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Turkey: Information about Devrimci-Sol (Dev-Sol) and its activities

Publisher Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 February 1994
Citation / Document Symbol TUR16561.E
Cite as Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Turkey: Information about Devrimci-Sol (Dev-Sol) and its activities, 1 February 1994, TUR16561.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac9b8.html [accessed 24 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

The following is an update to Responses to Information Requests TUR12572 of 2 February 1993 and TUR2295 of 19 October 1989 on Devrimci-Sol (Dev-Sol), and its activities.

 As stated in the above-mentioned Responses, Dev-Sol's origins date to the 1970s. It was one of the first extreme left-wing organizations to publicly opppose the military regime set up in September 1980 (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements 1991, 346). Described as a Marxist underground group and one of the most feared terrorist networks in Turkey, Dev-Sol seeks to use violence to overthrow the government and to create a Marxist state (AP 3 Feb. 1994).

Dev-Sol recruits its members primarily among the unemployed, frustrated students and alienated slum dwellers (Los Angeles Times 8 Feb. 1991; The Guardian 18 Apr. 1992). Specializing in urban guerrilla warfare, Dev-Sol has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against the Turkish army, police, secret service and government as well as foreigners (AP 5 Jan. 1994; AFP 7 Mar. 1993; BBC Summary 22 Mar. 1993). Dev-Sol members have also carried out armed robberies and have damaged property belonging to business organizations (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements 1991, 346-47). According to The Independent, the group finances its activities by collecting or extorting "donations" from expatriates living in Europe (26 Sept. 1993; 3 Jan. 1992).

Reports indicate that Dev-Sol has had links with Palestinian organizations since the late 1970's, and that many of its militants have been trained in the Palestinian and Syrian-controlled camps in Lebanon's Beka'a Valley (The Guardian 18 Apr. 1992; Middle East News Network 10 Jan. 1991; Revolutionary and Dissidents Movements 1991, 347). Reports also indicate links with the Kurdish PKK and radical groups in the West (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements 1991, 346; Middle East News Network 1 Feb. 1991).

In July 1991, Dev-Sol's leader was Dursun Karatas and its European spokesman was Celik Malkoc (Revolutionary and Dissident Movements 1991, 347).

For additional information on the Dev-Sol's latest activities, please refer to the attachments listed below.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Agence France Presse (AFP). 7 March 1993. "Five Far-Left Militants Killed in Istanbul." (NEXIS)

The Associated Press (AP). 3 February 1994. "Police Arrest Leftist Militants, Seize Dynamite Sticks." (NEXIS)

. 5 January 1994. "Police Arrest 13 Leftist Militants, Seize Weapons." (NEXIS)

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. 22 March 1993. "Turkey: Dev-Sol Claims Responsability for Attack on Istanbul Police." (NEXIS)

The Guardian [London]. 18 april 1992. Jonathan Rugman. "Fifty Die in Turkish Guerrilla Battles." (NEXIS)

The Independent [London]. 26 September 1993. Jason Bennetto. "Kebab Houses Face Terror Group Threats." (NEXIS)

. 3 January 1992. Tim Kelsey. "Expatriates, Cash Helps Turkish Armed Struggle." (NEXIS)

Los Angeles Times. 8 February 1991. Home Edition. Hugh Pope. "American Civilian Worker at Turkish Base Shot to Death; Terrorism: Detroit Man, 46, Becomes First Known Fatality in Wave of Attacks Since Conflict Began." (NEXIS)

Middle East News Network. 1 February 1991. Ayhan Sayin. "Slain Former General's Family Accuses Govt. of Negligence." (NEXIS)

. 10 January 1991. Ismet G. Ismet. "President Saddam's Secret Weapon?; Officials Worried over Palestinian Links With Local Terror Groups." (NEXIS)

Revolutionary and Dissident Movements: An International Guide. 1991. 3rd ed. Edited by Henry W. Degenhardt. London: Longman Group UK Ltd.

Attachments

Agence France Presse (AFP). 7 January 1994. "Turkish Militant Jailed for Smashing Up Bank." (NEXIS)

. 23 April 1993. "Extremists Killed in Clash with Police in Turkey." (NEXIS)

. 1 April 1993. "Cinq morts lors d'une attaque contre la police à Istanbul." (NEXIS)

. 7 March 1993. "Five Far-Left Militants Killed in Istanbul." (NEXIS)

The Associated Press (AP). 3 February 1994. "Police Arrest Leftist Militants, Seize Dynamite Sticks." (NEXIS)

. 5 January 1994. "Police Arrest 13 Leftist Militants, Seize Weapons." (NEXIS)

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. 31 March 1993. "Turkey: Forty-Eight People Arrested After Demonstration at Funeral of 'Terrorist'." (NEXIS)

. 22 March 1993. "Turkey: Dev-Sol Claims Responsability for Attack on Istanbul Police." (NEXIS)

. 9 March 1993. "Turkey: Central Committee Member Among Five Dev-Sol Members Killed in Istanbul." (NEXIS)

. 21 October 1992. "Twenty-Six PKK 'Leaders' Arrested in Istanbul." (NEXIS)

The Guardian [London]. 18 april 1992. Jonathan Rugman. "Fifty Die in Turkish Guerrilla Battles." (NEXIS)

The Independent [London]. 26 September 1993. Jason Bennetto. "Kebab Houses Face Terror Group Threats." (NEXIS)

. 3 January 1992. Tim Kelsey. "Expatriates, Cash Helps Turkish Armed Struggle." (NEXIS)

Inter Press Service. 9 March 1993. Nadire Mater. " Bloodshed Was to Avoid More Bloodshed, Say Police." (NEXIS)

Los Angeles Times. 8 February 1991. Home Edition. Hugh Pope. "American Civilian Worker at Turkish Base Shot to Death; Terrorism: Detroit Man, 46, Becomes First Known Fatality in Wave of Attacks Since Conflict Began." (NEXIS)

Libération [Paris]. 21 April 1993. "Turquie. Un procureur et son chauffeur ont été tués hier par des inconnus armés à Adana..."

. 2 April 1993. "Turquie. Deux policiers ont été tués dans une attaque armée..."

Middle East News Network. 1 February 1991. Ayhan Sayin. "Slain Former General's Family Accuses Govt. of Negligence." (NEXIS)

. 10 January 1991. Ismet G. Ismet. "President Saddam's Secret Weapon?; Officials Worried over Palestinian Links with Local Terror Groups." (NEXIS)

Reuters. 14 September 1993. BC Cycle. "Retired Turkish Colonel Shot Dead in Istanbul." (NEXIS)

. 27 June 1993. BC Cycle. "Turkish Police Kill Two Leftist Guerrillas in Clash." (NEXIS)

. 21 February 1993. BC Cycle. Ayse Sarioglu. "Warders Probably Connived in Turkish Jailbreaks." (NEXIS)

Revolutionary and Dissident Movements: An International Guide. 1991. 3rd ed. Edited by Henry W. Degenhardt. London: Longman Group UK Ltd.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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