Grey Wolves

Also Known As:

Executive Summary:

The Grey Wolves is an international fascist, Turkish nationalist, and pan-Turkic organization and movement which rose to prominence in the late 1970s in Turkey.“Grey Wolves,” Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, accessed July 12, 2021, https://www.trackingterrorism.org/group/grey-wolves. While the group, which is usually called the Ülkü Ocakları (Idealist Hearths) in Turkish, formally operates as a political and cultural organization, their extremist ideology has also inspired non-members to violent acts.“Grey Wolves,” Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, accessed July 12, 2021, https://www.trackingterrorism.org/group/grey-wolves; Yildrim Türker, “Asker Sevag’a ne oldu?,” Radikal, May 9, 2011, http://www.radikal.com.tr/yazarlar/yildirim-turker/asker-sevaga-ne-oldu-1048713/. Breakaway groups, including the Osmanlı Ocakları and the Alperen Hearths, have also carried out attacks on groups demonized by the Grey Wolves.Gareth H. Jenkins, “Taking It to the Streets: Turkey’s Rising Social Tensions,” Turkey Analyst, September 18, 2015,  https://www.turkeyanalyst.org/publications/turkey-analyst-articles/item/444-taking-it-to-the-streets-turkeys-rising-social-tensions.html. In recent years the group’s members and sympathizers have attacked Kurds and Armenians and members of the opposition Democratic Peoples’ Party in Turkey.Fahim Tastekin, “Who Is Behind Violence against the Kurds?,” Al-Monitor, October 26, 2015, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2015/10/turkey-mob-violence-against-kurds-who-is-behind.html ; https://twitter.com/Conflicts/status/641325003439501312.

Attacks perpetuated by pan-Turkic nationalist extremists are commonly attributed to the Grey Wolves based on their ideological similarity, regardless of whether the individual culprits are affiliated with the organization.“Video Shows Turkish and Azeri Nationals ‘Looking for Armenians’ in France,” Independent (London), October 29, 2020, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turks-azeris-lyon-france-armenians-vienne-video-b1422175.html. While the movement is often referred to as Grey Wolves in western media, in Turkey this name is only used in reference to the 1970s death squads. The name “Grey Wolves” comes from a Turkish Bozkurt legend in which a mother wolf protects the original Turkish settlers who arrived in Anatolia from Central Asia.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/.

Turkish politician Alparslan Türkeş formed the Wolves in 1966, just three years after he founded the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a participant in Turkey’s current (as of July 2021) governing coalition.“Turkish Politicians Commemorate MHP Founder Alparslan Türkeş,” Daily Sabah, April 4, 2021, https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/turkish-politicians-commemorate-mhp-founder-alparslan-turkes/news. The Wolves functioned as the MHP’s armed branch in the 1970s, carrying out attacks and assassinations on leftists, journalists, and dissidents.Meral Ugur Cinar, “ When Defense Becomes Offense: The Role of Threat Narratives in the Turkish Civil War of the 1970s,” Turkish Studies 15, no. 1 (March 2014): 3, http://repository.bilkent.edu.tr/bitstream/handle/11693/49456/When_defense_becomes_offense_the_role_of_threat_narratives_in_the_Turkish_Civil_War_of_the_1970s.pdf;jsessionid=1832A6B5686874A4E33EDF3AAC813490?sequence=1. The group is still tied to the MHP, and Grey Wolves members view the political party’s current chairman, Devlet Bahçeli,  as the leader of the organization. In 2019, a former president of the Wolves for seven years, Olcay Kilavuz, described Bahçeli as “Leader Devlet Bahçeli, who sees and embraces Idealists as his own children and enlightens our way with his ideas,” adding, “We will not hesitate to be under the command of Devlet Bahçeli, the Leader of the Nationalist-Idealist Movement, as it has been until today.” Kilavuz also claimed that Bahçeli directly appointed him.“MHP’li Kılavuz, Ülkü Ocakları Genel Başkanlığının sona erdiğini açıkladı,” Hürriyet (Istanbul), January 2, 2019, https://www.Hürriyet (Istanbul).com.tr/gundem/mhpli-kilavuz-ulku-ocaklari-genel-baskanliginin-sona-erdigini-acikladi-41070109.

From 1976 to 1980 more than 5,000 people died in the Turkish conflict between leftists and nationalists, including the Wolves.Sabri Sayari, “Political Violence and Terrorism in Turkey, 1976–80: A Retrospective Analysis,” Terrorism and Political Violence 22, no. 2 (March 2010): abstract, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09546550903574438. In 1981, the Wolves made international headlines when member Mehmet Ali Ağca attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II.R.W. Apple Jr., “Trail of Mehmet Ali Agca: 6 Years of Neofascist Ties,” New York Times, May 25, 1981, https://www.nytimes.com/1981/05/25/world/trail-of-mehmet-ali-agca-6-years-of-neofascist-ties.html.

