The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Sept. 29 condemned a U.S. bill that requires the State Department to draft a report on Turkish ultranationalist group Grey Wolves, to decide whether the country should designate the group as a terrorist organization or not.
Referring to the relevant bill as “an attempt of anti-Turkey lobbies,” the Turkish ministry said that it “damages the struggle against terrorism” and “gives credit to imaginary and malevolent claims.”
"It is extremely saddening and worrying that such a request, which has unfounded accusations and does not fit our deep-rooted alliance with the United States, has even been approved by one wing of the U.S. Congress," the ministry said in its written statement, referring to the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Our expectation is that any attempt that will restrict freedom of association and expression of the Turkish community in the United States be avoided,” it said.
On Sept. 24, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including one that demands a report by the State Department on the activities of Grey Wolves.
The U.S. Senate will look at the proposed changes next month, and upon its approval, the bill will appear before President Joe Biden for his signature.
The amendment reads, the U.S. Secretary of State shall submit a “detailed report of the activities of the Grey Wolves organization (AKA Bozkurtlar & Ülkü Ocakları) undertaken against U.S. interests, allies, and international partners, including a review of the criteria met for designation as a foreign terrorist organization as set forth in section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189).”
The amendment also says that if the Secretary of State determines that the Grey Wolves do not meet the criteria to be considered as a terrorist organization, then “a detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met” should be given.
The Grey Wolves are closely linked to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) of Devlet Bahçeli, the junior coalition partner of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The group is considered to be the MHP's militant wing and caused havoc on the streets in Turkey during the 1970s and 1980s.