- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On the night of Oct. 19, militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) staged a terrorist attack against the Turkish armed forces, killing 24 and wounding 18 servicemen. The four-hour assault took place in eight remote locations in the Yuksekova and Cukurca districts of the Hakkari province of Turkey, near its border with Iraq.

The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, Turkey and other nations. Since the 1980s, more than 30,000 people have been killed in terrorist attacks launched by the PKK against Turkey. While it claims to represent interests of Turkey’s Kurdish-speaking minority, the PKK’s separatist claims, compounded by its terrorist agenda, have been strongly rejected by the absolute majority of Turkish Kurds. The latter have been closely integrated into the diverse cultural landscape of Turkey as well as its economic and political structure.

Describing this latest attack as outrageous, President Obama stated that the United States will continue to cooperate with the Turkish government to “defeat the terrorist threat from the PKK and to bring peace, stability and prosperity to all the people of southeast Turkey.” Likewise, the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, condemned the “shameful terrorist attacks in Turkey by the PKK in the strongest terms.”

I join the members of the Pax Turcica Institute and all Turkish-Americans in condemning the PKK terror and offering condolences to the families of victims. I also call upon the U.S. government to step up its military and intelligence cooperation with Turkey to assist in the elimination of the terrorist hide-outs in northern Iraq and the PKK’s illicit support channels abroad.

CEM KARABEKIR

Bethesda