Do Turkey’s Grey Wolves deserve terrorist designation?

Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nevada), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) yesterday calling for accountability for the Turkish Grey Wolves. Specifically, her amendment calls on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to report about what actions Turkey’s Grey Wolves have “undertaken against US interests, allies and international partners” and to state whether the Grey Wolves meet the criteria under U.S. law to be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Such action is long overdue.

The Grey Wolves, founded in the 1960s is the paramilitary of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). While there are moderate members of the MHP, for example, former minister Oktay Vural, no such nuance exists within the Grey Wolves. In the 1970s, Turks knew them best for their street violence which they directed against either the political left or ethnic minorities: Kurds, Greeks, and Armenians. Many Grey Wolves volunteered to fight Armenians during the first Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988-94). At the time, they were responsible for some of the worst atrocities conducted against Armenian civilians and prisoners.

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