100 and seventy bipartisan members of the US Home of Representatives addressed a letter to the State Division urging the Biden administration to carry the Turkish authorities accountable for “human rights violations” happening in the US. NATO nations.
In a letter Despatched on February 26, however made public on Monday, lawmakers referred to as on the Turkish president particularly for “democratic setback,” asking the Biden administration to be extra involved with Turkey’s home points.
“ President Erdogan has strained relations between our nations ”
– Letter despatched from dwelling to the State Division
“Because the Biden administration formulates its overseas coverage in direction of Turkey, we name on you to make each effort to deal with the disturbing human rights violations perpetrated underneath President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” reads the letter.
“Turkey has lengthy been a key ally of the US. Sadly, President Erdogan has strained relations between our nations,” he continued. “Strategic points have rightly acquired vital consideration in our bilateral relations, however the blatant violation of human rights and democratic setback in Turkey are additionally a matter of main concern.”
Whereas a major variety of Home members, Republicans and Democrats, signed the letter, official leaders of each events shunned collaborating. Signatories, nevertheless, included Representatives Greg Meeks, the Democratic chairman of the Home Overseas Affairs Committee, and Michael McCaul, the main Republican member of the group.
A frayed relationship
A couple of days earlier than the letter was despatched, Erdogan published a video handle on Twitter, the place he insisted that the frequent pursuits of Turkey and the US outweighed their variations. The Turkish president confused that Turkey desires to enhance cooperation with Washington “on a win-win foundation”.
However relations have frayed over a number of points in recent times, together with Purchase from Turkey Russian S-400 missile protection system and US assist for the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, which Turkey qualifies as a terrorist group.
The White Home and Congress have repeatedly expressed issues about rights and freedoms in latest weeks.
Upon taking workplace, the Biden administration shortly berated Turkey, urging release by distinguished civil society chief Osman Kavala. The administration additionally criticized homophobic rhetoric in a crackdown on scholar protesters.
Turkey-US relations: a tough street to journey
Within the February letter, lawmakers highlighted such circumstances, accusing Erdogan and his occasion of weakening the Turkish justice system, putting in political allies in key navy and intelligence positions, and wrongly imprisoning. political opponents, journalists and members of minority teams.
“Since 2016, greater than 80,000 Turkish residents have been imprisoned or arrested and greater than 1,500 non-governmental organizations have been closed to suppress political opposition,” the lawmakers wrote.
Additionally they underlined “uncertain” criminal charges towards three Turkish employees employed by the US State Division, urging the administration to prioritize their circumstances, together with “their instant launch and dismissal of all prices.”
“Whereas it’s in our mutual curiosity that the US and Turkey stay strategic allies and mend the divisions between us, we consider that modifications within the habits of President Erdogan and his occasion are important to see this relationship restored. The lawmakers wrote.
“We hope that the State Division underneath your management and the Biden administration extra broadly will elevate human rights and democratic issues again into our bilateral relations.”