The Wolves were at times linked to the Turkish intelligence agency MIT, and their crimes often went unpunished by the Turkish police.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html; “‘ASALA’ya karşı birlikte çalıştık’,” NTV, July 16, 2004, archived in the Internet Archive, archived in the Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20200628204152/http://arsiv.ntv.com.tr/news/278685.asp. The group has organizations, affiliates, and ideologically aligned movements in Germany, Azerbaijan, and Cyprus.“Ülkü Ocakları Genel Başkani Kilavuz’dan Kktc Çikartmasi,” Milliyet (Istanbul), March 19, 2016,
https://www.milliyet.com.tr/yerel-haberler/ankara/ulku-ocaklari-genel-baskani-kilavuz-dan-kktc-cikartmasi-11275299; Vladimir Babak, Demian Vaisman, and Aryeh Wasserman, Political Organization in Central Asia and Azerbaijan: Sources and Documents (London: Routledge, 2004), 27, https://books.google.com/books?id=a9SPAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=Iskander+Hamidov+grey+wolves&source=bl&ots=khpvf80sCZ&sig=ACfU3U3srnCfymoDgbR57Je9p23yWxB_hA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimrK-vw5_wAhWgElkFHYQdAgkQ6AEwE3oECAkQAw#v=onepage&q=Iskander%20Hamidov%20grey%20wolves&f=false; Ezel Sahinkaya, “Shadowy Turkish Ultra-Nationalist Group Under Scrutiny in Europe,” Voice of America, December 8, 2020, https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/shadowy-turkish-ultra-nationalist-group-under-scrutiny-europe.

Doctrine:

Anti-Leftist/Communist

Throughout the 1970s, the group battled with Turkish communist organizations, and was sometimes referred to by its allies as the Anti-Communist Street Forces.Meral Ugur Cinar, “When Defense Becomes Offense: The Role of Threat Narratives in the Turkish Civil War of the 1970s,” Turkish Studies 15, no. 1 (March 2014): 3, http://repository.bilkent.edu.tr/bitstream/handle/11693/49456/When_defense_becomes_offense_the_role_of_threat_narratives_in_the_Turkish_Civil_War_of_the_1970s.pdf;jsessionid=1832A6B5686874A4E33EDF3AAC813490?sequence=1. A member of the Adana branch, who was “found guilty of establishing a group to commit crimes, including murder, attempted murder, shooting a house, and throwing explosives,” described his indoctrination as an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality.Meral Ugur Cinar, “When Defense Becomes Offense: The Role of Threat Narratives in the Turkish Civil War of the 1970s,” Turkish Studies 15, no. 1 (March 2014): 6, http://repository.bilkent.edu.tr/bitstream/handle/11693/49456/When_defense_becomes_offense_the_role_of_threat_narratives_in_the_Turkish_Civil_War_of_the_1970s.pdf;jsessionid=1832A6B5686874A4E33EDF3AAC813490?sequence=1. The organization ingrained in him that “since [communists] wanted to divide the homeland, all of them had to be killed.”Meral Ugur Cinar, “When Defense Becomes Offense: The Role of Threat Narratives in the Turkish Civil War of the 1970s,” Turkish Studies 15, no. 1 (March 2014): 7, http://repository.bilkent.edu.tr/bitstream/handle/11693/49456/When_defense_becomes_offense_the_role_of_threat_narratives_in_the_Turkish_Civil_War_of_the_1970s.pdf;jsessionid=1832A6B5686874A4E33EDF3AAC813490?sequence=1. According to a 2014 study by Turkish academic Meral Cinar, Wolves viewed the leftists as an existential threat, and consequently, moderates also represented a danger since they “were ‘accomplices’ of the enemies but they were hiding this fact.”Meral Ugur Cinar, “When Defense Becomes Offense: The Role of Threat Narratives in the Turkish Civil War of the 1970s,” Turkish Studies 15, no. 1 (March 2014): 8, http://repository.bilkent.edu.tr/bitstream/handle/11693/49456/When_defense_becomes_offense_the_role_of_threat_narratives_in_the_Turkish_Civil_War_of_the_1970s.pdf;jsessionid=1832A6B5686874A4E33EDF3AAC813490?sequence=1. Wolves also believed that many Turkish leftists were a fifth column, working for foreign organizations and governments.Meral Ugur Cinar, “When Defense Becomes Offense: The Role of Threat Narratives in the Turkish Civil War of the 1970s,” Turkish Studies 15, no. 1 (March 2014): 6, http://repository.bilkent.edu.tr/bitstream/handle/11693/49456/When_defense_becomes_offense_the_role_of_threat_narratives_in_the_Turkish_Civil_War_of_the_1970s.pdf;jsessionid=1832A6B5686874A4E33EDF3AAC813490?sequence=1.

Racism

The Wolves’ support is highest in cities with large Azeri and Turkmen populations, a phenomenon that is explained by their pan-Turkic ethnic nationalism.Tom Stevenson, “Analysis: The Growing Strength of Turkey’s Ultra-Nationalists,” Middle East Eye, June 2, 2016, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/analysis-growing-strength-turkeys-ultra-nationalists. The founder of the Grey Wolves, Alparslan Türkeş, included “Turkmen, China’s Uighurs, Russia’s Tatars, Azeris, Kazakhs and others” in his definition of the Turkic nation.Alex MacDonald, “Increasing tensions see resurgence of Turkey's far-right street movements,” Middle East Eye, September 22, 2015, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/increasing-tensions-see-resurgence-turkeys-far-right-street-movements. The Wolves idealize their conception of a “pure Turk” and adopt the folkloric ideology known as Turanism as evidence of Turkic superiority. Turanism involves the belief in superior Turkic peoples with a shared language and culture.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. Many Turanists support the formation of a Turkic Empire that would encompass former Soviet countries like Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.Amberin Zaman, “Turkey’s Gray Wolves Nip at Heels of Power,” Los Angeles Times, April 20, 1999, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1999-apr-20-mn-29194-story.html. As such, the party rejects the existence of a Kurdish identity within Turkey. The name “Grey Wolves” comes from the Turkish Bozkurt legend in which a mother wolf protects the original Turkish settlers who arrived in Anatolia from Central Asia.William Drozdiak, “The 'Gray Wolves'” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/.

