Rep. Keating Leads Call For Dialogue With Turkey on Rule of Law

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March 27, Washington, D.C. – Representative William Keating (MA) and 4 other members of the U.S. Congress wrote an open letter to the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in which they urge the Secretary to redouble the State Department’s efforts to engage Turkey in matters regarding freedom of the press, civil society and the rule of law. While Representative Keating, who sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is the Ranking Member on the subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, took the lead during the making of the letter, it was signed by the Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Ed Royce (CA); Ranking Member of the same committee, Rep. Eliot Engel (NY); member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Thomas J. Rooney (FL); and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith (WA) as well.

The letter said “[the]detention of hundreds of individuals during President Erdogan’s time in office and conspiratorial ‘national security’ -related charges have highlighted the diminishing space in which independent media and civil society are allowed to operate.” This, coupled with the fact that the Grand National Assembly of Turkey is considering a security bill which would broaden police powers significantly, led the above-mentioned members of Congress to urge Secretary Kerry to continue reiterating the importance of the rule of law, freedom of the press and civil society when the State Department engages its Turkish counterparts.

The letter in its form as presented to Secretary John Kerry is available here.

 

 

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