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Pallone Calls on President Trump to Condemn Turkish Security Forces for Attacks at Embassy

May 22, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus, sent a letter to President Trump asking his administration to condemn the attacks by Turkish security forces on protesters at the Turkish embassy.

The letter is attached and included below:

 

May 18, 2017

President Donald Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear President Trump:

On Tuesday, May 16, peaceful protesters were viciously beaten by Turkish security forces and several armed pro-Turkey demonstrators, and nine victims were hospitalized.  Two Secret Service agents were assaulted during the attack.  And today, media reports indicate the security forces have left the country.

Washington D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham described the incident as “what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protests.”  The U.S. Secret Service said that it would work to “aggressively pursue accountability for those involved in yesterday’s protests.”  The State Department said that it was communicating its concern to Turkey in the “strongest possible terms.” 

What is now needed is a clear signal from you that this type of behavior will not be tolerated, especially in light of your Administration’s support of the Erdogan regime.  In the wake of a referendum last month that consolidated President Erdogan’s power – a result which was questioned by election observers in Turkey – and included intimidation and violence toward Erdogan opponents leading up to the vote, you personally called to congratulate President Erdogan.  You have also been supportive of his efforts to suppress the Kurds in Turkey.  You met personally with Mr. Erdogan on the same morning this abuse occurred, and according to media accounts, no mention was made of Erdogan’s human rights abuses.

Neither you nor your White House staff has made any comment about the attack.  It needs to be made explicitly clear, from the highest level of our government, that bullying and brutality towards peaceful protesters will not be tolerated in this country – even from visiting heads of state.  It also needs to be assured that your White House staff will comply fully with efforts to identify Turkish security forces who violated U.S. law, and allow justice to be pursued unfettered.

Our Constitution guarantees the freedom of assembly and speech.  Those rights cannot be trampled by an abusive foreign leader or his security personnel.  I look forward to a more robust response from your Administration on this incident, and I thank you for your consideration.

 

                                                     Sincerely,                         

                                                      FRANK PALLONE, JR.

                                                      MEMBER OF CONGRESS