Türkeş’s Doctrine

The Turanist nationalist movement and Alparslan Türkeş himself were greatly influenced by the Turkish nationalist writer Nihat Atsiz, a self-identified racist and “intellectual father of non-Kemalist nationalism.”Ilker Ayturk, “Nationalism and Islam in Cold War Turkey, 1944–69,” Middle Eastern Studies 50, no. 5 (Summer 2014): 712, http://yoksis.bilkent.edu.tr/pdf/files/6881.pdf; Soner Yalcin, “MHP’nin 40 yıldır bitmeyen derdi,” Hürriyet (Istanbul), February 24, 2008 https://www.Hürriyet.com.tr/mhp-nin-40-yildir-bitmeyen-derdi-8299240. Kemalism is a political ideology introduced by modern Turkey’s founder, Kemal Ataturk, that sought to modernize the new Turkish Republic through rejection of Islam—viewed as a retrograde and subversive influence—and assimilation of all non-Turk citizens under one homogenous Turkish identity.Michael A. Reynolds, Echoes of Empire: Turkey’s Crisis of Kemalism and the Search for an Alternative Foreign Policy (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2012), 8, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/25-turkey-reynolds.pdf. Atsiz went further, viewing nearly every non-Turkic ethnic group as an inherent enemy of the Turkic people.“Life of Nihâl Atsiz,” NihalAtsiz.org, accessed July 13, 2021, archived in the Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20090818182945/http://www.nihalatsiz.org/hayati.htm. Atsiz was an important ideologue of the pan-Turkic movement and defined Turkishness based on ethnic terms, rather than the Kemalist version by which assimilation was an acceptable form of Turkishness and ethnic differentiation is considered taboo. Later, Nihat Atsiz split from the Republican Villagers Nation Party when it became the MHP and changed its emblem from the Grey Wolf to the three crescents (which symbolize the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic faith).Soner Yalcin, “MHP’nin 40 yıldır bitmeyen derdi,” Hürriyet (Istanbul), February 24, 2008, https://www.Hürriyet.com.tr/mhp-nin-40-yildir-bitmeyen-derdi-8299240.

Türkeş published a doctrine known as the “Nine Lights Movement,” detailing the ideals of “Technology and Industrialism,” “Nationalism,” “Idealism,” “Moralism,” “Societism,” “Scientism,” “Peasantry,” “Advancement and Technology,” and “Libertarianism and Personalism.”Evangelos Areteos, “‘Our Bodies Are Turkish, Our Soul Islamic,’” Diplomatic Academy, Turkish Desk, University of Nicosia, November 2021, 7, https://www.unic.ac.cy/da/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2021/02/Our-Bodies-are-Turkish-Our-Soul-Islamic-Evangelos-Areteos.pdf; “A Turkish Look at the Future,” MHP website, accessed July 13, 2021, https://www.mhp.org.tr/htmldocs/mhp_en/2712/party-program/a-turkish-look-at-the-future.html. Absent from his doctrine was the principle of Islam, a value system Türkeş would later adopt in 1967 as an essential component of Turkish identity after his first political party, the precursor to MHP, suffered widespread electoral defeat.Ilker Ayturk, “Nationalism and Islam in Cold War Turkey, 1944–69,” Middle Eastern Studies 50, no. 5 (Summer 2014): 710, http://yoksis.bilkent.edu.tr/pdf/files/6881.pdf. Türkeş’s shift toward an Islamic, pan-Turkic identity departed from Nihat Atsiz’s insistence that Islam made “Turkishness as an identity…irrelevant.”lker Ayturk, “Nationalism and Islam in Cold War Turkey, 1944–69,” Middle Eastern Studies 50, no. 5 (Summer 2014): 706, http://yoksis.bilkent.edu.tr/pdf/files/6881.pdf.

