President George W. Bush met with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House. Mr. Bush said they talked about a common concern: the Kurdistan Workers Party, or P.K.K.:
“P.K.K. is a terrorist organization. They’re an enemy of Turkey, they’re an enemy of Iraq, and they’re an enemy of the United States. . . .We talked about the need to have better intelligence-sharing. In order to chase down people who murder people, you need good intelligence.”
Mr. Bush said he and Turkey’s prime minister discussed ways and means of improving communication between the U.S. armed forces and Turkey’s military:
“To this end, the prime minister and I have set up a tripartite arrangement, for his number-two man in the military to stay in touch with our number-two man and General [David] Petraeus [commander of the multi-national force in Iraq].”
Mr. Erdogan said the U.S. and Turkey are “strategic partners” in the fight against terrorism. "We are working not just to fight against terrorism," he said. We’re working together to establish peace in the world in general."
In its latest report on terrorism, the U.S. State Department says more than three-thousand terrorists of the Kurdistan Workers Party are in northern Iraq. From there, the P.K.K. coordinates attacks in the predominantly ethnic Kurdish areas of southeastern Turkey and provides logistical support to forces that launch attacks into Turkey. In an effort to stop the attacks, Turkey and Iraq recently signed an agreement to disrupt terrorist financial and logistical support, capture and extradite terrorists, and counteract terrorist propaganda.
Mr. Bush said the U.S. is committed to working closely with Turkey and Iraq to stop P.K.K. terrorists:
“I’ve assured the prime minister that we’re working very carefully and closely with people in the Kurdish part of Iraq to help deal with the movement of these people; to help locate and find and stop the leadership of the P-K-K from continuing doing what they’re doing.”
President Bush said it is in the interest of the U.S., Iraq, and Turkey “to work effectively” to deal with P.K.K. terrorism.