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Analysis of the Iranian and Hezbollah Terrorist Attacks against Israeli Targets Abroad: The Situation on the Ground and Background Information by The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, full version, febr. 15, 2012. This article is published in four parts, due to its length. For more, please visit ITIC.

Turkey, an Iranian Terrorist and Subversion Arena

Background

Turkey and Iran often state that there has been peace along their border for more than four hundred years. They have no territorial demands on one another and trade relations between them are well developed. Both countries share the struggle of the Kurdish minority, each in its own way. While relations are superficially good, beneath the surface they are mutually suspicious, and their suspicions have grown considerably since the Iranian Islamic Revolution.

The suspicions are based on various factors: Turkey’s Western orientation, manifested by its NATO membership; its fear that the Islamic Revolution’s ideology might trickle into Turkey; Iran’s long history of subversion and terrorism on Turkish soil; and the million Iranian refugees who fled the Islamic Revolution and found asylum in Turkey.[3] In addition, Turkey supports the uprising against the regime of Iran’s strategic ally Bashar Assad, Turkey and Iran differ regarding the nature of the Iraqi regime after the withdrawal of the American army (because of the Sunni-Shi’ite tensions in Iraq), and they are in competition for influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Beyond the above considerations there are the general regional uprisings, which increased Turkey and Iran competition for Middle Eastern influence and hegemony. At its core, the competition is between the radical Shi’ite anti-West Iranian Islamic model and the moderate Sunni pro-West Turkish Sunni model with its democratic features, which still preserves Ataturk’s secular legacy.

Despite the complexity of the relationship, which sometimes creates friction, both Turkey and Iran are careful not to destroy the balance of the relationship. Iran, which regards Turkey as a central regional power, promotes political, security and economic cooperation. Turkey implements pragmatic and moderate policies in its dealings with Iran, and promotes political and economic ties even though Iran carries out subversive and terrorist activity within Turkish territory, and works to contain such activity when it is discovered.

Iranian Terrorism and Subversion in Turkey

Overview

In the three decades since the Islamic Revolution, the Iranians have often been involved in terrorism and subversion within Turkey. Most of the activities were carried out by Iranian intelligence apparatuses (including during the term of Ali Fallahian as intelligence minister) and by the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards after its establishment. The Iranian embassy in Istanbul was involved its subversive and terrorist activities and Guards operatives were posted as diplomats.[4]

During the past two decades the Quds Force has been the leading (but not the only) Iranian body engaging in subversion and terrorism in Turkey by means of its ad hoc Unit 5000,[5] in the following areas:

1) Terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Turkey, usually the attempted assassinations of Israeli diplomats.

2) Terrorist attacks against Turkish public figures and opponents of the Iranian regime operating in Turkey.

3) Smuggling weapons and military equipment through Turkish territory for Syria and Hezbollah through various routes (with trucks and trains, and by air).

4) Support for Kurdish organizations hostile to the Turkish regime (the PKK and the Turkish Hezbollah).

5) Exporting Khomeini’s ideology to Turkey (for example by constructing Islamic schools and cultural centers)

Terrorist Attacks Against Israeli and Jewish Targets

During the past two decades Iranian proxies (local Turkish organizations or the Lebanese Hezbollah) murdered a number of Israeli diplomats and Turkish-Jewish public figures by gunning them down or detonating car bombs. In one instance they murdered an Israeli and in three instances their attempts failed:

The Attempted Assassination of Moshe Kimhi, Israeli Consul, Istanbul, 2011

On May 26, 2011, an explosion in Istanbul wounded eight Turks. No organization claimed responsibility for the explosion.

In July 2011 the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that initially the Turkish authorities thought the explosion was the work of the PKK, a Kurdish opposition organization. However, they later concluded that it had been an attempted assassination of Israeli consul Moshe Kimhi, carried out in retaliation for the death of an Iranian nuclear scientist. According to the newspaper, three Hezbollah operatives came to Istanbul from Beirut and followed the consul’s daily route from his home to the consulate.

