Grey Wolves

Grey Wolves ( _tr. Bozkurtlar) or Idealist Youth ( _tr. Ülkücü Gençlik) is the youth organization of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party ( _tr. Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi, MHP) [ [ Update to the UNHCR CDR Background Paper on Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Turkey] - UNHCR movement founded by Alparslan Türkeş in 1969.] They are named after Asena, a legendary ancient female wolf that led captive Turks to freedom. Their formal name in Turkish is "ülkücüler" (idealists) and "Ülkücü Hareket" (The Idealist Movement), inspired from 19th Century Turkish writer Ziya Gökalp later developed by 20th century writer Nihal Atsız (who was, incidentally, a high school teacher of Alparslan Türkeş) and Italian fascist Giovanni Gentile's "Actual Idealism" theory as a pseudo-philosophical reference. "Ülkü Ocakları" (Forges of Ideal), the proper platform of Grey Wolves, denies any "direct" links with MHP and presents itself as an independent youth organisation. Their female supporters are called "Asena". When loudly acclaimed while visiting an İstanbul synagogue in 1992, Alparslan Türkeş referred to the gatherers, with some humor, as the "Grey Wolves of Moses".Fact|date=August 2008 Turkish authorities accused the organization in 1981 of carrying out 694 murders in the years of 1974 to 1980. ["Political Terrorism: A New Guide to Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, & Literature" By Albert J. Jongman, Alex Peter Schmid, pp. 674] It is considered as a terrorist organization by Martin A. Lee, Khitij Prabha of the Indian Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and the Republic of Kazakhstan, where it is officially banned. [cite news|url=
title=Kazakhstan Updates List Of Banned Terrorist Groups
publisher=Radio Free Europe
work=Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan


Foundation and ideology

The Grey Wolves were founded as the youth organization of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) created by Alparslan Türkeş in 1969.cite book
title = The Beast Reawakens: Fascism's resurgence from Hitler's Spymasters to Today's Neo-Nazi Groups and Right Wing Extremists
author = Lee, Martin A| year=1999 | publisher=Routledge | isbn=0415925460
pn] A significant pillar of the MHP's ideology is the dream of creating the Turan, the "Great Turkish Empire", including all Turkic peoples mainly in the successor Central Asian countries of the former Soviet Union as well as the Caucasus and the Uygurs' homeland of East Turkestan found in the Xinjiang province of Northwestern China. The concept of Turan is similar to concepts of Pan-Arab Nationalism spearheaded by Gamal Nasser, which aimed to unite Arab nations. However, many Armenians and Greeks link Alparslan Türkeş, the Grey Wolves, and their ideology, to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, comparing them to Pan-Aryan ideologies.cite news|url=
title=Turkey's Drug-Terrorism Connection
first=Martin A
authorlink=Martin A. Lee
Verify credibility|date=August 2008]

The Grey Wolves also rally around Pan-Turkic Causes including: the economic isolation and territorial integrity of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; the Armenian control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, and the subsequent displacement of Azeri civilians; the suppression of the Iraqi Turkmens in Kirkuk and adjacent regions in Northern Iraq by the Kurdistan Regional Government; and the suppression of Uygur culture and Chinese colonization of Eastern Turkestan. The Grey Wolves are also known to be supporters of Azeri activists that campaign for greater cultural rights in Iran.

They have also been known to support non-Turkic people whom they consider to have kinship with Turkish people. It is for this reason that Grey Wolves have supported the Chechen Independence Struggle, the KLA-led Albanian movement in Kosovo, and the Bosniaks' resistance in the Bosnian War.

Role in 1980 military coup

At the time of the military coup of September 12, 1980, led by general Kenan Evren (who was also the leader of Counter-Guerrilla) there were some 1,700 Grey Wolves organizations, with about 200,000 registered members and a million sympathisers. Grey Wolves, also known as "Commandos" conducted assassinations against left-wing intellectuals and academics in Turkey. The torturing and killing of many left-wing partisans and sympathisers are among their crimes. Grey Wolves, besides assassinations and bombings, also participated in massacres of minority community members in Çorum and Maraş. However, after being useful for Kenan Evren's strategy of tension, the leader of the Counter-Guerrilla turned president outlawed the MHP and the Grey Wolves. Just like Hitler did to SA. Colonel Türkeş and other Grey Wolves were arrested. In its indictment of the MHP in May 1981, the Turkish military government charged 220 members of the MHP and its affiliates for 694 murders, according to Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead in "The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection". [New York, 1986, quoted by Ganser Nonspecific|date=August 2008pn] However, Grey Wolves imprisoned members were offered release if they accepted to fight the Kurdish separatist movement and the PKK, [(see interview of Grey Wolves member İbrahim Çiftçi with "Milliyet" on October 13, 1996, quoted by Ganser) Nonspecific|date=August 2008] and ASALA ("Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia").

