The Europeans are correct in their refusal to make Turkey an EU member
The Russian government started a diplomatic offensive against foreign organizations that support Chechen terrorists. This is happening against the background of the recent hostage crisis in Moscow. Let us hope that Ahmed Zakayev’s arrest in Denmark (the official foreign emissary to fugitive Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov) is the first success of the struggle. However, Denmark is a European country, and it chairs the Council of Europe. It is not really convenient for Copenhagen to refuse documented evidence proving the fact that Chechen emissaries are connected with terrorists. However, the situation is completely different with Turkey.
Moscow asked Turkey to shut down various Chechen funds and organizations located on Turkish territory. Russia mentioned one of the most notorious Chechen organizations: the Association of Chechen and Caucasian Unity. It is also worth mentioning that the terrorists who seized hundreds of hostages in the Moscow music theatre called Turkey several times. This was confirmed both by former hostages (terrorists used their phones) and by the interception of phone calls. Nevertheless, it will be very hard for Moscow to force Turkey fulfil such a request.
The above-mentioned association has a financial division: the Fund for Chechen and Caucasian Unity. This fund reportedly receives up to $130 million every year from various fundamentalist organizations (in the Middle East, on the Arabian Peninsula, as well as in Pakistan, Bosnia and Albania) to support terrorists.
In addition, according to information from the GazetaSNG website, the Federal Security Bureau of Russia (FSB) shut down the Russian division of a Kuwaiti charity organization called the Association of Social Reforms. This organization was patronizing the notorious Muslim Brothers terrorist group.
Turkey actually plays the role of a terminal station for Chechen guerrillas and foreign hirelings, who try to penetrate the territory of Chechnya. They travel to Chechnya via Turkey and Georgia. This is not news, really. Everybody knows that Chechen guerrillas go to Turkey to heal their battle wounds there.
The so-called Chechen Bureau for Public Relations and Cooperation has been operating in Turkey since 1993. This is something like a diplomatic representative office. Movladi Udugov, a terrorist ideologist, has lived in Turkey for quite a long period of time. Russia has recently demanded his delivery. Turkey refused, and Udugov vanished.
Turkey does not deny the allegations of terrorist support. Pursuant to the information from the National Intelligence of Turkey, several Turkish ministerial departments and firms signed more than ten financial, economic, and other agreements on cooperation with Chechen gunmen. The documents were signed during the period 1992-2002. Those agreements particularly stipulate the trafficking of oil and petroleum products from Chechnya to Turkey via Georgia, as well as training guerrillas in the Turkish Army. Gunmen were to receive the training in Turkish Northern Cyprus and even in the Kurdish southeast of Turkey, which is closed for Turkish tourists. The illegal oil business alone provided up to $150 million to the terrorist treasury each year.
The Chechen diaspora in Turkey is rather large and influential. For example, there are about 25 thousand Chechens living in Istanbul. There are 20 various organizations working in Turkey to support the guerrillas. Here are a few of them: the Chechen political organization “Fighters for Freedom of Chechnya,” the Chechen association “Northern Caucasus,” and so on. It stands to reason that all these organizations were set up with only one goal: to collect money for terrorists.
According to Russian intelligence, the Turkish special services joined Chechen terrorists in seizing a Tu-154 jetliner in March of 2001 and in taking over the Avrasia ferryboat in January of 1996. A Turkish court sentenced some of those terrorists to a short period in prison, which was absolutely inadequate for their crime. Afterwards, many of them returned to Chechnya, where they were either nabbed or killed. It is worth mentioning here that the Turkish government treats Kurdish terrorists in a much tougher way.
There are many facts to prove that the Turkish government supports Chechen terrorists. Those that we mentioned are not kept secret, actually. It seems that no one thinks that they should be hidden. This is a strange thing for a country that is running after European Union membership. The Europeans are probably correct in their refusal to make Turkey an EU member.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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