According to Yoram Cohen, head of the Israel Security Agency, Iran attempts to attack Israeli targets abroad using the Revolutionary Guards. This past year, said Cohen, three serious attacks were prevented even as the perpetrators were in place and about to act. In Turkey, he said, an attempt was made on the life of the Israeli Consul General, and other attacks were attempted in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and in Thailand (Haaretz, February 3, 2012).

The Attempted Murder of Jak Kamhi, a Head of the Turkish Jewish Community, 1993

On January 28, 1993, the attempted murder of businessman Jak Kimhi,[6] one of the heads of the Turkish Jewish community, failed: four gunmen shot at Kamhi’s car.

Apparently, a local terrorist group directed by Iran was responsible for the attempted murder. According to a book by Israeli author and journalist Ronen Bergman, Jak Kamhi had been warned by Israeli intelligence that Iranian intelligence was planning to kill him, enabling him to escape unscathed.[7]

The Murder of Ehud Sadan, the Security Officer at the Israeli Embassy, Ankara, 1992

On March 7, 1992, Ehud Sadan, the security officer at the Israeli embassy in Ankara, was killed by a bomb which was attached to his car. The explosion wounded two Turkish passersby, a nine year-old child and a taxi driver.

Three pro-Iranian Islamic organizations, among them Lebanese Hezbollah, claimed responsibility for the murder. Turkish commentators claimed at the time that the murder was committed in retaliation for the IDF killing of Hezbollah leader Abbas Musawi.[8]

On May 9, 2000, Turkish intelligence detained a terrorist cell suspected of responsibility for the murder. According to reports from Turkey, investigations revealed that the cell had received instructions from the Iranian vice-consul in Turkey, who gave them half a million dollars and explosives for killing a Turkish correspondent in 1993 (apparently Uğur Mumcu, see below). The cell was also suspected of responsibility the murder of an American officer and the abduction of a high-ranking Turkish officer (walla.co.il website, May 9, 2000). On January 8, 2001, the court in Ankara sentenced two of Ehud Sadan’s assassins to death.

The Attempted Assassination of David Golan, Israeli Diplomat, Istanbul, 1991

On February 14, 1991, an RPG was launched at David Golan, an Israeli diplomat in Istanbul. There were no casualties. The attack was carried out by a group of Turkish terrorists handled by Iran.

Elimination of Iranian Regime Opponents in Turkey

In addition to the foregoing attacks, Iranians were involved in attempts to eliminate Turkish figures (correspondents, member of the academia and other personalities) and opponents of the Iranian regime who operated in Turkey. The most prominent murder occurred on January 24, 1993, when the author and journalist Uğur Mumcu was killed. He was killed by an IED put in his car while it was parked in front of his house.

The perpetrators belonged to a terrorist network called the Tevhid-Selam-Quds Organization, handled by the Iranian regime. Its operatives were trained in Tehran and other Iranian cities and equipped with weapons, ammunition and explosives (TNT and C4). They carried out a long series of terrorist attacks in Turkey, including the murder of Israeli security officer Ehud Sadan.[9] The Turkish interior minister at the time linked the murder of Uğur Mumcu to organizations operating from Iran and said that they had been involved in the murders of other media personnel.[10]

On April 16, 2009, the trial of four Army of Al-Quds terrorist operatives began (one tried in absentia). They were accused of the murder of Turkish citizens (including Uğur Mumcu), a Saudi Arabia diplomat, an American citizen and Ehud Sadan. According to the indictment they had been in Iran, where they received training.[11]

At the beginning of 2012 the Turkish media reported that the American authorities had informed the Turkish administration that the Iranian-handled Army of Al-Quds was planning to attack the American diplomatic mission in Turkey.[12]

Iranian involvement in the murder of Turkish figures was exposed on several occasions between 1996 and 2002:

1) In March 1996 Irfan Cakirci, leader of an organization called the Islamic Action Movement, was detained in Istanbul. During interrogation he admitted that the weapons used to kill a correspondent named Cetil Amak and several opponents of Iran had been supplied by an Iranian diplomat. According to his confession and the findings of the Turkish police investigation, the Iranian diplomat ran an office for planning and directing terrorist activities. As a result, Turkey deported four Iranian diplomats.[13]

