WASHINGTON, DC – On July 14th, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a defense authorization measure including a key Turkey sanctions provision – spearheaded by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Dave Trott’s (R-MI) – going on record officially opposing a $1.2 million sale of U.S. semi-automatic handguns to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security detail, in response to their May 16th attack on peaceful protesters in Washington, DC, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“Congress took an important step toward Turkey sanctions today by adopting the Trott Amendment, officially putting the U.S. House on record, in a defense authorization measure, against a proposed sale of semi-automatic handguns to the very same Turkish presidential security detail that attacked American protesters in Washington, DC in May of this year,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “The era of American officials overselling Ankara is clearly coming to a close.”
“Over the past few months, we’ve seen our NATO allies take extraordinary steps against Turkey, and it’s time for the State Department to do the same,” said Rep. Trott. “We need to block this arms sale and once and for all point a finger in Erdogan’s chest and tell him that a strategic location does not place Turkey above the law.” Rep. Trott went on to note that, “just two months ago, Erdogan’s henchmen, with him complacently observing just feet away, launched a brutal attack on peaceful protesters exercising their first amendment rights. A notorious oppressor of basic human rights and freedom, Erdogan imported his nefarious attitudes to our nation’s capital. While Erdogan’s thugs may run unchecked in Ankara, this is the United States of America and this is totally unacceptable. I am proud my colleagues from both sides of the aisle have come together to declare Turkey will no longer compromise our democratic values.”
In an op/ed printed in The Armenian Weekly on July 15th, Rep. Trott noted, “We have let Turkey off the hook for too long. Thankfully, my amendment to stop this arms sale to Turkey passed the House of Representatives unanimously.”