Three people have been killed and more than two dozen others injured in recent bomb attacks in several Turkish cities, including Istanbul and the resort town of Antalya. The Kurdistan Liberation Hawks, believed to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party, or P-K-K terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the bombings. U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey commented on the attacks:
“We obviously condemn the P-K-K-sponsored attacks that have occurred in Turkey. . . .This has resulted in numerous injuries and several deaths. Clearly this is an unacceptable practice. The P-K-K needs to stop all hostile actions against the Turkish people, and we strongly stand with our friends and allies in Turkey in saying no not only to P-K-K acts of violence but all forms of terrorism.”
Since 1984, more than thirty-thousand people have been killed in P-K-K violence. 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.
Retired Air Force general Joseph Ralston has been appointed U.S. Special Envoy for Countering the P-K-K. General Ralston will be responsible for U.S. cooperation with Turkey and Iraq against the P-K-K and other terrorist groups operating in northern Iraq and across the Turkey-Iraq border. State Department deputy spokesman Casey says General Ralston’s appointment is significant:
“This reiterates the commitment that we have to working with Turkey and working with the government of Iraq to end the threat posed by P-K-K terrorism resulting from northern Iraq or from any other place.”
In a written statement, Turkey’s foreign ministry said, “we consider the appointment [of General Ralston] an important opportunity for our current cooperation with the United States in the fight against the terrorist organization P-K-K.” Iraq’s deputy president Tarik al-Hashami said, “Iraq will not be a base for terror organizations, including the P-K-K.”
U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley says, “Turkish citizens and Turkish security forces are dying as a result of the activities of the P-K-K.” The U.S., says Mr. Hadley, recognizes the seriousness of the problem and will address it by working with Turkey and Iraq to oppose P-K-K and other terrorists.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.