Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bush Pledges Unity with Turkey Against PKK

President Bush has pledged his support in Turkey's fight against the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considering a major cross-border military attack against PKK units operating from bases in northern Iraq. The two leaders met at the White House on Monday. VOA's Robert Raffaele has more.

President Bush told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan that they were united in their efforts against the PKK.

Mr. Bush said the United States, Iraq and Turkey plan to improve intelligence sharing against the Kurdish insurgents. "PKK is a terrorist organization. They are an enemy of Turkey, they are an enemy of Iraq and they are an enemy of the United States."

With Turkish troops gathered along the Iraqi border, Mr. Erdogan says his government has already given its approval for a cross-border raid on the PKK. He faces increasing public pressure to strike back, after Kurdish attacks in the past month killed at least 40 people in Turkey.

Mr. Erdogan argued that the PKK threat must be eliminated, to protect the entire region.

"It is my wish that this work that we do take up jointly will yield results in the shortest time possible. Because this is also important for stability of Iraq itself, and the stability of northern Iraq. Because their stability is our stability," he said.

The Bush administration has urged Turkey not to launch an incursion, fearing it could destabilize northern Iraq.

Since 1984, the PKK has waged a violent campaign for a Kurdish homeland that has left more than 30,000 dead.