- The Washington Times - Monday, May 2, 2011

Turkey’s defense minister said Monday that the world should treat Kurdish terrorists the way it has treated Al Qaeda, as he and other Turkish officials welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden.

“I hope that the entire world maintains the same kind of alliance that it has held against bin Laden against the PKK as well,” said Turkeys Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party by its Turkish initials.

Turkey has been in a long and violent struggle against the separatist Kurdish rebels.

Mr. Gonul noted that “Osama bin Laden harmed Turkey, too,” citing Al Qaeda’s November 2003 bombings of a bank, two synagogues, and the British consulate in Istanbul. Fifty-seven civilians were killed in the attacks.

President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also praised the U.S. raid on bin Laden.

“This shows that terrorists and terrorist group leaders in the end are caught, whether dead or alive,” Mr. Gul said.

“The most dangerous and sophisticated terrorist organization leader in the world being caught in this way should be a lesson to everyone. I am very pleased.”

Mr. Davutoglu added that the al Qaeda leader’s legacy was to defame Islam.

“Perhaps one of the most negative impacts of the extremely destructive works carried out in terms of global terror by al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden is the fact that they have been conducive to a connection being made in some way between Islam … and terror,” he said.

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