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Conservative Review

Erdogan is out of control. Time to rethink US-Turkey relations

The leader of our NATO “ally” in Turkey stood by, without a care in the world, as his goons recently carried out a violent onslaught on innocent demonstrators in our nation’s capital. But he has somehow avoided any and all fault (or even a mere formal rebuke) for the barbarous actions carried out by his security detail against peaceful protesters.

A D.C. court announced Tuesday that bodyguards for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — an Islamic authoritarian strongman who continues to rule his country without regard for basic human rights — have been charged for the May attack on peaceful demonstrators protesting against the Ankara regime.

Nineteen individuals, including 15 members of Erdogan’s security detail, were indicted by a grand jury Tuesday. All 19 individuals named in the violent incident have been charged with conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, which the U.K. Daily Mail reports is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison. Others were charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

The indictment labeled all 19 individuals as “members and associates of a group of political allies - security personnel and supporters” of the Turkish president. D.C. police have already issued arrest warrants for the Turkish bodyguards involved in the incident.

Even though there is plentiful video evidence, the Turkish government continues to argue that the security detail was acting in “self-defense.”

The perpetrators are long gone and will likely never have to answer for their crimes. Unless they come back to U.S. territory (highly doubtful), the U.S. government has almost no legal means to bring them to justice, other than to formally request their extradition with Turkish authorities. As of this writing, that has not happened.

Yet, given that it was Erdogan himself that appears to have ordered the attack, shouldn’t the Turkish president be the person under scrutiny? Unfortunately, instead of reprimanding the unhinged Erdogan, the Trump administration (and administrations before it) have taken pains to mend U.S.-Turkey relations.

The alliance with the increasingly authoritarian state continues to give America headaches, both at home and abroad.

On Tuesday, Turkish-backed rebels fired at U.S. troops in Syria, just one week after Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly promised to help Turkey in its campaign against Kurdish rebels.

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