2) In May 2000 the Turkish media reported the murders of 17 well-known Turkish figures including correspondents, politicians, professors and other public figures had been solved, and that Iranians were behind them all. The detainees admitted to having been trained by and receiving support from operatives and agents of Iranian intelligence and the Quds Force. The exposure of Iran’s involvement in the murders created a crisis in Turkish-Iranian relations because Turkey considered them as interference in its internal affairs.[14]

3) On May 17, 2000, Turkish prime minister Ecevit told a press conference that Iran was providing sanctuary for terrorist extremists and was still trying to export the revolution. He said that support for terrorism in Turkey was liable to be considered intervention in Turkey’s internal affairs. He added that unfortunately, several terrorists and fundamentalist organizations in Turkey enjoyed various forms of Iranian support and were exploited by Iran to export the revolution (Turkish Daily News, May 18, 2000). However, interviewed by Turkish TV, Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati denied the existence of anti-Turkish Iranian activity and proposed a discussion of the “mutual accusations” in a joint Turkish-Iranian security committee.[15]

4) In May 2002 the security court in Ankara accused Iran of links to the Tevhid-Selam network. The court indicted network activists on 22 criminal charges, including murders, with the intention of bringing chaos to Turkey, destroying its constitutional order, and establishing an Iranian-type Islamic state. The court also stressed the fact that the activists had visited Iran many times during the 1980s, where they received training from the Revolutionary Guards. The Turkish media also reported that the Iranian intelligence services and the Quds Force had provided them with weapons (Turkish newspapers Hürriyet and Zaman, May 30 2002).

Attempted Murder of a Saudi Arabian Diplomat

During a wave of anti-Saudi attacks carried out between 1987 and 1996, in October 1989 Iran and its proxies attempted to kill the Saudi military attaché in Ankara (See the section on Saudi Arabia).

Transporting Weapons to Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon through Turkish Territory

Overview

Turkey’s geographical location and open border with Iran have made it a conduit for the shipments of weapons Iran smuggles to Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, overland (by train and truck) and by air. The Quds Force’s fully operational smuggling mechanisms make it easy for Iran to provide arms for the various terrorist organizations whose activities it orchestrates.

Smuggling Arms by Train

On May 25, 2007, a shipment of weapons was transported by train from Iran to Syria through Turkey, apparently for Hezbollah. The train was derailed by a PKK explosion. It was later revealed that two containers held weapons, among them 81mm mortar shells, 122mm rockets, ammunition, explosives and RPG launchers. Iran, as usual, denied having sent the shipment.

In December 2008 a suspicious shipment was discovered in Turkey, which was on its way from Iran to Venezuela. The shipment was transferred to the southern port of Mersin, where it was found to contain chemical equipment and materials which could be used to construct an explosives laboratory.

It was not the first such attempt. According to a WikiLeaks document from March 2009, the Turks investigated information that Iran had sent a shipment of unmanned aerial vehicles and additional equipment through Turkey for loading aboard a ship bound for Venezuela. The opinion in the United States was that the shipment contained weapons and equipment which Iran was forbidden to ship according to UN Security Council Resolution 1747.

Smuggling Arms by Truck

Iran often smuggles arms through Turkey for Syria. In 2011 Turkish media reported that six trucks carrying weapons and ammunition were impounded. One of the trucks carrying weapons was impounded in March 2011 (zaman.com.tr website).

Proof of weapons smuggled by trucks in January 2012: On January 10, 2012, Yusuf Odabas, governor of the southeastern province of Kilis, said that four trucks had been impounded by customs at the Kilis border-crossing between Turkey and Syria. The vehicles, which had Iranian license plates, had arrived in Turkey from Iran and were on their way to Syria. They were stopped by the police following information that they were carrying military equipment (cumhuriyet.com.tr website, January 11, 2012). The equipment had been hidden under 80 sacks of tanning chemicals, which had been shipped by Rock Chemie, an Iranian company. The truck drivers, all of whom held Iranian citizenship, were interrogated and released (zaman.com.tr website).

