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(GEN) COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION A KEY ELEMENT OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH TURKEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2009 (TUR) -- Counterterrorism cooperation is a key element of the USA's strategic partnership with Turkey, a report by the U.S. Department of State said on Thursday.

U.S. Department of State released Country Reports on Terrorism for 2008 and said in the part on Turkey that "domestic and transnational terrorist groups have targeted Turkish nationals and foreigners in Turkey, including, on occasion, USG personnel, for more than 40 years. Terrorist groups that operated in Turkey have included Kurdish nationalists, al-Qa'ida (AQ), Marxist-Leninist, and pro-Chechen groups."

"Turkish terrorism law defines terrorism as attacks against Turkish citizens and the Turkish state; this definition may hamper Turkey's ability to interdict, arrest, and prosecute those who plan and facilitate terrorist acts to be committed outside of Turkey," the report said.

It said, "Turkish National Police and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) conducted a successful series of raids against suspected AQ-affiliated terrorists."

The report said most prominent among terrorist groups in Turkey was PKK and it operated from bases in northern Iraq and directed its forces to target mainly Turkish security forces. "In 2006, 2007, and 2008, PKK violence claimed hundreds of Turkish lives," it said.

The report said, "the Turkish government has proposed a number of reforms to its counterterrorism and intelligence structure including increasing civilian control of counterterrorism operations and improving civil-military cooperation in CT efforts. The reform proposals predated 2008, but were given a sharper focus following the October 4 Aktutun attack."

"Turkey has consistently supported Coalition efforts in Afghanistan. Turkey has over 800 troops as well as a military training team in Kabul, a civilian Provincial Reconstruction Team in Wardak Province, and has undertaken training of Afghan police officials, politicians, and bureaucrats in Turkey," it said.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:May 1, 2009
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