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Devrimci Sol: A Study of Turkey's Revolutionary Left and Its Impact on United States Interests, 1968-1999
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Using the evolution of Devrimci Sol, this thesis analyses leftist terrorism against U.S. interests in Turkey between 1968 and 1999. During this period, leftists committed 81 percent of the terrorism-related murders of U.S. citizens. In the 1970s, leftists began targeting U.S. interests, including military personnel. By 1980, the left had killed ten Americans. Although severely crippled following Turkeys 1980 coup, Devrimci Sol-the most prominent group-re-emerged in 1990 and dramatically increased attacks against U.S. interests during the Gulf War, perpetrating 75 percent of all terrorist-related U.S. deaths in 1991. Although devastating Turkish security operations and an internal group schism following the Gulf War drastically reduced the organizations violent activities, the late 1990s witnessed Devrimci Sols renewed interest in targeting the U.S. The thesis explains leftist development and violence against U.S. interests, suggesting Turkeys rapid modernization and the resulting instability provided fertile ground for the extreme lefts emergence. By the 1970s, following periods of increased political liberalization, the rise of Marxist-Leninist ideology coupled with government intolerance to opposition groups elevated terrorism to the sole perceived avenue of change. External support, political amnesties, and reports of government oppression in Turkey support Devrimci Sols continued survival. It remains a threat.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE