- ANCA, HALC, IDC Welcome Initial US Sanctions On Turkey
- Ankara Threatens to ‘Retaliate’
- Moscow Calls Sanctions ‘Illegitimate’
WASHINGTON—The Trump Administration on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey’s military procurement agency and its officers in response to Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems.
The U.S. sanctions include a ban on all U.S. export licenses and loans to Turkey’s defense procurement agency, Republic of Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB). They also freeze the assets and restrict visas of the organization’s president and three other senior officials. and an asset freeze on its president, Ismail Demir, among other government officials.
Official Ankara was swift to criticize the U.S., which said that the sanctions send “a clear signal” that U.S. will fully implement its sanctions authority “and will not tolerate significant transactions with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors.”
“We call on the United States to revise the unjust sanctions (and) to turn back from this grave mistake as soon as possible,” said the Turkish foreign ministry in a statement on Monday, adding that the sanctions “will inevitably negatively impact our relations, and (Turkey) will retaliate in a manner and time it sees appropriate,” the ministry added, according to Reuters.
Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the U.S. sanctions imposed against Turkey were illegitimate and showed arrogance toward international law, Interfax news agency reported.
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and In Defense of Christians (IDC) hailed the move.
Over the last two Congresses, ANCA, HALC and IDC have prioritized holding Turkey accountable for its violations of US and international law and its destabilizing behavior in multiple regions. The joint advocacy efforts included in person lobbying, social media campaigns, an advertisement in the New York Times, and call-in/email campaigns to members of Congress and the Trump Administration.
According to Toufic Baaklini, President and Chairman of IDC, “While we have much more work to do, today’s announcement is a welcomed U.S. response to an increasingly rogue Ankara. We look forward to continuing to ramp up the pressure in 2021”
“We join today with our HALC and IDC partners in welcoming this first step to hold Turkey accountable for its reckless conduct,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We look forward to working with our advocacy allies during the next Congress and with the incoming Biden Administration to build upon today’s actions,” added Hamparian.
“US policy on Turkey has finally shifted from appeasement to accountability,” said HALC Executive Director Endy Zemenides. “These sanctions are a positive first step and a clear signal to Ankara that it is not above the law. Yet they remain a first step. Sanctions are not the end game. Ending Turkey’s rogue state like behavior is. We remain committed to work with our partners at ANCA and IDC to ask the next Congress and the incoming Biden Administration to build on today’s development,” concluded Zemenides.
Last week, the U.S. Senate and House overwhelmingly approved the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which also called for sanctions against Turkey for their purchase of the Russian S-400s.