The Turkish government does not even try to hide that
The Russian government started the diplomatic offensive on foreign organizations that support Chechen terrorists. This happens 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 sign of the struggle. However, Denmark is a European country, which chairs the Council of Europe. It is not really convenient for Copenhagen to refuse from the documented evidence, which proves the fact that Chechen emissaries are connected with terrorists. The situation is completely different with Turkey, though.
Moscow asked Turkey to shut down various Chechen funds and organization that are located on the Turkish territory. Russia mentioned one of the most notorious one of them – 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 make Turkey fulfil such a request. Turkey has been rendering that support on a top level.
The mentioned association has a financial division – the Fund of the 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.
By the way, according to the information from GazetaSNG website, the Federal Security Bureau of Russia (FSB) shut down the Russian division of the Kuwait charity organization called 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 on the territory of Chechnya. They would go 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, terrorists’ ideologist has lived in Turkey for quite a long period of time. Russia has recently demanded his delivery, though. Turkey refused to do it, 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 oil and petroleum products trafficking from Chechnya to Turkey via Georgia, as well as training guerrillas in the Turkish Army. Gunmen could get the training in Turkey-occupied Northern Cyprus and even in the Kurdish south-east of Turkey, which is closed for Turkish tourists. The illegal oil business alone provided up to $150 million to the terrorist treasury every 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 guerrillas. Here are some of them: Chechen political organization “Fighters for Freedom of Chechnya,” the Chechen Association, Association “Northern Caucasus” and so on. It stands the reason that all those organizations were set up with only one goal – to collect money for terrorists.
According to the Russian intelligence, the Turkish special services joined Chechen terrorists in seizing Tu-154 jetliner in March of 2001 and in taking over the Avrasia ferryboat in January of 1996. A Turkish court convicted some of those terrorists to a short period in prison, which was absolutely inadequate to their crime. Afterwards, many of them came back to Chechnya, where they were either nabbed or killed. It is worth mentioning here that the Turkish government treats Kurdish terrorists in much tougher a way.
There are lots of reasons to prove the fact that the Turkish government supports Chechen terrorists. Those that we mentioned are not being kept secret, actually. It deems that no one think that they should be hidden. This is a strange thing for a country, which is running after the European Union membership. Europeans are probably right in their refusal to make Turkey a EU member.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov