The House of Representatives has passed numerous amendments for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including one that requires U.S. State Department to prepare a report on Turkish ultranationalist group Grey Wolves, to decide whether to designate the group as a terrorist organisation.
According to the final amendment, US State Department’s report will study “on the activities of the Grey Wolves organisation (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.”
The Grey Wolves’ origin can be found in the youth wing of today’s National Movement Party (MHP). The Grey Wolves have been linked to criminal violence across Turkey, primarily against leftist groups during the 1970s. MHP is currently in the ruling coalition, which is led by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party.
The news is first reported by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), a pro-Armenian lobbying and advocacy group, which has been working to pass the amendment.
The U.S. Senate is expected to consider its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) over the next month, and if the Senate adapts the amendment with the rest of the NDAA budget, the bill will go to President Joe Biden’s desk.
A determination as to whether the Grey Wolves meet the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organisation will be made according to the report, which should be prepared within 180 days, the amendment requires. If the Secretary of State concludes that Grey Wolves does not meet the condition to be designated as a terrorist organisation, the amendment asks the Department to detail its reasoning.
U.S. Representative Dina Titus proposed an amendment last week to the Fiscal Year 2022 NDAA to ban the group. France similarly announced last year that it would ban the Turkish ultranationalist group, after Austria’s barring of the Grey Wolves sign in 2018. The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned those decisions and asked both countries to reverse them.