On January 20, 2011, the Turkish media reported that the Iranian trucks contained military equipment used for the manufacture of surface-to-surface missiles and 60 tons of sodium sulfate, which, according to the Turkish media, could be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons. According to the report, the material was examined by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (zaman.com.tr website).

Smuggling Arms by Air

On March 22, 2011, Turkey discovered a shipment of arms aboard an Ilyushin aircraft belonging to the Iranian airline Yas Air, which was en route to Damascus. The plane landed at Diyarbakir (eastern Turkey) where materials were uncovered which Iran was forbidden to transport according to a UN resolution. The materials were confiscated and the plane was permitted to return to Iran.[16]

Iranian Support for Organizations Hostile to the Turkish Administration: Turkish Hezbollah, the PKK and Other Groups

Overview

In the past, a considerable amount of information accumulated, based for the most part on the Turkish media, indicating the support Iran provides to two Kurdish opposition organizations conducting a violent struggle against the Turkish administration: the Marxist PKK and Kurdish-Sunni-radical Turkish Hezbollah, which seeks to establish a state based on Islamic law. However, it is unclear what the nature of Iran’s relationship with the two organizations has been in recent years.

For years, the issue of the Kurds has been a basis for collaboration between Turkey and Iran, and at the same time a subject of discord. In the past Turkey blamed Iran for transferring military equipment to the Turkish PKK and Hezbollah. Military aid was manifested by the provision of weapons, the training of operatives in Iran, logistic support, permitting anti-Turkish operations to be held along the border and giving asylum to operatives wanted by the Turkish authorities. Iran, on the other hand, accused Turkey of attacking Kurdish targets in Iranian territory.

Turkish Hezbollah

Turkish Hezbollah is an Islamic Kurdish terrorist organization established in 1979 by Huseyn Velioglu to counter the Marxist Kurdish PKK. Turkish Hezbollah operates in Turkey’s east and southeast to promote the rights and autonomy of the Kurdish people.

During the 1990s Turkish Hezbollah operatives were involved in violent confrontations with the PKK and its supporters. During the second half of the 1990s the organization extended its activities to attacks on stores selling alcoholic beverages, houses of prostitution and other institutions it regarded as violating Islamic values (turkishweekly.net website).

The connection between Iran and Hezbollah in Turkey became evident when an indictment was brought against Hezbollah operatives at the court in Diyarbakir in May 2001. Under the heading “Foreign Aid,” the following was said:[17]

1) In 1981, following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, an office was opened for exporting the revolution, especially Muslim countries. To that end Iranian embassies and consulates in various countries were enlisted. The activities were funded by an Iranian office and included visits to Iran. The foreign visitors were indoctrinated with the Ayatollah’s ideology and when they returned to their own countries they joined local Hezbollah organizations.

2) As part of exporting the revolution, Iran worked to establish an Islamic religious state in Turkey and had ties with senior members of Hezbollah in Turkey. The Hezbollah leader and his supporters went to Iran a number of times in the 1980s, where they were trained by the Revolutionary Guards. After Khomeini died, members of Turkish Hezbollah expressed criticism of Iran for reducing its support, although Iran continued to serve as a role model.

On October 20, 1999, the Turkish authorities detained 92 Hezbollah in Turkey members, claiming they had undergone training in Iran. The following day a car bomb killed Ahmet Taner Kislali, a well-known professor and journalist who had devoted his life to secularism and Kemalism. The day after the murder three Iranians were detained at the Istanbul airport on the grounds that they were attempting to flee the country.[18] Iran denied any connection to the murder.

At the beginning of 2000 the Turkish security forces initiated a broad action against Turkish Hezbollah. The police raided the organization’s headquarters and its leader was shot and killed. Several Hezbollah operatives apprehended at the time said during interrogation that their senior leaders had received political and military training from the Revolutionary Guards. The police chief in Ankara said that all the Hezbollah leaders had been trained in Iran. A Turkish “security figure” reported that in addition to Hezbollah’s being a terrorist organization, its operatives were also run as intelligence agents by Iran and collected information about Turkish army units (Hürriyet, January 21, 2000).

