While the world has already forgotten of the well-known terrorist organization of Turkish origin “Grey Wolves”, they seem to restart their activities this time in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict (September 27, 2020 – ongoing). Recently, on October 4th, 2020, Hikmet Hajiyev, the assistant to the President of Azerbaijan had an oversight in publishing a photo proving Turkish army presence in Azerbaijan, mainly their direct involvement in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.
Close examination of of those photos showed that those are not (or not only) Turkish army members, but members of an internationally banned (including in Azerbaijan) terrorist organization that was previously involved in many scandalous attacks and bombings worldwide. Mainly, the symbol that can be seen on the uniform of the soldier is the mixture of Turkish flag with the slogan of the Grey Wolves “One dies, we resurrect a thousand” (in Turkish – Bir ölür, Bin diriliriz!).
The Grey Wolves adhere to an extreme form of Turkish nationalism and have been characterized as neo-fascist. Their ideology is based on a “superiority” of the Turkish “race” and the Turkish nation, they are hostile to all non-Turkish or non-Sunni elements within Turkey (Kurds, Alevis, Armenians, Greeks, basically any Christians, and Jews).
The Grey Wolves were involved in numerous assassinations of left-wing and liberal activists, intellectuals, labor organizers, Kurds, officials, and journalists. Below we provide only a few of the Grey Wolves terrorist attacks documented so far:
Attack on Chinese – In the pursue to destabilize the Chinese political environment and to make one step closer to the greatest Turkish dream – ‘One Turkic State’ – gathering over 400 millions Turks in one land, the Grey Wolves targeted the Uyghurs, Muslim Turkic minorities concentrated in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, and also began actively supporting the East Turkestan independence movement. In this context, the Grey Wolves’ Europe-based bands initiated several attacks on Chinese tourists in the Netherlands.
Bangkok bombing – There are evidences of the Grey Wolves involvement in the deadly 2015 Bangkok bombing
where not less than 20 people were killed and more than 100 severely injured. The terrorist attack is believed to have been carried out due to Thailand’s deportation of Uyghur terrorist suspects back to China instead of allowing them to travel to Turkey for asylum. A man with fake Turkish passports using the name Adem Karadag was arrested by the Thai police in connection to the bombing and bomb making materials found in his apartment.
Chechnya war -Members of the Grey Wolves fought on the Chechen separatist side during the First Chechen War (1994–1996) and the Second Chechen War (1999–2000). The are evidences of Azerbaijani Grey Wolves participation in the fight against Russia. In January 1995 Kommersant cited the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) in stating that the Azerbaijani Grey Wolves sent 80 fighters to Chechnya. Another 270 fighters went to Chechnya in December of that year.
Pope murder attempt (Vatican) – On May 13, 1981 Mehmet Ali Ağca, who claimed to be a member or the Grey Wolves, attempted to murder Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square. Unfortunately, the masterminds either were not identified, or were not published so that to avoid any tension between Europe and Turkey, so the organization’s main role remains unclear till our days.
Nagorno-Karabakh war – This is when allegedly for the first time the Azerbaijani Grey Wolves organization appear on the fore-stage. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988–1994), Grey Wolves members fought on the Azerbaijani side against Armenians. In 1993, Azerbaijani Interior Minister Isgandar Hamidov established the National Democratic Party, which was known as Boz Qurd (“Grey Wolves”), and is believed to be the founder and leader of the Azerbaijani Grey Wolves in 1993-1995
And this is just the tiny bit of their atrocities committed during the period of their existence and that was researched, documented and publicly highlighted. There are also allegations of strong ties with not only the Turkish Government (which wouldn’t be of much surprise to anyone), but with NATO. In late 1970s, former military prosecutor and Turkish Supreme Court Justice Emin Değer documented collaboration between the Grey Wolves, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Counter-Guerrilla, the Turkish stay-behind anti-communist organization organised under NATO‘s Operation Gladio, a plan for guerrilla warfare in case of a communist takeover. Martin Lee writes that the Counter-Guerrilla supplied weapons to the Grey Wolves, while according to Tim Jacoby, the CIA transferred guns and explosives to Grey Wolves units through an agent in the 1970s.
If more proofs of Grey Wolves activities in Azerbaijan, especially in the ongoing conflict between Artsakh (aka Nagorno-Karabakh) and Azerbaijan are gathered, Azerbaijan, being a state that fully banned the Grey Wolves in the country as being a terrorist group, will have to pay a big price.