Devlet Bahçeli’s Ülkücu

At its inception the Grey Wolves movement was anti-communist, in response to a perceived threat from the Soviet Union against Turkey. However, the 1981 coup led to a crack-down on violent anti-communist groups and the imprisonment of Türkeş.Meral Ugur Cinar, “When Defense Becomes Offense: The Role of Threat Narratives in the Turkish Civil War of the 1970s,” Turkish Studies 15, no. 1 (March 2014): 9, http://repository.bilkent.edu.tr/bitstream/handle/11693/49456/When_defense_becomes_offense_the_role_of_threat_narratives_in_the_Turkish_Civil_War_of_the_1970s.pdf;jsessionid=1832A6B5686874A4E33EDF3AAC813490?sequence=1; Marvine Howe, “Turk Is Called a Product of Violence in His Nation,” New York Times, May 17, 1981, https://www.nytimes.com/1981/05/17/world/turk-is-called-a-product-of-violence-in-his-nation.html. The Grey Wolves doctrine subsequently evolved and, according to Turkey analyst Soner Cagaptay, by the 1990s, the Wolves changed from a group that idealized Turks to idealizing “Turkish Muslims.”Patrick Keddie, “France Has Banned the ‘Grey Wolves’—but Who Are They?,” Al Jazeera, November 24, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/11/24/france-has-banned-the-grey-wolves-but-who-are-they. Following Türkeş’ death in 1997, Devlet Bahçeli briefly pushed for a more centrist political agenda.Tom Stevenson, “Analysis: The Growing Strength of Turkey’s Ultra-Nationalists,” Middle East Eye, June 2, 2016, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/analysis-growing-strength-turkeys-ultra-nationalists. However the MHP’s electoral alliance with the AKP has emboldened Bahçeli to make greater demands for nationalist, anti-minority policies from the ruling party.Stuart Williams and Fulya Ozerkan, “Devlet Bahceli: Erdogan's enigmatic nationalist ally,” Yahoo, June 27, 2018, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/devlet-bahceli-nationalist-role-erdogans-turkey-153108755.html. For the past 20 years, Bahçeli has pushed the movement to be more conservative, traditional, and religious.Tom Stevenson, “Analysis: The Growing Strength of Turkey’s Ultra-Nationalists,” Middle East Eye, June 2, 2016, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/analysis-growing-strength-turkeys-ultra-nationalists.

Organizational Structure:

The Grey Wolves organization is decentralized, with chapters and sympathetic movements spread across cities and universities in Turkey and abroad, as well as provincial branches in Turkey. The group has chapters in universities and cities as well as provincial unions, such as the Istanbul Union.“Hakkımızda,” Ülkü Ocakları website, accessed July 12, 2021, https://www.ulkuocaklari.org.tr/pages/i/hakkimizda. The group constantly reformed under new names in the 1970s and exists alongside several breakaway movements, such as the Alperen Hearths and the Ottoman Hearths.Gareth H. Jenkins, “Taking It to the Streets: Turkey’s Rising Social Tensions,” Turkey Analyst, September 18, 2015,  https://www.turkeyanalyst.org/publications/turkey-analyst-articles/item/444-taking-it-to-the-streets-turkeys-rising-social-tensions.html; “Hakkımızda,” Ülkü Ocakları website, accessed July 12, 2021, https://www.ulkuocaklari.org.tr/pages/i/hakkimizda.

The Grey Wolves are also active in Cyprus, Azerbaijan, and Germany.“Vladimir Babak, Demian Vaisman, and Aryeh Wasserman, Political Organization in Central Asia and Azerbaijan: Sources and Documents (London: Routledge, 2004), 27, https://books.google.com/books?id=a9SPAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=Iskander+Hamidov+grey+wolves&source=bl&ots=khpvf80sCZ&sig=ACfU3U3srnCfymoDgbR57Je9p23yWxB_hA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimrK-vw5_wAhWgElkFHYQdAgkQ6AEwE3oECAkQAw#v=onepage&q=Iskander%20Hamidov%20grey%20wolves&f=false. In Europe, related organizations go by different names.“Ezel Sahinkaya, “Shadowy Turkish Ultra-Nationalist Group Under Scrutiny in Europe,” Voice of America, December 8, 2020, https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/shadowy-turkish-ultra-nationalist-group-under-scrutiny-europe. Ties between Azerbaijan’s Wolves and those in Turkey are reportedly largely based on ideological links rather than organizational cooperation.Vladimir Babak, Demian Vaisman, and Aryeh Wasserman, Political Organization in Central Asia and Azerbaijan: Sources and Documents (London: Routledge, 2004), 27, https://books.google.com/books?id=a9SPAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=Iskander+Hamidov+grey+wolves&source=bl&ots=khpvf80sCZ&sig=ACfU3U3srnCfymoDgbR57Je9p23yWxB_hA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimrK-vw5_wAhWgElkFHYQdAgkQ6AEwE3oECAkQAw#v=onepage&q=Iskander%20Hamidov%20grey%20wolves&f=false. The Cyprus branch, however, is more directly linked. The Cyprus Idealist Hearths (KKTC) organization was led by Fatih Arıcı as of July 2020.“Ülkü Ocakları, Avrupa Gazetesini kınadı,” Kibris Postasi (Northern Cyprus), July 21, 2020, https://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n338586-ulku-ocaklari-avrupa-gazetesini-kinadi. In 2016, the president of Turkey’s Grey Wolves visited the Cyprus branch.“Ülkü Ocakları Genel Başkani Kilavuz’dan Kktc Çikartmasi,” Milliyet (Istanbul), March 19, 2016,
https://www.milliyet.com.tr/yerel-haberler/ankara/ulku-ocaklari-genel-baskani-kilavuz-dan-kktc-cikartmasi-11275299.