According to the Turkish media, on January 3, 2011, nine Hezbollah in Turkey leaders were released. Two senior leaders, Edip Görmüs and Cemal Tutar, then fled to Iran, while the others fled to Syria.[19]

Iranian Support for the Kurdish PKK

One of the issues clouding Turkish-Iranian relations during the 1990s was the Turkish claim that Iran was allowing the PKK to operate from its territory. Nihat Ali Özcan, a Turkish expert on the PKK and terrorism, noted that the PKK’s ties to Iran began in the early 1980s. He said Iran wanted to destabilize Turkey by increasing its support of the PKK, because Turkey presented a danger to post-revolutionary Iran by virtue of the many Iranians in Turkey who opposed the revolution, and concern that the United States would attack Iran from Turkey. Iran also wanted PKK operatives to collect intelligence in Turkey, especially information about opponents of the Iranian regime.[20] However, antiimperialist discourse and opposition to Turkey were the basis for PKK collaboration with Iran.

Despite Iran’s repeated denials of relations with the PKK, the denials were proved false by the confessions of detained PKK operatives, among them the leader of the organization, Abdullah Öcalan. Öcalan said that Iran and the Turkish administrations differed on various political issues, leading to the development of close relations between Iran and the PKK.[21]

According to a report by the Turkish journalist Ismet G. Imset, as of 1992 there were only a few training camps in Iran, and of about 20 fewer remained after the end of the Gulf War. He approximated the number of PKK operatives who had trained in Iran in 1992 as between 700 and 800. He also revealed that the PKK had acquired weapons from the Revolutionary Guards and that Özcan had been responsible for contacts with them. Imset claimed that Turkey possessed information that PKK leaders had crossed the border into Iran and had met with senior Iranians, including the commanders of the Revolutionary Guards. He said that at the beginning of 1992 the PKK crossed the border more often and that there was close collaboration between the PKK and the Revolutionary Guards.[22]

Turkish intelligence and other security apparatuses in Turkey repeatedly claimed that Iran was providing the PKK with military and logistic support, especially in Iran’s western province near the Turkey-Iran border. Moreover, based on the confessions of detained PKK operatives, in several instances senior Turkish figures passed information and documents to the authorities in Iran about the presence of PKK camps and offices in Iran and about training and the provision of weapons. Iran, however, repeatedly denied the accusations [based on the confessions of PKK operatives] and claimed Turkey had to make greater efforts to prevent the activities of Iranian opposition groups operating on its soil.[23]

Exporting the Iranian Islamic Revolution

Overview

Like other Muslim countries, Turkey is a target for the export of Iranian Islamic ideology combined with social activity exploited to strengthen its influence within radical Islamic sectors of the population. The ideological and social foundation is fostered by Iran through organizations and institutions it operates, also providing, in our assessment, a cover for its subversion and terrorism and is exploited for anti-Israeli, anti-West propaganda.

To that end Iran carries out a variety of activities in Turkey to export its Islamic revolution: the construction of Islamic schools (in competition with Saudi Arabia), funding the establishment of Iranian cultural centers throughout Turkey, inculcating Iranian ideology in Turks who go to Iran for religious education, distributing anti-Turkish booklets and propaganda to Turkish pilgrims to Mecca, disseminating propaganda materials in Turkey through Iranian diplomatic facilities, organizing propaganda events — the most central of which is Jerusalem Day — and spreading anti-Turkish incitement through the Iranian media directed at Turkey, etc.[24]

Propaganda Events

Iran’s supporters in Turkey customarily organize propaganda events in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities where they spread hatred for the United States and Israel and express support for Iran. Through their supporters, the Iranians organize Jerusalem Day, initiated by the Iranian regime throughout the Arab-Muslim world.

