US Senators Call for Stronger Position on Human Rights Abuses in Turkey


Several prominent US senators, including Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), introduced Turkey’s Promotion of Human Rights Act, a law that aims to hold Turkey accountable for abuses that have escalated since 2016. In the same Meanwhile, Turkey continues to target and harass minorities at home and abroad and jail people for petty crimes. Turkey last week arrested two people for dancing in a video, accusing them of insulting the state by mocking the Turkish passport. Turkey has established a new military base in Iraq and Turkish-backed extremists in Syria continue to threaten the Kurds, Yazidis and Christians. . Ankara is moving closer to Russia, China and Iran and is part of a growing authoritarian axis of countries hostile to the United States. This despite the fact that Ankara is apparently a member of NATO and was historically an ally of the United States. The government of Turkey, under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has embarked on a brazen campaign to silence journalists, political opponents, dissidents, civil society. activists and minorities in Turkish society, as well as targeting Turkish citizens outside its borders, ”the senators said in a press release. “This legislation makes it clear that the United States should use its considerable influence with this NATO ally to prevent a further erosion of the hard-fought democratic progress in Turkey.” Markey and Senator Jeff Wyden (D-Oregon) “introduced Turkey for the first time. Human Rights Promotion Act in 2017, and again in 2019, ”Markey’s office said in a statement. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) joined his colleagues. “President Erdogan‘s free pass to Trump’s White House to commit abuse has officially expired,” said Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The United States will again speak forcefully and take action to hold the Erdogan government accountable for its campaign to silence the opposition by censoring social media, cracking down on free speech and locking up critics,” did he declare. “This legislation makes it clear that President Biden must use all diplomatic tools to signal – unequivocally – that the United States is siding with journalists, activists and civil society leaders, and will oppose Turkish officials who rule or bear “Senators insist on harsh language on Turkey after years of Ankara threatening America, and US administrations tend to appease Turkey.” The authoritarian Turkish government has flouted the rights of journalists, political rivals and ordinary citizens who dare to criticize President Erdogan, ”Wyden said. “Senators Markey, Merkley and I renew our call for accountability because America cannot stand idly by while its partners and allies systematically violate fundamental freedoms.” The legislation calls on the secretary of state to support civil society organizations in Turkey. In recent years, Ankara has crushed all dissent and jailed most critical journalists. Ankara has also taken control of most independent media and is using its power to turn state media, such as TRT, into the propaganda outlets of the ruling AK party. In this regard, Turkey now has less media debates than Iran. In addition, LGBT protesters have been criticized by the government, students are labeled “terrorists” and May Day protesters were greeted with tear gas and police batons. those who support the journalistic profession. “They also want Ankara” to end the indiscriminate detention and prosecution of lawyers, judges and prosecutors, and fulfill its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), European Convention on Rights rights, and Turkey’s other international human rights obligations. This legislation is more likely to progress. The Trump administration has been deeply supportive of Turkey, including key elements of the State Department, some of whom often sided with Turkey in talks and continued after leaving office to defend Turkey. Indeed, Turkey has an active and deep lobby in the United States that has worked with former and current American diplomats for years, convincing some of them to side with Ankara on issues such as denial. of the Armenian genocide. even attempted to influence the US military through ties to NATO and across Europe. He is also trying to mobilize Islamist extremists in Germany, France and other countries. These networks have influence, but Ankara’s influence in the United States appears to be waning. The days when American academics were afraid to even mention the Armenian genocide for fear that Ankara would use its funding from American universities to crush dissent in the United States may be coming to an end.


About William Ferguson

Check Also

Will Russia and Turkey’s proxy wars spiral out of control?

The history of the Ottomans and the Russians is ancient. The long list of conflicts …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.