The Wolves also operate across Europe. In France, sympathizers and members of the group are not believed to be part of any organized movement.“France Bans Turkish Ultra-Nationalists: Who are the ‘Grey Wolves’?,” Arab News (Riyadh), November 4, 2020, https://www.arabnews.com/node/1758216/world. In Germany, the organization had two affiliated branches as of 2019, the Federation of Associations of Turkish Democratic Idealists—also known as the Germany Turkish Federation (ADÜTDF)—and the Turkish-Islamic Union in Europe (ATİB).Ezel Sahinkaya, “Shadowy Turkish Ultra-Nationalist Group Under Scrutiny in Europe,” Voice of America, December 8, 2020, https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/shadowy-turkish-ultra-nationalist-group-under-scrutiny-europe. These groups have hundreds of local associations and umbrella organizations.Kemal Bozay, “Graue Wölfe—die größte rechtsextreme Organisation in Deutschland,” German Federal Agency for Civic Education website, November 24, 2017, archived in the Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20200722040831/https://www.bpb.de/politik/extremismus/rechtsextremismus/260333/graue-woelfe-die-groesste-rechtsextreme-organisation-in-deutschland. In 2017, the German public-service television broadcaster ZDF estimated that the groups had 18,000 members.Kemal Bozay, “Graue Wölfe—die größte rechtsextreme Organisation in Deutschland,” German Federal Agency for Civic Education website, November 24, 2017, archived in the Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20200722040831/https://www.bpb.de/politik/extremismus/rechtsextremismus/260333/graue-woelfe-die-groesste-rechtsextreme-organisation-in-deutschland. The Turkish Federation was connected to the attempted assassination of the Pope through the relationship between the failed assassin, Mehmet Ali Ağca, and Musa Cedar Celebi, the leader of the Federation in 1979 in West Germany.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. Celebi also had ties to illegal smuggling activities and was previously a customs inspector.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’”Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. He was extradited to Italy in 1983 for allegedly paying Ağca 3 million German marks to kill the Pope.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’”Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. After Hewas’s extradition to Italy in 1983, Ali Batman filled his position.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’”Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/.

The Wolves are also closely linked to the MHP, a member of Turkey’s ruling coalition, and acts at times as the street movement or paramilitary organization of the party.Patrick Keddie, “France Has Banned the ‘Grey Wolves’—but Who Are They?,” Al Jazeera, November 24, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/11/24/france-has-banned-the-grey-wolves-but-who-are-they. Both groups were formed by Alparslan Türkeş.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. After Türkeş’s arrest in 1980, the Wolves reportedly kept a lower profile, especially abroad.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. Nevertheless, Wolves refer to current MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli as their own leader, despite having a separate president of the organization.“MHP’li Kılavuz, Ülkü Ocakları Genel Başkanlığının sona erdiğini açıkladı,” Hürriyet (Istanbul), January 2, 2019, https://www.Hürriyet.com.tr/gundem/mhpli-kilavuz-ulku-ocaklari-genel-baskanliginin-sona-erdigini-acikladi-41070109. In 2019, Ülkü Ocakları’s former president of seven years, Olcay Kilavuz, described Bahçeli as “Leader Devlet Bahçeli, who sees and embraces Ülkü Ocaklı as his own children and enlightens our way with his ideas. We will not hesitate to be under the command of Devlet Bahçeli, the Leader of the Nationalist-Idealist Movement, as it has been until today.” He also claimed that he was appointed to lead the Grey Wolves indirectly by Bahçeli in 2012.“MHP’li Kılavuz, Ülkü Ocakları Genel Başkanlığının sona erdiğini açıkladı,” Hürriyet (Istanbul), January 2, 2019, https://www.Hürriyet.com.tr/gundem/mhpli-kilavuz-ulku-ocaklari-genel-baskanliginin-sona-erdigini-acikladi-41070109. While Kilavuz acted as the President of Ülkü Ocakları he was also an MHP representative.“MHP’li Kılavuz, Ülkü Ocakları Genel Başkanlığının sona erdiğini açıkladı,” Hürriyet (Istanbul), January 2, 2019, https://www.Hürriyet.com.tr/gundem/mhpli-kilavuz-ulku-ocaklari-genel-baskanliginin-sona-erdigini-acikladi-41070109.

The Wolves have also been linked to Turkey’s mafia, illicit drug trade, and state security and intelligence forces (MIT). The group was most directly linked to state security forces at the height of its violent acts in the late 1970s, when the organization received weapons from the Counter-Guerrilla Organization.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html. Allegations that the Wolves function as a paramilitary organization are bolstered by Grey Wolf, mafia ringleader, and assassin Alaattin Çakıcı’s employment with Turkish intelligence and connections to state officials.“‘ASALA’ya karşı birlikte çalıştık’,” NTV, July 16, 2004, archived in the Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20200628204152/http://arsiv.ntv.com.tr/news/278685.asp. A former Turkish intelligence officer claimed that he “served in Paris for 4 years, and … acted against Armenian terrorism with Çakıcı at that time.”“‘ASALA’ya karşı birlikte çalıştık’,” NTV, July 16, 2004, archived in the Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20200628204152/http://arsiv.ntv.com.tr/news/278685.asp. He said that the MIT used Çakıcı for operations in Europe and Lebanon.“‘ASALA’ya karşı birlikte çalıştık’,” NTV, July 16, 2004, archived in the Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20200628204152/http://arsiv.ntv.com.tr/news/278685.asp. MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s insistence on releasing individuals such as Çakıcı from prison reflects the seeming impunity of these persons.Devlet Bahçeli, Twitter post, May 12, 2018, 6:59 am, https://twitter.com/dbdevletbahceli/status/995257124723789824. On May 12, 2018, Bahçeli tweeted that the Grey Wolf assassins Çakıcı and Kürşat Yılmaz were “brothers who love their nation and country,” and suggested that they should be released from prison.Devlet Bahçeli, Twitter Post, May 12, 2018, 6:59 am, https://twitter.com/dbdevletbahceli/status/995257124723789824. Çakıcı threatened six journalists from prison, claiming, “They will be punished by the people who love me in Turkey or abroad.”Ece Goksedef, “The Ultra-Nationalist Turkish Mob Boss Erdogan Can’t Touch,” Middle East Eye, August 15, 2018, archived in the Internet Archive,  https://web.archive.org/web/20200626100941/https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/ultra-nationalist-turkish-mob-boss-erdogan-cant-touch. Journalists report that Çakıcı is a member of the Turkish mafia and continues to wield power from inside his jail cell.Ece Goksedef, “The Ultra-Nationalist Turkish Mob Boss Erdogan Can’t Touch,” Middle East Eye, August 15, 2018, archived in the Internet Archive,  https://web.archive.org/web/20200626100941/https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/ultra-nationalist-turkish-mob-boss-erdogan-cant-touch.

