Skip to main content

Turkish Hizballah

Turkish Hizballah

Turkish Hizballah is a Kurdish Islamic (Sunni) extremist organization that arose in the late 1980s in the Diyarbakir area in response to Kurdistan Workers' Party atrocities against Muslims in southeastern Turkey, where (Turkish) Hizballah seeks to establish an independent Islamic state. The group comprises loosely organized factions, the largest of which are Ilim, which advocates the use of violence to achieve the group's goals, and Menzil, which supports an intellectual approach. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Turkish Hizballahwhich is unrelated to Lebanese Hizballahexpanded its target base and modus operandi from killing PKK militants to conducting low-level bombings against liquor stores, bordellos, and other establishments that the organization considered "anti-Islamic." In January 2000, Turkish security forces killed Huseyin Velioglu, the leader of (Turkish) Hizballah's Ilim faction, in a shootout at a safehouse in Istanbul. The incident sparked a year-long series of operations against the group throughout Turkey that resulted in the detention of some 2,000 individuals; authorities arrested several hundred of those on criminal charges. At the same time, police recovered nearly 70 bodies of Turkish and Kurdish businessmen and journalists that (Turkish) Hizballah had tortured and brutally murdered during the mid to late-1990's. The group began targeting official Turkish interests in January 2001, when 1020 operatives participated in the assassination of the Diyarbakir police chief.

Turkish Hizballah operates primarily in southeastern Turkeyparticularly the Diyarbakir regionand Turkish officials charge that the group receives at least some assistance, including training, from Iran. Turkish Hizballah strength is estimated at several hundred active members and several thousand supporters.



CDI (Center for Defense Information), Terrorism Project. CDI Fact Sheet: Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. March 27, 2003. <> (April 17, 2003).

Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook, 2002. <> (April 16, 2003).

Taylor, Francis X. U.S. Department of State. "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001," Annual Report: On the Record Briefing. May 21, 2002 <> (April 17,2003).

U.S. Department of State. Annual Reports. <> (April 16, 2003).


Terrorism, Philosophical and Ideological Origins
Terrorist and Para-State Organizations
Terrorist Organization List, United States
Terrorist Organizations, Freezing of Assets

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Turkish Hizballah." Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security. . 15 Jul. 2019 <>.

"Turkish Hizballah." Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security. . (July 15, 2019).

"Turkish Hizballah." Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security. . Retrieved July 15, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.