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Revolutionary Peopleís Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
a.k.a. Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi-cephesi;
a.k.a. Devrimci Sol;
a.k.a. Revolutionary Left;
a.k.a. Dev Sol;
a.k.a. Dev Sol Silahli Devrimci Birlikleri;
a.k.a. Dev Sol Sdb;
a.k.a. Dev Sol Armed Revolutionary Units

Originally formed in 1978 as Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, it was a splinter faction of the Turkish People's Liberation Party/Front. Renamed in 1994 after factional infighting, it still espouses a Marxist ideology and is virulently anti-United States and anti-NATO. The group finances its activities chiefly through armed robberies and extortion.

Since the late 1980s, has concentrated attacks against current and retired Turkish security and military officials. Began a new campaign against foreign interests in 1990. Protesting the Gulf war, it assassinated two US military contractors and wounded a US Air Force officer. Launched rockets at US Consulate in Istanbul in 1992. Assassinated prominent Turkish businessman in early 1996, which was its first significant terrorist act as DHKP/C.

The Revolutionary Peopleís Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and US. It has carried out sporadic and sometimes deadly attacks in Turkey and abroad. The DHKP-C was created in 1994 when its predecessor group, Devrimci Sol or Dev Sol, splintered after factional infighting. The group espouses an anti-US, anti-NATO, and anti-Turkish establishment ideology and has targeted US interests intermittently for several decades, including a February 2013 when a suicide bomber targeted the US Embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish security guard.

Its goals are the overthrow of the Turkish state, the removal of the US and NATO footprint from Turkey, and the abolition of one- to three-man prison cells, called F-type prisons, in Turkey. DHKP/C finances its activities chiefly through donations and extortion.

In the 1990s Dev Sol began attacking foreign interests, including US military and diplomatic personnel and facilities. DHKP/C added suicide bombings to its tactics in 2001, with successful attacks against Turkish police, in addition to improvised explosive devices and targeted assassinations. Increased attacks in 2003 probably were a reaction to Turkeyís support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Istanbul is the home of some sixty different terrorist organizations. A number of them, such as the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) and MLKP (Marxist-Leninist Community Party) are anti-western and anti-American as well as being anti-Turkish government. Over the year 2003, these groups were active in Istanbul. The DHKP/C is suspected in several bomb attacks against Turkish authorities, while MLKP is believed responsible for a number of shock/sound bombings against political party offices, consulates, and businesses.

A 2007 study found that family characteristics were a key factor in the background of members of the DHKP/C. Most of the terrorists came from poor, lower class families. Fifty-two percent of the families had more than four children. Seventy percent of the terrorist respondents stated that their family had some connection with a terrorist organization; 48 percent reported that one family member was arrested at least once because of terrorist activity. Forty-one percent of the terrorist respondents indicated they had a political affiliation with a leftist political party before they joined the DHKP/C movement.

Forty percent of the respondents had a family member or friend killed during a terrorist incident. Regarding initial contact with the DHKP/C, 32 percent indicated friends had drawn them into the organization; 24 percent said a relative had introduced them to the organization; 15 percent reported they were attracted to the terrorist organization through its publications; 7 percent stated they were introduced to the DHKP/C while in prison; and 5 percent said an umbrella association established by the DHKP/C introduced them to the organization.

Data for this study were obtained from captured DHKP/C documents that contained the results of a survey completed by potential senior members. Survey results on individuals were submitted to the leaders of the central committee of the DHKP/C in their screening of candidates being considered for senior membership that qualified them to conduct more serious terrorist activities.

Turkish press reporting suggested the death of the groupís leader, Dursun Karatas, in August 2008 initiated a leadership struggle within the organization. In 2009, DHKP/C engaged in limited operational activity against Turkish targets, followed by a lull until mid-2012 when the group resumed attacks against Turkish police targets. Following the February 2013 US Embassy attack, DHKP/C in March conducted two more attacks against Turkish government targets in Ankara, highlighting that the group remained operationally viable despite crackdowns.

The US Department of State's Rewards for Justice program offered rewards on April 2, 2014 for information on three key leaders of the terrorist organization the Revolutionary Peopleís Liberation Party/Front (in Turkish: Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi, or DHKP/C). The Department authorized rewards of up to $3 million each for information leading to the location of Musa Asoglu, Zerrin Sari, and Seher Demir Sen.

Musa Asoglu is a member of DHKP/Cís central committee, the groupís top decision-making body, and is believed to lead the groupís financial affairs and fundraising activities in Europe. Asoglu joined DHKP/C in the 1990s while a resident of the Netherlands. He reportedly inherited leadership of the group after its founding leader, Dursun Karatas, died in 2008.

Zerrin Sari is the widow of DHKP/C founder Karatas and a member of DHKP/Cís central committee. Sari is believed to currently reside in Belgium, the Netherlands, or Germany.

Seher Demir Sen participated in Dev Sol in the 1980s and joined DHKP/C after it formed in 1994. She currently serves on DHKP/Cís central committee. Sen was last known to be residing in Greece, but may have left the country due to targeted Greek counterterrorism and law enforcement activity against DHKP/C. Her current whereabouts are unconfirmed.

The DHKP-C claimed a grenade attack 01 January 2015 outside a palace that used to house the offices of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Those explosives failed to detonate.

DHKP/C claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on 06 January 2015 in Istanbul that killed a police officer and wounded another. The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front said the bombing was retribution for the death of a 15-year-old who died last year after being hit in the head during an anti-government protest in 2013. The suicide bombing Tuesday happened at a police station in Sultanahmet district, an area that is popular with tourists. It was the second targeted attack on police in a week.

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Page last modified: 07-01-2015 18:42:01 ZULU