A 1998 report from the Turkish parliament explicitly revealed the Wolves’ connections to the Turkish security forces. The report cited a senior member of the organization’s connection to “organized crime, heroin smuggling, and political assassinations carried out in collaboration with the Turkish security forces.”Patrick Keddie, “France Has Banned the ‘Grey Wolves’—but Who Are They?,” Al Jazeera, November 24, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/11/24/france-has-banned-the-grey-wolves-but-who-are-they.

The Abdullah Çatlı scandal offered further evidence of collusion between the Grey Wolves and Turkish security forces. Çatlı served as the organization’s deputy leader in Turkey in 1978 but later went undercover when he was linked to the murder of seven trade unionists.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html. Çatlı also helped Ağca escape from prison in Turkey.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html. In November 1996 Çatlı was killed in a car accident while wanted for heroin trafficking and murder.Patrick Keddie, “France Has Banned the ‘Grey Wolves’—but Who Are They?,” Al Jazeera, November 24, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/11/24/france-has-banned-the-grey-wolves-but-who-are-they. A 1998 report from the Turkish parliament revealed Çatlı’s connection to “organized crime, heroin smuggling, and political assassinations carried out in collaboration with the Turkish security forces.”Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html. Çatlı was employed by the Turkish secret police on multiple occasions and became involved in anti-Kurdish operations.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html.

The following list details some of the known ties Grey Wolves leaders and members have had with mainstream political parties, security services, and criminal organizations:

Financing:

There is little open-source information about the Wolves’ financing networks. The organization has been funded in the past in part by member dues, which were $4 a month in 1983.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. The Wolves have also been linked to illicit activities and organizations in the 1980s and 1990s such as heroin smuggling, weapons smuggling, and the Turkish mafia, with smuggling primarily focused in Bulgaria and West Germany.William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/; Patrick Keddie, “France Has Banned the ‘Grey Wolves’—but Who Are They?,” Al Jazeera, November 24, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/11/24/france-has-banned-the-grey-wolves-but-who-are-they. In the 1970s, the organization was given weapons by the Turkish Counter-Guerrilla Organization.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html.

Recruitment:

As of 1983, the group was “said to number about 18,000 in Europe, serve as the enforcement arm of the so-called Turkish Federation, [as part of] an amalgam of about 100 Turkish right-wing groups with 50,000 members.”William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. In 2017, the German Federal Agency for Civic Education stated that the Wolves had “outgrown the neo-Nazis as the largest far-right group” in Germany.Fehim Tastekin, “Screws Tighten on Gray Wolves, Erdogan’s European Guard,” Al-Monitor, November 12, 2020, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2020/11/turkey-french-ban-grey-wolves-political-islam-nationalists.html#ixzz6qXiomvNf. While exact numbers of membership in Turkey are unknown, the organization has chapters in most cities in Turkey, including predominantly Kurdish areas.Facebook search for pages with the “Ülkü Ocakları” in the name, showing an extensive list of local Idealist Hearths chapters throughout Turkey, July 13, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/search/pages/?q=%C3%9Clk%C3%BC%20Ocaklar%C4%B1. Increasing nationalist fervor across Turkey may indicate a greater potential for recruitment in the coming years.Burak Kadercan, “The Year Of The Gray Wolf: The Rise Of Turkey’s New Ultranationalism,” War on the Rocks, July 16, 2018, https://warontherocks.com/2018/07/the-year-of-the-gray-wolf-the-rise-of-turkeys-new-ultranationalism/. In the 1970s, the group created commando camps and recruited retired soldiers and others for them.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html.

Wolves have also engaged in recruitment for armed militias in Cyprus, Iraq, and Syria.Fehim Tastekin, “Turkey’s Nationalist ‘Gray Wolves’ Enter Syrian Fray,” Al-Monitor, February 3, 2016, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2016/02/turkey-syria-grey-wolves-emerge-as-jihadists.html. In 1974, the Ülkü Ocakları Headquarters recruited volunteers for the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.“Hakkımızda,” Ülkü Ocakları website, accessed July 12, 2021, https://www.ulkuocaklari.org.tr/pages/i/hakkimizda. In 2017, Devlet Bahçeli said that there were “5,000 idealist volunteers” prepared to fight in “Turkish cities where Turkmen live, especially [the Iraqi city of] Kirkuk.”“Bahçeli'den hükümete: Barzani'nin elini güçlendirdiler,” Sputnik Turkey, September 27, 2017, https://tr.sputniknews.com/turkiye/201709271030330693-bahceli-barzani-ikby-hukumet/.

