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Re: Taksim attack

Released on 2010-03-10 10:00 GMT

Email-ID 973511
Date 2010-11-01 11:54:47
How about JITM and other deep state forces? Remember that Turkey tried to
bomb a Kurdish cafe (if I remember correctly in 2007 in Shirnakh), but the
guy was seized by the people sitting in the cafe before he gets away.
I must say that I have been calling PKK contacts since last night to get a
statement about the bombing, but no answer. Not just me, even other
journalist friends have been calling, but no answer as well.
So I think they will say something shortly about the ceasefire and the
Istanbul bombing.


From: "Emre Dogru"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Monday, November 1, 2010 1:12:41 PM
Subject: Re: Taksim attack

There are many points that needs to be considered when talking about
whether this was a PKK attack or not. Briefly, I think this attack was
organized by a) either a extremist faction of PKK that wants to prevent
the talks between the government and PKK (which are not going very well
already b) PKK core, but blaming independent groups within itself to avoid
criticism from Kurdish politicians.

Given the reasons that we wrote in the piece, the first culprit appears to
be PKK. But of course, we cannot be sure about it. Therefore, we can start
looking at this why other groups may not be perpetrators.

Why this is unlikely to be the work of AQ and leftist groups? For AQ,
we've couple of reasons. First, AQ's main target is not the Turkish police
even though they do not avoid killing police. AQ usually aims to kill
Christians and Jews and the institutions that represent them. Remember
HSBC, Consulate and Synagog bombings in Istanbul in 2003. Many civilians
and police were killed at the time, but the main target was not the
police. But in Taksim case, the attacker intentionally targeted the
police. Second, we know from OS and insight that AQ activity in Turkey
seems to be under control since 2003. It is also fair to assume that
Turkish and foreign intel agencies are in cooperation to avoid further
attacks. A quick look at OS shows that AQ members and even sympathizers
are arrested almost on a weekly basis.

A leftist organization, as we mentioned DHKP-C in the piece, seems a more
plausible possibility. But there are two issues here. First, senior
security analysts say that the MO and the bomb that the attacker used does
not seem to be a leftist work. Second, Kurdish politicians immediately
floated the idea that this could be a leftist attack since some of their
militants were arrested few days ago, which means that they want to acquit
PKK. An important detail is that a leftist organization would protest
something in Taksim square on the same day. I don't believe that DHKP-C
was unaware of this.

Now, I need to list the points that why this is likely to be a PKK attack:

First, there are two arguments that we mentioned in the piece: a) end of
ceasefire b) a similar attack to the police in June. But there are further
points that makes it understandable why PKK is the main culprit. As I
wrote several times in Turkey updates, PKK - government talks are on the
verge of breakdown. You have no idea how critical KCK trial (trail of
Kurdish politicians) is for PKK. And what I read and hear, government does
not intend to compromise with PKK over KCK trial. A prominent Kurdish
political figure Aysel Tugluk, who talks with Ocalan twice a month, said
few days ago that "very bad things could happen". Right after the attack,
none of the Kurdish politicians immediately condemned the attack and they
were being very cautious while talking about PKK. I'm sure they suspect
this could be a PKK attack.

Above is the political context. Now let's have a closer look how the
attack was organized. It's true that PKK rarely uses suicide bombers, but
it is not out of their MO. Many PKK suicide bombers (one of them targeted
prime minister's building this past summer) were thwarted. This was also
the case before 2009 local elections. Moreover, the guy was not merely a
suicide bomber. He was shot down by a police right after he detonated the
first bomb. Police chief said they found "button" of an IED next to his
body. This means that there was another bomb that he could use if he had
time. Talking about Taksim, it is true that it is a bold target for PKK.
But PKK made attacks in many bold areas in the past. The fact that Taksim
is an entertainment area does not make it special. PKK bombed downtown of
Kurdish city Diyarbakir two years ago, which killed several Kurdish school
children. This was a bolder attack by PKK.

Lastly, we can say a guy who claims to be PKK spokesman said this was not
a PKK attack makes everything clear. I would say not really. PKK does not
usually claim attacks. It attacks and kills, and everybody knows it is
PKK. It denies its responsibility when there is a controversial attack
such as this one. But who cares? PKK killed seven soldiers in Resadiye in
2007 when the peace talks were going on. They first denied but then
accepted it. There is a huge case that dates back to 1993, when 33
non-armed soldiers were killed. PKK still denies it but even senior
members later confessed that it was PKK's attack. Therefore, I would say
PKK is a pragmatic organization that it can deny attacks even if it knows
that a faction of PKK did it.

Kamran Bokhari wrote:

There are two types of suicide bombers generally speaking. First is the
obvious case of jihadists who are religiously motivated to engage in
this m.o. Second, are non-religious groups such as the Tamil rebels in
SL and others who don't have the same quantity of human bombers in their
arsenal as do jihadists. So, when they use them these are for really
important occasions in which the bomber understands that he/she is
giving up his/her life in a mission that will greatly enhance the
group's cause. I am not leaning towards the possibility of jihadist
involvement, but the Taksim attack doesn't fit with the what a secular
group would view as a critical task. So, we need to dig deeper.

On 10/31/2010 12:30 PM, Reva Bhalla wrote:

2 questions, then:
When was the last time pkk did a suicide attack? I can't recall
exactly but I don't think the attack on the military post around the
time of the flotilla incident was suicide.
How long does pkk usually take to claim attacks? What are their forums
We need a better sense of whether internally pkk is surprised by the
attack and whether there is internal tension because of it. (Yerevan,
that's all you)

Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 31, 2010, at 11:10 AM, Yerevan Saeed

Called the PKK, but dont pick up the phone. Probably they know why I
am calling and trying to prepare an answer. will try again.
I agree with you about al Qaeda activities recently. I highly doubt
PKK to resort to suicide bombing at the moment, if it was just a
bomb, then I would says, yes, probably this is the act of the PKK.


From: "Reva Bhalla"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2010 7:03:17 PM
Subject: Taksim attack

I'm not that convinced this is pkk, at least pkk core. When was the

last time they did a suicide hit? Hitting taksim is also really
gutsy...that is the ideal target for any bomber. We've been seeing a

lot more restraint from these guys in light of the akp's
with pkk, krg, etc. Doesn't mean that ceasefire couldn't have broken

down, but this kind of attack gives the military an excuse to tell
akp its approach toward pkk isn't working and use lublic support to

reassert itself. Pkk is already under pressure from the krg side.
one thing working for them is that with winter approaching it'll be

that much harder for the military to pursue them.

There has been some AQ activity in turkey, so I wouldn't rule that
yet. There could also be a splinter pkk faction unhappy with the
negotiations. Yerevan, we need to see how pkk is reacting to this
attack. There hasn't been any claim or denial yet, right,

Sent from my iPhone

Yerevan Saeed
Phone: 009647701574587

Emre Dogru

Cell: +90.532.465.7514
Fixed: +1.512.279.9468

Yerevan Saeed
Phone: 009647701574587