US House Foreign Affairs Committee approves resolution condemning Turkey over Washington violence

US House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a resolution condemning Turkey over the violence against peaceful protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017, and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Spokesperson of the Turkish foreign ministry, Amb. Hüseyin Müftüoğlu has reacted against the resolution voted in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the US on Thursday and repeated Turkey’s official narrative on the violent attacks by the security details of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to peaceful protestors and accused of American security officials to not take necessary measures during Erdoğan’s visit to Washington DC.

Müftüoğlu stated that “The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives today (May 25th) hastily voted and passed a one-sided resolution which distorts the facts. We reject the said resolution. The incident that took place in front of the Turkish Ambassador’s Residence during the visit of President Erdoğan to Washington D.C., was caused as a result of the refusal of US authorities to take necessary security measures, despite repeated official warnings.”

“There is no answer to the question why the US authorities did not take tight security measures in front of the Ambassador’s Residence as they did in other stages of the visit. Likewise, no explanation has so far been provided for the incident that took place afterwards in front of the Chancery, caused by extreme and aggressive actions of the US security authorities and was officially protested by our Ministry,” said Müftüoğlu.

He added that “Further advancement of this resolution in the legislative process with a view to changing the basis will not help the settlement of the matter. We would like to keep our hope that the developments regarding this matter, which we will be following closely, will not overshadow the visit which we consider was productive.”

Turkish President Erdoğan should never be allowed to visit the United States again and Turkey’s ambassador in Washington should be expelled were some of the strong comments made during a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Thursday concerning violence perpetrated by Erdoğan’s bodyguards on protestors outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence last week.

Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the US House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats

“To have the president of another country who watched his bully boys beat Americans into the ground and bloody them and for him to protest our people, that is the supreme insult,” said Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, in his opening statement. “We don’t need people like you visiting the United States any more.”

“When we want to talk to the Turks, we want to talk to Turks who want to have a democratic society, and not to their oppressor, a man who is trying to create Islamofascism in his own country with him as the head fascist. … Erdoğan should never again be invited to the United States. He is an enemy of everything we stand for, and more importantly, he is the enemy of his own people.”

Demonstrators protesting the policies of President Erdoğan, who was visiting Washington for a White House meeting with Donald Trump last Thursday, were countered by agitated supporters of the Turkish head of state and subsequently attacked by the Turkish president’s bodyguards, footage of the incident shows. Another video clip shows Erdoğan apparently giving the order for his security detail to attack the protesters and watching it unfold outside the ambassador’s residence on Sheridan Circle.

Saying that the incident fits a pattern of broader political violence and suppression that has come to characterize the current Turkish government both at home and abroad, the chairman made reference to a similar incident last year when Erdoğan was speaking at the Brookings Institution, at which time his bodyguards attacked protesters and journalists trying to cover the event. “The repressive and authoritarian nature of the Erdoğan government has been developing … right in front of our eyes,” he said.

Rohrabacher accused the “supposed leader” of Turkey of declaring that the longstanding US-Turkish friendship is over and that his people no longer have democratic rights, calling it “totally unacceptable.”

“One has to wonder why President Erdoğan felt so emboldened that in the bright DC sunshine, in front of cameras and hundreds of people, he sent his attack dogs out,” said Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, faulting the reduced emphasis on human rights by the current US administration.

Calling the incident “an attack on American sovereignty,” Rep Brad Sherman of California said: “The actions of those thugs have been compounded by the lies of the Turkish ambassador … and he should be asked to leave our country immediately.”

A resolution condemning Turkey for the attack on Americans on US soil has been introduced in the House of Representatives and is expected to be voted on in early June. (SCF with May 25, 2017

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