Training:

In 1968, the Wolves began founding paramilitary “commando” camps in several provinces across Turkey and in Cyprus to train members in combat.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html. In 1983, the Washington Post claimed the Grey Wolves received “rigorous training in civil warfare.”William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. Former West Germany Grey Wolves leader Ali Batman reportedly received training from a guerilla camp “where he learned shooting and bomb making.”William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. The group began founding “commando camps” in 1968. A report prepared by the Turkish Interior Ministry’s Security Department, found that there were 28 “commando camps” in total.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html.

Former MHP Mardin Deputy Rifat Baykal allegedly opened a commando camp in Gumuldur Akrepkaya region in Izmir.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html. A 100-member camp run by retired soldiers was created along the Ankara-Eskisehir highway by MHP board member Dundar Taser.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html. The Silivri province camp in Istanbul was founded by Mustafa Ok and was later visited by Ülkü Ocakları founder Alparslan Türkeş.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html. In 1969, Ruhi Unal founded a 350 member camp in Yumurtalik, Adana province.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html. In 1970 a secondary camp was created in Adana province, under the name “the Southern Region Commando Camp.”“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html. The camp attracted 80 participants at first, armed with at least 17 rifles.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html. In 1970 Alparslan Türkeş ordered the establishment of a training camp in Bursa’s Mudanya province and the camp was constructed by MHP board member Kamil Koc and the MHP Bursa City Organization.“Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-04,’” Hellenic Resources Institute, February 4, 1997,  http://www.hri.org/news/cyprus/tcpr/1997/97-02-04.tcpr.html.

Alparslan Türkeş

Founder, deceased

Devlet Bahçeli

Chairman of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)

Ahmet Yiğit Yıldırım

President of the Ülkü Ocakları (since July 2020)

Olcay Kilavuz

President of Ülkü Ocakları (2012-2019), member of MHP

Alaattin Aldemir

President of the Ülkü Ocakları (1992-1996)

Ali Batman

Leader of the Turkish Federation in West Germany (1983)

Musa Cedar Celebi

Leader of the Turkish Federation in West Germany (1979-1983)

Abdullah Çatlı

Deputy leader of Ülkü Ocakları in the 1970s, hitman, Turkish Secret Police officer, deceased

Alaattin Çakıcı

Turkish mafia leader and Ülkü Ocakları assassin

Throughout the late 1970s, Wolves “launched a wave of bomb attacks and shootings that killed hundreds of people, including public officials, journalists, students, lawyers, labor organizers, left-wing activists and ethnic Kurds.”Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html. The violence against dissenters devolved into a civil-war environment, with attacks and counterattacks occurring daily.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html. The group was supported by the Counter-Guerrilla Organization of the Turkish Army’s Special Warfare Department.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html. This department then received U.S. funding to combat alleged Soviet threats.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html. In the late 1970s, the group carried out assassinations and multiple massacres. In one, the Maraş Massacre, the Wolves killed more than 100 people in the Alevi majority city.Steve Sweeney, “Forty Years Since the Maras Massacre,” Morning Star (London), December 19, 2018, https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/forty-years-maras-massacre. The group has also been connected to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981.Martin A. Lee, “Turkish Dirty War Revealed, but Papal Shooting Still Obscured,” Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-12-op-38664-story.html.

According to a study by Şefika Kumral, “While violent events associated with the Ülkücu movement were very low during the military junta regime in the early 1980s, these violent events rose dramatically in the course of 1990s, temporarily declined between 1999 and 2002, and accelerated rapidly after 2002.”Şefika Kumral, “Ballots with Bullets: Elections, Violence, and the Rise of the Extreme Right in Turkey,” Journal of Labor and Society 20, no. 2 (June 2017): 237, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/wusa.12287.

Designations by Foreign Governments and Organizations:

Kazakhstan
On October 15, 2004, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan banned the group, referring to it as a terrorist association.“The List of Prohibited on the Territory of the RK Foreign Organizations,” Committee for Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan, October 25, 2014, archived in the Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20141025060442/http://www.din.gov.kz/eng/press-sluzhba/spisok_zaprexhennyx_organizaci/.
Austria
In 2019, the Austrian government banned the Grey Wolves symbol and hand gesture (i.e. a raised pinky and index finger and pinched thumb and middle and ring finger).“France Bans Turkish Ultra-Nationalists: Who Are the ‘Grey Wolves’?,” Arab News (Riyadh), November 4, 2020, https://www.arabnews.com/node/1758216/world.
France
On November 4, 2020, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced a ban on the Grey Wolves organization, citing recent violent protests in Armenian neighborhoods.Fehim Tastekin, “Screws Tighten on Gray Wolves, Erdogan’s European Guard,” Al-Monitor, November 12, 2020, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2020/11/turkey-french-ban-grey-wolves-political-islam-nationalists.html.

Ties to Extremist Entities:

The Ülkü Ocakları espouse an ultranationalist, racist ideology that has reached beyond its members. Many attacks and extremist individuals have been inspired by the movement without being directly involved. The group was also tied to the Turkish intelligence agency and ideologically to the Alperen Hearths.

