The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack by the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in southeast Turkey, which killed 9 Turkish soldiers and wounded another 61.
The ATAA further urges the immediate passage of Senate Resolution 486 that condemns the PKK terrorist organization.
The PKK is a terrorist organization according to the laws of the United States, Turkey and western European countries. In 2010, the United States Supreme Court held in the Humanitarian Law Project case that any type of support to the PKK constitutes a violation of United States anti-terror laws. The US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held in the Parlak case that the PKK was a racist organization that persecutes people who are not Kurdish as well as Kurds who do not support the PKK’s political agenda. The US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit held in the Ozdemir case that Turkey’s military and police actions against the PKK are not ethnic-based and that they constitute legitimate anti-terror operations.
Since 1984, the PKK has caused the deaths of over 35,000 people, including Americans. The PKK has caused billions of dollars of property damage in Turkey and other countries. The PKK claims to represent Kurds, but includes a sliver of roughly 5000 radicals and militants.
Mainstream Turkish citizens of Kurdish heritage, who contribute to Turkey’s rich diversity of over 30 ethnic groups and 75 million people, do not support the PKK and do not support violence. There has never been apartheid, segregation, or statute based discrimination against Turkish citizens of Kurdish heritage. The vast majority of Turkish Kurds have integrated with the diverse ethnicity of Turkey and significantly contribute to Turkey’s economic, political, and cultural strengths.
ATAA welcomes these US court decisions, Senate Resolution 486, as well as the application of the rule of law to bring all terrorists to justice. The ATAA supports greater cooperation between the United States and Turkey to combat international terrorism, including the PKK.
The ATAA expresses it highest respect to these 9 Turkish soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom in Turkey and global peace. The ATAA expresses its deepest sympathies to the families of these soldiers and the people of Turkey, and wishes them strength, patience and determination.
The ATAA, representing over 60 local chapters and 500,000 Turkish Americans throughout the United States, serves locally and nationwide to develop an informed and empowered Turkish American community, and to support strong U.S.-Turkish relations. The ATAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed under the laws of the District of Columbia. To learn more about ATAA, please visit us at www.ataa.org