Nranian Probable Target of Turkish Assassination Plot Against ARF Members

ANKARA, Turkey (Armenian Weekly)—Turkish security forces provided details of plots by a Turkish terrorist group planning to assassinate ARF members visiting Turkey and attack Kurdish targets, reported the Turkish daily newspaper Zaman.

According to the police report, one such plot dated back to March 22, 2009, when members of the Turkish Revenge Brigades (Türk İntikam Birliği Teşkilatı) Mutlu Erdogan and Onur [full name not provided] discussed over the phone the entry of an ARF member into Turkey and his acquisition of a cell phone number. Responding to the information provided by Onur, Erdogan advised him to lay low for a few months, because he suspects that security forces are following them. “Let a few months pass and we will slowly begin conducting operations; we won’t stand idly by,” he adds.

The Armenian Weekly was unable to independently confirm the identity of the ARF member mentioned in the March 22 conversation. In the phone conversation log, he is referred to as the head of the Tashnak Party’s (ARF) political committee (Taşnak Partisi’nin Siyasi Komite Başkanı). No one in the organization’s leadership holds such a title, and no member of the ARF’s top leadership has entered Turkey in recent years. It is likely that the target in March was member of the ARF parliamentary bloc in Armenian National Assembly Ara Nranian, who was in Turkey for a meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) meeting.

The ARF Bureau press office expressed concern over the fact that information about Nranian’s entry to Turkey was available to a terrorist organization, noting that such information could have only been provided by the Turkish state.

The only other ARF “heads” visiting Turkey are editors/directors of ARF media, as well as reporters of the Yerevan-based Yerkir Media, who visit Turkey several times a year to conduct interviews and prepare special reports and documentaries.

The police report notes the connection between Ergenekon and the Brigades, and also cites planned attacks against Kurdish and Christian targets.

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