Jan 18 2018

“Turkey’s NATO membership should be questioned,” Republican senator says

The decline in Turkey’s human rights record, and its planned purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defence system are causing some U.S. lawmakers to question the country’s NATO membership, U.S. public broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) reported.

Ben Sasse, a Republican senator for Nebraska, was quoted by VOA as saying that Turkey’s freedom record “had been turned upside down”. He spoke during a panel hosted by Washington D.C.-based conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute.

Sasse said, in comments translated by Ahval from VOA's Turkish news service:

(Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan used the war on Turkey’s borders and the failed coup attempt to extend and intensify his control over all political life; he has limited the ability of freedom advocates to operate in the country, outside of those inside the government.

Speaking of the S-400s, he said: “The continuation of Turkey’s NATO membership should be questioned.”