For example, on February 4, 2012, a pro-Iranian demonstration was held in Taksim Square in the heart of Istanbul. Iranian flags were waved, Israeli flags were burned, and people held anti-American and anti-West signs reading “Death to American Imperialism,” “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” “Shi’ites and Sunnis are bothers, America is a traitor,” “The Iranian people is not alone,” “Iran has the right to nuclear energy,” “Turkey and Iran, shoulder to shoulder.”[25]

Pictures from the Taksim Demonstration

Jerusalem Day events, initiated by the Iranian regime, took place in 2011 on August 26 in Iran, the Arab-Muslim world and Western countries. As they are every year, the events were exploited for vicious anti-Israeli anti-West (Britain and the United States) propaganda and incitement, and for shows of support for Iran and the so-called Palestinian “resistance” (Hezbollah and Hamas).

Jerusalem Day events in Turkey were attended by radical Islamic organizations and activists, in our assessment some of them supporters of Iran and supported by them. Events focused on Istanbul, where anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish, anti-American and anti-British slogans were shouted, and Khamenei was widely quoted. Hezbollah flags were prominently flown and there were posters of Hassan Nasrallah and Imad Mughniyeh. Below is a selection of photos. The terminology of the slogans and demonstrators were clearly directed by Iranian policy.[26]

Left: Hamas and Hezbollah flags and pictures of Imad Mughniyeh (velfecr.com website); Right: Demonstrators carry pictures of Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah's former military-terrorist commander. At the upper right is a sign reading "The United States, Israel and England, the Satanic Triangle" (velfecr.com website)

Left: Pictures of the Ayatollah Khomeini and Supreme Leader Khamenei; below them are pictures of the terrorist operatives killed aboard the Mavi Marmara (velfecr.com website); Right: A Jerusalem Day Forum sign quoting a saying of Khomeini: "If every Muslim empties one pail of water Israel will be washed away in the flood" (velfecr.com website)

Left: "Jerusalem Day – The Islamic Resistance Day" (Al-Quds forum) (velfecr.com website); Right: The sign reads "Jews, remember Khaybar, Muhammad's army will return" (velfecr.com website)

Left: Burning the Israeli, American and British flags. In the background are yellow Hezbollah flags (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com website); Right: A sign reading "Israel will soon disappear" (upper right) next to pictures of Supreme Leader Khamenei and Imad Mughniyeh (velfecr.com website)

Left: Poster of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah at a demonstration near the Zeynebiye mosque. Behind it is an anti-Saudi poster reading "The Saudi murderers...," the rest of which cannot be read (zeynebiye.com website); Right: Sign calling the Saudi Arabian king a murderer near the Zeynebie mosque (zeynebiye.com website)

 

Nureddin Shirin – Profile of a Pro-Iranian Turkish Activist

Nureddin Shirin Mahmet Shahin is a journalist who edits the Islamic website Velfcer. He is also a radial Islamic political activist who for years has been deeply involved in pro-Iranian propaganda both inside and outside Turkey. He is anti-West, hostile to Israel and openly supports Hezbollah and Hamas.

At the end of the 1990s he headed the Tevhid-Selam-Quds,[27] an Iranian-run terrorist network whose operatives were involved in terrorist activities in Turkey, as noted above. Nureddin Shirin edited Salam, the network’s organ.

In 2000 network operatives, among them Nureddin Shirin, stood trial. According to the indictment, they had maintained contacts with the Iranian embassy and the Iranian cultural center in Turkey, and had received money from Iran.[28] Nureddin Shirin was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison and was released in 2004 when the AKP took control of the government.

In recent years Nureddin Shirin has been conspicuous in pro-Iranian anti-Israeli propaganda activities:

1) On May 15, 2008, he gave an anti-Israeli anti-American speech in front of the Israeli embassy in Ankara to mark Nakba Day. Among his remarks were the following:[29]

“Today is the anniversary of the founding of the blood-drinking, vampire Zionist entity that every day since its inception kills, destroys and commits genocide against defenseless, innocent people. There cannot be a greater calamity, greater treachery and disaster than this. Right now George Bush, the president of the great satan America, is in Tel Aviv. The heads and the representatives of the Western Crusaders are in Tel Aviv. Friends of the Zionists are all gathered in Tel Aviv. They got together and they are celebrating the founding of this cancer virus, the terrorist regime called ‘Israel.’ Yes it is our sad day. Our day of grief and disaster. [Crowd: ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar..Allahu Akbar… Lai Lahe Illallah’] But we came here today to celebrate the great victories of Hizbullah and of Hamas against the Zionist entity. [Crowd repeatedly: ‘Blessings to Hamas… On with resistance!’]… America, England and Israel axis of satan! You will pay such a big price, you will account for all you have done… We came here to celebrate the great price you will have to pay…” (ITIC emphasis throughout).

