U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack issued a written statement calling on the separatist group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or P-K-K, "to cease its terrorist actions and lay down its arms."
Some four-thousand to five-thousand primarily Turkish Kurds are believed to belong to the P-K-K. Most operate out of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, where they train and conduct cross-border attacks on Turkey. Since 1984, P-K-K violence has accounted for the deaths of more than thirty-thousand Turkish security personnel, government officials, diplomats, commercial interests, and civilians. The goal of the P-K-K is to establish an independent Kurdish state in southeast Turkey, northern Iraq, and parts of Iran and Syria.
State Department spokesman McCormack says that after a lull in violence following the capture of P-K-K leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999, the P-K-K resumed its terrorism in 2004. Its attacks have claimed hundreds of lives so far in 2006. Mr. McCormack says, "this violence undermines prospects for a more democratic and secure future for the people of Turkey and the region, and also significantly sets back the aspirations of Turkey's ethnic Kurdish population that the P-K-K purports to represent."
Stephen Hadley is U.S. national security advisor:
"We have communicated to the Turks [that] we recognize the seriousness of the problem, that Turkish citizens and Turkish security forces are dying as a result of the activities of the P-K-K. We left no doubt that we view it as a terrorist organization."
For its part, says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the United States, "will work very actively with Turkey and also with the new Iraqi government to deal with this problem."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.