Senate saves US honor with bipartisan bill to sanction Turkey

A pair of U.S. senators jointly announced Wednesday they have reached agreement on an outline for bipartisan legislation that would impose sweeping sanctions on Turkey and its senior leaders.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, has been a vocal critic of Ankara’s ongoing Operation Peace Spring and announced he was working on the sanctions legislation alongside Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen prior to the operation’s formal launch.

“While the Administration refuses to act against Turkey, I expect strong bipartisan support,” Graham said in a statement.

The legislation’s framework, previewed by the senators in a pair of pictures posted to Twitter, includes sanctions on Turkey’s top officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vice President Fuat Oktay, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The Treasury and Finance, Trade, and Energy and Natural Resources Ministers would also be blacklisted.

The bill would further prohibit military sales to Turkey, as well as U.S. military assistance to the Turkish Armed Forces, and would target Turkey’s energy sector.

Sanctions would also be imposed on Turkey for its purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-air missile system.

If passed, all of the penalties would be mandatory unless the administration certifies to Congress — every 90 days — that Turkey is not operating unilaterally in Syria and has withdrawn its armed forces, including Turkish supported fighters.

Congress is currently on recess, but is set to return next week.A pair of U.S. senators jointly announced Wednesday they have reached agreement on an outline for bipartisan legislation that would impose sweeping sanctions on Turkey and its senior leaders.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, has been a vocal critic of Ankara’s ongoing Operation Peace Spring and announced he was working on the sanctions legislation alongside Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen prior to the operation’s formal launch.

“While the Administration refuses to act against Turkey, I expect strong bipartisan support,” Graham said in a statement.

The legislation’s framework, previewed by the senators in a pair of pictures posted to Twitter, includes sanctions on Turkey’s top officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vice President Fuat Oktay, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The Treasury and Finance, Trade, and Energy and Natural Resources Ministers would also be blacklisted.

The bill would further prohibit military sales to Turkey, as well as U.S. military assistance to the Turkish Armed Forces, and would target Turkey’s energy sector.

Sanctions would also be imposed on Turkey for its purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-air missile system.

If passed, all of the penalties would be mandatory unless the administration certifies to Congress — every 90 days — that Turkey is not operating unilaterally in Syria and has withdrawn its armed forces, including Turkish supported fighters.

Congress is currently on recess, but is set to return next week.