The Grey Wolves then lost many of its core cadres to the neo-liberal Motherland Party or various vestiges of the Islamist movement. In 1983, the Nationalist Task Party ("Milliyetçi Çalışma Partisi", MÇP) was founded as a successor to the MHP; as of 1992 it is again known as the MHP.

Role in Kurdish affairs

The MHP is strongly opposed to Kurdish separatists, namely the militant PKK, although they nevertheless do have some Kurdish supporters, who are called Bozkürtler or "Grey Kurds".

The paramilitary wing of the Grey Wolves have been utilized by the Turkish intelligence services to assassinate PKK leaders. The fact that Counter-Guerrilla had engaged in torture was confirmed by Talat Turhan, a former Turkish colonel.

Activities to date

On a global scale, the Grey Wolves are suspected to have been responsible for numerous political assassinations and disappearances of Turkish and Kurdish human rights activists, and are known to have ties with the Turkish mafia. [" [ Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured] ," Martin A. Lee, "Los Angeles Times", April 12, 1998.] The Grey Wolves have also raised funds for Chechen guerrilla separatists, whom they consider their brothers. [cite news| title=Istanbul: Gateway to a holy war | work=CNN | location=Italy|first=Ali |last=Isingor|url= | year=2000|accessdate=2008-08-28]

In 1996 the Grey Wolves were brought in great numbers to resist a peaceful protest against the occupation of Cyprus by Greek Cypriot members of the Cypriot Motorcycle association. As a result, the violent beating perpetuated by members of the group Tasos Isaac was brutally murdered. The activities were captured. [cite news|url=
title=Greece condemns Turkish barbarity
work=Cyprus News Agency

In 2004, the Grey Wolves successfully prevented the screening of Atom Egoyan's "Ararat" in Turkey, a film about the Armenian Genocide. [Cite news | title=Egoyan award winning film not shown yet in Turkey | accessdate=2006-05-06 | work=Toronto Star | url=] [cite web|url=
title=Gray Wolves Spoil Turkey's Publicity Ploy on "Ararat"
work=California Courier
publisher=ADL Ramgavar Azadagan France
] [ [ Ülkü Ocaklari: Ararat Yayinlanamaz] tr icon] [ [ Ülkü Ocaklari: ARARAT'I Cesaretiniz Varsa Yayinlayin!] tr icon] Since 2004 Grey Wolves and Islamist Nizam-ı Alem members waged a war against Christianity in Turkey. Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was also assassinated by a "Grey Wolf sympathizer" (Ogün Samast) at Istanbul in 2007. Another young Grey Wolf assassinated Father Andrea Santoro; a Catholic Priest; at Trabzon in 2006. A group of Grey Wolves conducted an inhuman torture and killing party; against Bible publishing firm members in Malatya, torturing and killing 3 innocent people.

Links to intelligence and organised crime

Numerous sources show that the MHP and the Grey Wolves had ties to the Turkish mafia, to the Turkish intelligence services as well as to the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Former military public attorney and member of the Turkish Supreme Court Emin Değer has established that the Grey Wolves collaborated with the counter-insurgency governmental forces, as well as the close ties between these state security forces and the CIA.Lee, Martin A. [ Les liaisons dangereuses de la police turque] ," "Le Monde diplomatique", March 1997 fr icon] ["The Double Standard: The Turkish State and Racist Violence" (Chapter 13) in "Racism in Europe" (edited by Tore Bjorgo) (ISBN 0-312-12409-0)] citation
author = Maksudyan, Nazan
year = 2005
month = November
title = The Turkish Review of Anthropology and the Racist Face of Turkish Nationalism
journal = Cultural Dynamics
volume = 17
issue = 3
pages = 291-322
doi = 10.1177/0921374005061992
] Indeed, Martin A. Lee also wrote that the para-military wing of the Grey Wolves were covertly supported by the CIA, which worked with the Gladio network, while a December 5, 1990 article by the Swiss "Neue Zürcher Zeitung" stated that the Counter-Guerrilla had their headquarters in the building of the US DIA military secret service.cite web|url=
title=NATO's Secret Armies: Chronology
work=Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security
publisher=ETH Zürich
] "Le Monde diplomatique" wrote that "the CIA used proponents of the Greater Turkey to stir up anti-sovietic passions at the heart of Turkish Muslim minorities in the Soviet Union". Thus, in 1992, colonel Türkes went to newly-independent Azerbaijan, where he was acclaimed as a hero. He supported Grey Wolves sympathiser Abülfaz Elçibay's candidacy to the presidency. Once elected, Elçibay chose as ministry of Interior İsgandar Hamidov, a member of the Grey Wolves who plead for the creation of a Greater Turkey which would include northern Iran and extend itself to Siberia, India and China. Hamidov resigned in April 1993 after having threatened Armenia with a nuclear strike.