Alperen Hearths: The Aleperen Hearths are a similar organization that is connected to a breakaway MHP party called the Great Unity Party.Ece Toksabay and Dasha Afanasieva, “Istanbul Bans Gay Pride March after Threats from Hardline Group,” Reuters, June 17, 2016, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-lgbt-pride/istanbul-bans-gay-pride-march-after-threats-from-hardline-group-idUSKCN0Z31I6; William Drozdiak, “The ‘Gray Wolves,’” Washington Post, July 3, 1983, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1983/07/03/the-gray-wolves/54877a34-5e2f-4604-a40f-394285a5d756/. The Party harbors many of the same beliefs and extremist tendencies.“Erdoğan Condemns Attack on Neve Shalom Synagogue in İstanbul,” Turkish Minute, July 23, 2017, https://turkishminute.com/2017/07/23/erdogan-condemns-attack-on-neve-shalom-synagogue-in-istanbul/. Members of the Alperen Hearth have been involved in attacks against LGBT persons, leftists, Kurds, and synagogues.Erhan Üstündağ, “Far Right Storms a Kurdish Solidarity Night,” Bianet, April 29, 2008, https://bianet.org/english/minorities/106600-far-right-storms-a-kurdish-solidarity-night.

Syrian Turkmen Brigades: Alparslan Celik, who formerly held many senior positions in the Grey Wolves organization, commanded the Second Coastal Division of the Syrian Turkmen Brigades and, famously, killed a Russian pilot in 2016.Fehim Tastekin, “Turkey’s Nationalist ‘Gray Wolves’ Enter Syrian Fray,” Al-Monitor, February 3, 2016, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2016/02/turkey-syria-grey-wolves-emerge-as-jihadists.html. Burak Misinci, another member of the Ülkü Ocakları was killed in Syria while fighting with the Turkmen Brigade.Fehim Tastekin, “Turkey’s Nationalist ‘Gray Wolves’ Enter Syrian Fray,” Al-Monitor, February 3, 2016, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2016/02/turkey-syria-grey-wolves-emerge-as-jihadists.html. Several high-level MHP politicians attended his funeral.Fehim Tastekin, “Turkey’s Nationalist ‘Gray Wolves’ Enter Syrian Fray,” Al-Monitor, February 3, 2016, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2016/02/turkey-syria-grey-wolves-emerge-as-jihadists.html. Some sources allege that the Grey Wolves organized recruitment for the Turkmen Coastal Brigades as well as procuring funds.Fehim Tastekin, “Turkey’s Nationalist ‘Gray Wolves’ Enter Syrian Fray,” Al-Monitor, February 3, 2016, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2016/02/turkey-syria-grey-wolves-emerge-as-jihadists.html. MHP Esenler District President Suat Yılmaz, Bağcılar District President Onur Yeşil, and Ülkü Ocakları 2nd Regional President Oğuzhan Başdoğan traveled to Turkmen Mountain in Syria and posted pictures of themselves armed and in militant uniforms.“MHP’s Two District Leaders Joined the War on Turkmen Mountain,” Radikal (Istanbul), November 30, 2015, http://www.radikal.com.tr/turkiye/mhpnin-iki-ilce-baskani-turkmen-daginda-savasa-katildi-1483138/.

Olcay Kilavuz, September 22, 2015

“It is the main duty of the security forces to combat terrorism. We would only take on responsibility for this if the duty cannot be fulfilled.”Alex MacDonald, “Increasing Tensions See Resurgence of Turkey’s Far-Right Street Movements,” Middle East Eye, September 22, 2015, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/increasing-tensions-see-resurgence-turkeys-far-right-street-movements.

Olcay Kilavuz, March 18, 2017

“If this nation is in trouble, if our country needs us, we will take our weapons, and if necessary fight.”“Ülkü Ocakları Genel Başkanı Olcay Kılavuz: Elimize silahımızı alırız, gerekirse de savaşırız,” CNN Turk, March 18, 2017, https://www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/ulku-ocaklari-genel-baskani-olcay-kilavuz-elimize-silahimizi-aliriz-gerekirse-de-savasiriz?page=2.

Devlet Bahçeli, April 5, 2016

Urged the government to “level Nusaybin to ground and leave no one alive” during anti-PKK fighting in the city.Tom Stevenson, “Analysis: The Growing Strength of Turkey’s Ultra-Nationalists,” Middle East Eye, June 2, 2016, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/analysis-growing-strength-turkeys-ultra-nationalists.

Tolga Adiguzel, local Ülkü Ocakları branch leader, June 2, 2015

“Everybody should know their place and watch their step. Do they want to try our patience with the minds of traitors from inside and out? Should we go on the hunt for Armenians on the streets of Kars?”Tom Stevenson, “Analysis: The Growing Strength of Turkey’s Ultra-Nationalists,” Middle East Eye, June 2, 2016, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/analysis-growing-strength-turkeys-ultra-nationalists.

Banner hung outside of multiple Ülkü Ocakları buildings in 2015

“We crave Chinese blood.”Pinar Tremblay, “Attacks on Chinese escalate in Turkey,” Al-Monitor, July 20, 2015, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2015/07/turkey-china-random-violence-become-norm-in-lgbt.html.

Devlet Bahçeli, July 8, 2015

“Our nationalist youth is sensitive to injustices in China. They should have the freedom to exercise their democratic rights. These are young kids. They may have been provoked. Plus, how are you going to differentiate between Korean and Chinese? They both have slanted eyes. Does it really matter?”Pinar Tremblay, “Attacks on Chinese Escalate in Turkey,” Al-Monitor, July 20, 2015, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2015/07/turkey-china-random-violence-become-norm-in-lgbt.html.

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