POLITICS > Analysis: Cold War-style proxy war via US Embassy


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Daily News Photo / Selahattin Sönmez

Daily News Photo / Selahattin Sönmez

I must say I wasn’t surprised by the news of a terrorist attack at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. Any careful observer of regional developments and political culture could have predicted events escalating to a terrorist attack. Accordingly, I wrote several analyses along these lines in my column for the Hürriyet Daily News.

The history of terrorism in Turkey is voluminous. In line with the Cold War classification, right-wing and left-wing terrorist organizations have been active for a long time. But I believe a more accurate classification for our times is as follows: Ethnic, sectarian and jihadist; three kinds of terrorist groups that are currently active. Jihadist groups are active in Turkey as they are all around the world. They continue to regard Turkey as a potential site for taking action. Nowadays their priority is jihad in Syria, which might have led them to postpone their activities in Turkey. This does not mean that Turkey and western targets in Turkey are off the jihadists’ list.

The second group involves ethnic terrorism. This is best exemplified by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or the PKK, that is, Turkey’s classical problem of terrorism. Although the PKK is the organization that introduced suicide attacks in Turkey and is at the top of the list of effective suicide attacks, the current political situation does not point to its involvement in the attack.

The final usual suspect is of sectarian character. Although the Marxist terrorist organizations of the Cold War have ended their activities in Turkey, organizations of the sectarian sort like the DHKP/C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front) have been gaining ground as a result of circumstances surrounding the Syrian civil war. For example, the historical background, sectarian character and ideological motivation of this organization points to a strong connection to Syrian Intelligence.

Moreover, suicide bombing is one of its known tactics. It’s not surprising at all that the suspect behind this attack is a member of this organization.

In sum, it seems that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has sent a message to the United States of America, a message that reverberated through the house of its long-time friend Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. There is a strong sign that a new proxy war in the region has started. Just like the days of the Cold War, Syria-Iran-Russia and the West confront each other.


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2/3/2013 8:01:53 PM

A good analysis indeed. Regards

kevork garabedian

2/3/2013 7:32:11 AM

You reap what you sow.

Blue Dotterel

2/2/2013 9:56:57 PM

The fourth group is the State. State terrorism is also global and quite common, especially in false flags designed to justify attacking other nations or reducing freedom, human rights and democracy in ones own.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

2/2/2013 9:02:00 PM

I think the first reason we should consider is the recent arrests of some members and sympathizers of the same organization. They may want to show that they are still motivated and capable.

Jim Phipps

2/2/2013 6:39:21 PM

NİHAT ALİ ÖZCAN wrongly assumes that Turkey exists to be nothing more than a pawn of the Western Countries. He like my Turkish neighbors in Austin, Texas blame all bad events on outside politics. In this paper Syria shelled Turkey. Turkey asked for and received Patriot Missiles from NATO. I even helped Turkish individuals to manufacture F-16's for the defense of Turkey. The reality is that Turkey is burying its national head and not dealing with terrorism effectively.

micheal stanely

2/2/2013 11:00:34 AM

Well, I believe you've missed threat from CIA private contractors, who posses all technologies, all necessary intelligence from back door to execute their tasks and left traces of another local agency or other govt. targets who were expected to do that. You should have think about that as well in your article, how they are operating extreme local deception undercover in different countries!

Engin Atik

2/2/2013 10:20:39 AM

Al-Qaida elements recently staged an attack on the American Embassy in Libya. It is public knowledge that Turkey has been actively importing these elements for some time. Today we have an attack on American Embassy in Ankara. It could very well be cold war tactics and the actual perpetrators could be different but we cannot ignore this glaring fact that these armed Al-Qaida elements are in Turkey and they are a threat to safety in general.

Turiddu Giuliano

2/2/2013 1:45:42 AM

Today I read many things written by prominent columnists in the international press about what happened in Ankara. It seems to me that the analysis made ​​by Mr. Ozcan is the most complete and the most acceptable. Excellent work, congratulations.
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