U.S. amendment calls for Turkish Grey Wolves to be designated as terrorists
Sep 15, 2021
U.S. Representative Dina Titus proposed an amendment this week to the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) to ban the Turkish ultranationalist group known as the Grey Wolves.
The Democrat from Nevada asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to report to the Congress within 180 days on the activities of the said group, “including a review of the criteria met for designation as a foreign terrorist organization”.
If Blinken determines that the Grey Wolves do not meet the criteria set forth for a terrorist organisation, the Congresswoman asked to see a detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met.
France announced that it would ban the Turkish ultranationalist group last November, following Austria’s barring of the Grey Wolves sign in 2018. The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned those decisions and asked both countries to reverse them.
The Grey Wolves were established in the 1970s as a nationalist youth organisation. They fought street battles with leftists prior to a military coup in 1980. The organisation is affiliated with the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an ally of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Dr. Yektan Turkyilmaz, a research fellow at the Forum for Transregional Studies in Berlin, Germany, told Ahval that in some respects, the Grey Wolves appear to have grown into another arm of a well-documented Turkish influence network across Europe. Intelligence agencies across Europe flagged the group as a cause for concern, particularly given its presence at violent rallies involving pro-Turkish demonstrators.
The Grey Wolves has become one of the strongest right-wing extremist movements in Germany, German news site Tagesschau reported, citing a report by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) released this year.
In last October, a march targeting Armenians in two French towns was orchestrated by the Grey Wolves, according to a French anti-racism group and an organisation representing France’s Armenians.