2) Nureddin Shirin headed a delegation of activists who participated in the Mavi Marmara and who went to Iran in February 2011, invited by Iranian president Ahmadinejad (to celebrate the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution). Meeting with Ahmadinejad, Nureddin Shirin said that “we are here today, determined to build a Middle East without Israel and the United States and to continue the path of the Mavi Marmara shaheeds” (MEMRI, February 18, 2011).

3) On May 15, 2011, Nakba Day, Nureddin Shirin led a small Islamist delegation from Turkey to participate in a march in Jordan calling itself “the march of return.” The march, attended by Palestinians and Jordanians, left from Karameh in Jordan, north of the Dead Sea, and proceeded toward the Allenby Bridge. Their slogans were “Returning, returning,” “The right of return is sanctified,” “A million shaheeds are going to Jerusalem,” “With our souls and blood we will redeem you, Palestine.” The marchers refused to comply with instructions given by the Jordanian security forces, confronted them and tried to breach the border. A violent confrontation ensued during which one marcher was killed and several dozen were wounded. According to the Turkish prime minister, the Turkish delegation marched at the head of the demonstrators who confronted the Jordanian security forces. Five of them were wounded and their bus was damaged.[30]

Nureddin Shirin, head of the Turkish delegation, in Jordan (Al-Jazeera TV, May 15, 2011).

 

4) On June 21, 2011, Nureddin Shirin met with the Ayatollah Kaymakami, an Iranian cleric who headed an Iranian delegation to Turkey in order to participate in the IHH campaign for the upcoming flotilla to the Gaza Strip (the IHH later changed it mind and did not participate in the flotilla). On the night of May 30, the Iranian delegation took part in a mass march in Istanbul, carrying the pictures of the nine terrorist operatives killed aboard the Mavi Marmara, and shouted slogans against Israel and in favor of Islamic solidarity.[31]

Left: Nureddin Shirin (right) welcomes the Ayatollah Kaymakami (velfecr.com website, June 1, 2011); Right: The Ayatollah Kaymakami and Nureddin Shirin meet with the father of Furkan Dugan, killed aboard the Mavi Marmara (velfecr.com website, June 1, 2011)

 

5) On August 26, 2011, Nureddin Shirin participated in the Jerusalem Day events held in Istanbul. He gave a speech at a panel discussion at a community center in the Bagcilar neighborhood, in which he emphasized Jerusalem’s “strategic importance” for the Muslim world, and said he expected the “defeat of the Zionist forces.”

Left: Nureddin Shirin speaks at a panel discussion in Bagcilar. The picture behind him is Abbas Musawi, former head of Hezbollah.; Right: Nureddin Shirin in Bagcilar. The picture at the foot of the podium is Imad Mughniyeh.

 

Appendices

Two more appendices follow with information and background about Iran and Hezbollah’s subversion and terrorist activities in the three of the five arenas in which the terrorist campaign is being waged against Israel:

1) Appendix II: Thailand and Southeast Asia as arenas for Iranian and Hezbollah terrorism and subversion. (Published at CrethiPlethi.com under the title “Thailand and Southeast Asia as arenas for Iranian and Hezbollah terrorism and subversion“)

2) Appendix III: Azerbaijan as an arena for Iranian and Hezbollah terrorism and subversion. (Published at CrethiPlethi.com under the title “Azerbaijan as an arena for Iranian and Hezbollah terrorism and subversion“)

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Notes:

[3] Turkey allowed about a million Iranians into the country who had fled Iran. Their presence caused mutual suspicions:The Turks were concerned lest they prove to be fertile ground for Iranian espionage. The Iranians were afraid they would be enlisted for counter-revolutionary activities (“Conflict and Cooperation in Turkey-Iran Relations: 1989-2001,” a thesis submitted by Bayram Sinkaya to the Graduate School of Social Sciences of Middle East Technical University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in the Department of International Relations, January 2004).