According to Daniele Ganser, a researcher at the ETH Zürich University, the founder of the Grey Wolves, Alparslan Türkeş was a member of Counter-Guerrilla, the Turkish branch of Gladio, a stay-behind NATO anticommunist paramilitary organization which was supposed to prepare networks for guerrilla warfare in case of a Soviet invasion.cite book| title = NATO's Secret Armies, Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe | author = Daniele Ganser | year=2005 | publisher=Franck Cass | location=London |isbn=0714685003pn] "Le Monde diplomatique" confirms that the Grey Wolves were infiltrated and manipulated by Gladio, and that important Grey Wolves member Abdullah Çatlı had worked with Gladio. According to the same article, Abdullah Çatlı met with Italian international terrorist Stefano Delle Chiaie, who, apart of taking part in Italy' strategy of tension, also maintained links with Pinochet's DINA and participated in the Argentinian dirty war. [cite news | title= Turkey's pivotal role in the international drug trade| date=1998 July|work=Le Monde Diplomatique|first= Kendal |last=Nezan|url= ] However, in Italy, Greece, and Turkey, Gladio supported a strategy of tension ("strategia della tensione" in Italian) which used false flags terrorist attacks in order to discredit the communist movement. [ [ Official documents on ISN] (hosted by ETH Zürich) concerning Gladio, including SIFAR (Italian military service) report on Gladio, extracts of former CIA director William Colby's memoirs, Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti's public revelation to the Senate of the existence of Gladio in October 1990, Parliamentary investigation into the Swiss Defense Ministry, 1995 Italian parliamentary report on Terrorism, etc ] [ [ Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies] ETH Zürich research project on Gladio directed by Dr. Daniele Ganser. Many documents available in various languages, including Turkish articles; audio interviews of Ganser; Ganser's June 2005 article in "The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations"; "Der Spiegel" article, etc. ]

Grey Wolves outside of Turkey

Republic of Azerbaijan

Alparslan Türkeş visited Azerbaijan in 1992, was greeted as a hero, and rallied Azeris and the Grey Wolves have many supporters within the Azeri government . During the 1992-1993 Popular Front government in Azerbaijan, a member of Grey Wolves' ("Bozqurt") Party, Isgandar Hamidov, served as the Minister of Interior and president Abulfaz Elcibey himself was a Grey Wolf sympathizer. The Grey Wolves are believed to have provided support to Azeri forces fighting Armenians during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Grey Wolves Party still functions in Azerbaijan, although its name has been changed to the Azerbaijan National Democrat Party. [cite journal
work=RFE/RL Caucasus Report
publisher=Radio Free Europe
] [cite news|url=
title=Azerbaijan: Date For Presidential Ballot Confirmed
work=Radio Free Europe


The Grey Wolves in western Europe today were originally sent there at the end of the 1970s and the early 1980s to infiltrate Turkish immigrant workers.Fact|date=August 2008 Their task was to combat Turkish left-wingers who had left Turkey because of harsh state repression but, later also focused on Kurds.Fact|date=August 2008 As a result, the Grey Wolves stepped up their activities in the Netherlands by founding the TFN, Turkish Federation of Holland, in 1995. The latter now has around 56 local units and an estimated membership of 30,000.Fact|date=August 2008


According to investigative reporter Lucy Komisar, the 1981 attempt on Pope John Paul II's life by Grey Wolves member Mehmet Ali Ağca may have been related to Gladio. Ali Ağca would in this case have been manipulated by NATO's clandestine structure, in an attempt to fuel again Italy's strategy of tension, which last big event was the 1980 Bologna massacre. Komissar underlines the fact that Ali Ağca had worked with Abdullah Çatlı in the January 1, 1979 murder of Abdi İpekçi, the editor of left-wing newspaper "Milliyet". "Çatlı then reportedly helped organize Ağca's escape from an Istanbul military prison, and some have suggested Catli was even involved in the Pope's assassination attempt" reports Lucy Komisar, adding that at the scene of the Mercedes-Benz crash where Çatlı died, he was found with a passport under the name of "Mehmet Özbay" - an alias also used by Mehmet Ali Ağca.cite web| url = | title = The Assassins of a Pope | first=Lucy|last=Komisar|authorlink = Lucy Komisar | accessdate = 2006-07-04]


The Grey Wolves went to Cyprus to support Turkish Cypriot protesters in 1996. The Grey Wolves were involved in attacks on Greek Cypriot properties and Greek Cypriot activists. [cite web|url= |title=TURKISH AUTHORITIES INCITED BUFFER ZONE VIOLENCE|work=Cyprus Newsletter|publisher=EMBASSY OF CYPRUS, WASHINGTON DC|date=September 1, 1996 |accessdate=2008-08-27]

See also

* Great Union Party
* Pan Turkism
* Turanism


External links

* [ Grey Wolves profile] , Federation of American Scientists
* [ Bozkurt Destani] , from the official site of "Ülkü Ocakları" tr icon
* [ Mudanya Ülkü Ocakları]

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