(November 11, 2019 / JNS) Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Monday called on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “immediately” expel the bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who beat U.S. citizens protesting his White House visit in 2017, ahead of another visit scheduled for Wednesday.
Fifteen of the Turkish leader’s security guards were charged with charges against 11 of them being dropped in March 2018. Two Turkish-American collaborators were sentenced to one year and a day behind bars the following month.
According to Turkish officials, U.S. President Donald Trump apologized to Erdoğan following the charges. The White House has denied this.
“This behavior is sadly routine for President Erdoğan on Turkish soil,” wrote Cheney, chairwoman of the House Republican Caucus, in a letter first reported by The Washington Examiner. “It is wrong and disturbing there, and it is an affront to American values and entirely unwelcome here. The Erdoğan regime’s use of violence against innocent civilians anywhere is inhumane, uncivilized and unacceptable.”
Protests against Erdoğan are expected to take place ahead of his visit this week to Washington, D.C
Last month, the United States abruptly withdrew U.S. troops from northeastern Syria following a phone call between Trump and Erdoğan in what many have criticized as a betrayal of Kurdish allies by giving the go-ahead for Turkey to invade that part of the country. Trump backtracked and said a small U.S. military presence will remain in Syria to protect the region’s oil.
The United States will keep between 500 and 600 troops in the country, announced the top U.S. military officer on Sunday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
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