and Emrullah UsIu, WINEP Policy Paper, January 25, 2005.

63, accessed on March 26, 2006.

64 Faruk Mercan, “Devlet sahaya çikti, Turk savasçilari arastirdi,”4/tsiVon. Vol. 519, November 15, 2004.

65 Olga Levitsky , “In the Spotlight: Turkish Hizbollah,” Policy Paper (Center for Defense Information, December 10, 2003).

66 “Habib Aktas Oldu Iddiasi,” Radikal, September 11, 2004.

67 Mehmet Kayhan Yildiz, “El Kaide’ye alti ilde operasyon,” Hurriyet, January 30 2007.

68 “7 Ilde El Kaide operasyonu: 47 gocalti,” Zaman, January 30, 2007, also see Hurriyet January 30 2007.

69 Editor’den Inzar, Vol. 2, Issue 24, October 2006.

70 “Ateskes Sonrasi Lubnan ve 1701 Sayili Karar,” Inzar, Vol. 2, Issue 24, October 2006.

71 Omer Saruhan, “Zafer, er ya da gee elbet mlislumanlarin olacaktir,” Inzar, Vol. 2, Issue 24, October 2006.

72 Mark Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence (University of California Press, 2001).

73 Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (Oxford University Press, 1961).

74 Carol Delaney, The Seed and the Soil (University of California Press, 1991).

Emrullah Uslu

Mr. Uslu is a Turkish terrorism expert and currently a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Middle East Center at the University of Utah. The author wishes to express his profound thanks to Ferdinand Smith, whose broad experience and editorial skills were of inestimable value in the drafting of this article. Ferdinand Smith is the pseudonym of an American specialist in international relations who has worked and studied in Turkey periodically for nearly five decades. He recently visited Turkey’s Kurdishmajority provinces and met with Kurdish activists and intellectuals.

Copyright Middle East Policy Council Spring 2007

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