[4] Manouchehr Mottaki, who served as Iranian ambassador to Turkey, belonged to the Revolutionary Guards before he joined the diplomatic service. As ambassador to Ankara he was suspected of being involved in the attempted murders of two opponents to the Iranian regime. Following protests lodged by the Turkish authorities he was returned to Iran. Muhammad Reza Bakri, his replacement, had also been in the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards (Islamic-fundamentalism.info website)

[5] Islamic-fundamentalism.info website

[6] Founder of the Profilo Holding company.

[7] Ronen Bergman, The Secret War with Iran, Simon and Schuster, 2008, page 190.

[8] Another revenge attack, also orchestrated by Iran and carried out by Hezbollah, occurred around the same time in Argentina: On March 7, 1992, a car bomb driven by a suicide bomber exploded at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 Argentineans and Israelis. In May 1991 the Argentinean supreme court accused Hezbollah of responsibility for the terrorist attack.

[9] Haberguncel.blogspot.com website.

[10] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[11] Yenisafak.com.tr website, April 16, 2009.

[12] Haberinkabli.com website, January 17, 2012. In January 2012 the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman reported that the Quds Force was planning to send a terrorist group to Turkey for a series of attacks, among them targeting either the American embassy or consulate general in Turkey. According to the report from the Turkish Security General Directorate, groups linked to Hezbollah in Lebanon would probably participate in the attacks (Today’s Zaman, January 17, 2012).

[13] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[14] Robert Olson, “Turkey-Iran Relations, 1997 to 2000: The Kurdish and Islamic Questions,” www.tandfonline.com, August 25, 2010.

[15] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[16] Announcement made by the Turkish embassy in Washington, March 23, 2011; avherald.com website, March 21, 2011.

[17] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[18] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[19] Haber.ekolay.net website, January 19, 2012, “Hezbollah terrorist organization: We have returned.”

[20] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[21] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[22] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[23] Sinkaya, “Conflict and Cooperation.”

[24] For further information see the December 3, 2011 article by investigative journalist Ms. Nur Guducu “Playing at Turkey’s Expense” in September 2 at the turania.org website.

[25] Zeynebiye.com website, February 4, 2012. The website has been active for the past two years and posts pro-Iranian content. In our assessment it is supported by Iran.

[26] For further information see the September 1, 2011 bulletin “Jerusalem Day, marked on August 26 this year, is an annual Iranian-sponsored event in support of the Palestinian cause. The Iranian regime expects extensive participation in events in Iran, the Arab-Muslim world and the West (including the United States and Britain). The events are traditionally exploited for anti-Israeli antiWest incitement” at http://www.terrorisminfo.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/iran_e127.pdf.

[27] The radical.com.tr website, July 3, 1999.

[28] The ARSIV.ntvmsnbc.com website.

[29] According to the Islamist website Velfecr.com, May 18, 2008, and translated into English by MEMRI (MEMRI Turkish Media Blog).

[30] For further information see the May 29, 2011 bulletin “A Turkish Islamist delegation, which in our assessment included IHH activists, was involved in violent clashes with Jordanian security forces near Allenby Bridge on Nakba Day. The incident is yet another demonstration of the violent methods used by the IHH and its Islamist allies during anti-Israeli PR activities” at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/ipc_e195.htm.

[31] For further information see the June 5, 2011 bulletin “An Iranian delegation participated in events held by the IHH in Istanbul on the anniversary of the Marmara flotilla, focused on fostering the myth of the “Marmara shaheeds”. The Iranian delegation raised the flags of Iran and Hezbollah, and held meetings with IHH activists and radical Islamist elements affiliated with it” at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/iran_e118.pdf.


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Quotes and Sayings

About the Region, Islam and cultural totalitarianism...

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    — Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Moosavi Khomeini, “Just How Far Did They Go, Those Words Against Israel?” – The New York Times. June 11, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-08-13

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