Turkey Thanks Bush for Support Against Terrorist Organization
By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2004 Turkey's prime minister reinforced his country's commitment to the war on terror today, and he thanked President Bush for adding another alias of a group operating in his country to the U.S. State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bush spoke to reporters briefly after a morning meeting, Erdogan's second visit to the Oval Office. They were scheduled to continue their meeting over lunch.
The Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the PKK, and various aliases the organization uses the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress, or KADEK, for example already were on the list. Erdogan specifically thanked the president for adding another alias the Kurdistan People's Congress, known as "Kongra- Gel" to the list. The organization is involved in drug trafficking and acts of terrorism in Turkey, and it frequently changes its name, according to various State Department references.
"It's very obvious where Turkey stands in the fight against terrorism that needs to be mutual and international, especially in the aftermath of what happened on Sept. 11," Erdogan said through an interpreter. "We are in a common effort to fight terrorism here. And we share the same views regarding our strategic partnership in restructuring Iraq."
Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, Coalition Provisional Authority administrator in Iraq, issued a related statement today in Baghdad.
"President Bush has committed to end the use of Iraq as a terrorist haven," Bremer's statement said. "The Kurdistan Workers Party and its aliases, the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress and the Kurdistan People's Congress are terrorist organizations that have been designated as such under U.S. law.
"The Coalition Provisional Authority, coalition forces and Iraqi security forces will treat the PKK/KADEK/Kongra-Gel as terrorists. There is no place for terrorism or terrorist organizations in the new Iraq."
When the State Department designates a group as a foreign terrorist organization, it's against the law for someone in the United States or under U.S. jurisdiction to provide funds or other material support to the group. Representatives and certain members of the group, if they are aliens, can be denied visas or can be excluded from the United States.
U.S. financial institutions must block funds of designated organizations and their agents, and must report the blockage to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.