Balkans: May 21, 2003


This may be a major story thats been overlooked. Turkey reported one of its internal security forces (force not identified, but probably a combined Army-police effort) killed three leftist guerrillas in a firefight. The incident took place in Giresun province (northern Turkey, on the Black Sea). The guerrillas, also described as militants in a wire report, belonged to the Turkish Workers and Peasants Liberation Army (TIKKO). TIKKO is an old-style Maoist rebel group. There were few details, other than the guerrillas were killed after being ordered to surrender (suggesting the security forces ambushed them or trapped them). The message here is that leftist rebels havent quit. The Turks have argued that the leftists represent a real terrorist threat inside Turkey it isnt just Islamists and PKK Kurdish radicals. But there are inside connections. TIKKO is old line Communist, which connects it to the PKK. The PKK was originally founded as a Kurdish Marxist group. (Austin Bay)




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