YEREVAN (A.W.)—Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) political affairs director Giro Manoyan expressed concern over the possibility that a source within the Turkish government leaked to a terrorist group information on the visit of an Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) member to Turkey.
“It has already been reported that Ara Nranyan, a member of the ARF faction in Armenia’s National Assembly, visited Turkey a couple of weeks before the reported conversation, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation,” Manoyan said in an interview with the Armenian Weekly. “Nranyan’s visit was not secret, but it was not a high profile visit either. So, it is possible that the information the alleged plotters had was from a source within the Turkish government.”
“We are taking the issue seriously and looking into it, trying to find out as much information as possible,” he added.
Earlier last week, Turkish security forces had provided details of plots by a Turkish terrorist group planning to assassinate ARF members visiting Turkey and attack Kurdish targets.
“The information is disturbing because it corresponds with certain facts,” said Manoyan.
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,” Manoyan explaed. “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.”
“In a country where someone like Hrant Dink, who was considered a ‘dove’ by most, was gunned down in broad daylight, we wouldn’t be surprised that a member of the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun, generally viewed in Turkey as the ‘hawks,’ would be targeted,” Manoyan noted.
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), according to the ARF Bureau press office.
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.