Last week, US Sen. Marco rubio, R-Fla., Teamed up with US Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oreg., By gathering more than half of the members of the US Senate by sending a letter to President Joe Biden, urging the White House to do more to push Turkey on human rights issues.
The host of Senators, which included Majority Leader in the US Senate Chuck Schumer, D-NY, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., US Sen. John cornyn, R-Texas and US Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, aimed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogans human rights record.
President Erdogans’ foreign policy has also become more belligerent and combative over time. In recent years, he has brazenly attacked US-backed Kurds fighting ISIS in Syria, he has purchased Russian air defense systems despite warnings that they are incompatible with US technology, and he has encouraged l Azerbaijan to use violence to settle a territorial dispute with Armenia, the senators wrote. . President Erdogan has also tried to pressure the United States and other countries to extradite Turkish nationals, whom he blames for the failed 2016 coup. The Erdogan government has sought to silence critics in the United States like Enes Kanter, an NBA player and human rights activist, suing his family in Turkey and giving them an INTERPOL Red Notice.
The senators also pointed out that the United States can play an important role in influencing Turkish politics.
We believe the United States must hold its allies and partners to a higher level and speak frankly with them on issues of human rights and democratic backsliding, senators wrote. We urge you to insist to President Erdogan and his administration that they must immediately end their crackdown on dissent at home and abroad, release political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and reverse their authoritarian course.
Back in early 2019, Rubio, who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, challenges the management of Recep Erdogan after meeting Kanter, a critic of the Turkish president.
Kanter, then with the New York Knicks and now with the Portland Trail Blazers, was to be in London for a match against the Washington Wizards but refused to make the trip for fear of being attacked or poisoned by Turkish spies while he was Britain. Rubio insisted that Kanter was not paranoid.
It’s a well-founded fear, said Rubio. He just informed me that last night they placed a red notice on Interpol questioning whether he could get to Canada. And I hope that the American authorities will take a step forward and ensure that he has the opportunity to travel freely to all the countries in the world with which we are allied because what he is accused of is ridiculous.
Kanter has spoken out against the Turkish president in the past, making him a persona non grata in his country.
When he spoke out against the Erdogan government, he immediately started receiving threats, Rubio said of Kanter. His travel documents, his passports have been canceled. He has been threatened, even accused of terrorism, which they define as a denunciation against the government.
Contact Kevin Derby at [email protected]
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