Proposed US Sanctions on Turkey

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Proposed US Sanctions on Turkey

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

US sanctions are war by other means on targeted countries. The Senate, House, and White House are preparing them on Turkey — nothing imposed so far.

They’re unrelated to Ankara’s alliance with US war on the Syrian Arab Republic, nor support by Erdogan, the US, and allied regimes for ISIS, al-Nusra, and likeminded terrorists in the country.

The Trump regime abandoned Kurdish YPG fighters in northern Syria by OKing Turkey’s cross-border aggression against them and vetoing a Security Council resolution condemning its actions.

On the one hand, the White House is OK with Turkish aggression by failing to oppose and denounce it. 

At the same time, Trump signed an executive order, authorizing Treasury Department sanctions on Turkey, secretary Mnuchin saying: “We can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to.”

A Treasury Department statement said Trump’s EO authorizes Mnuchin to sanction “designate(d) individuals and entities of the government of Turkey…”

It also lets him “impose secondary sanctions on those engaging in knowing and significant transactions with designated individuals and entities of” Turkey’s government, adding:

“(W)e will be targeting specific Turkish individuals or departments as needed. This is a notice to banks and other parties to be on notice of potential actions.”

Separately, a proposed Senate Graham-Van Hollen sanctions bill on Turkey states the following:

They’ll be ordered unless the White House certifies to Congress every 90 days that Ankara is not operating in Syria “without US support east of the Euphrates and west of the Iraqi border” — territory Washington wants control over.

Congress has no objection to Turkish aggression elsewhere in Syria, nor its support for jihadists.

Senate sanctions if imposed target Turkey’s president, vice president, war minister, foreign affairs minister, finance and trade ministers, among other senior officials.

They’ll cover military transactions between foreign nations, entities and individuals “who sell or provide financial, material, or technological support or knowingly (conduct) transactions with the Turkish military.”

They also target Turkey’s energy sector, including “any foreign person, or entity who supplies goods, services, technology, information, or other support that maintains or supports Turkey’s domestic petroleum production and natural gas production for use by its armed forces.”

Sale of US weapons, munitions, and related transactions to Turkey are prohibited.

Ankara’s legitimate purchase of Russian S-400 air defense missiles is denounced.

Visa restrictions on Turkish officials for travel to the US are imposed. Assets held by Erdogan and other senior Turkish officials in the US, if any, will be frozen.

House Foreign Relations Committee chairman Eliot Engel and ranking Republican committee member Michael McCaul said they’ll introduce similar legislation to impose sanctions on Turkey, Engel saying:

“I strongly condemn both President Erdogan’s decision to attack America’s partners in Syria and President Trump’s decision to step back and let it happen,” adding: 

“The Turkish assault on the Syrian Kurds is a gift to Russia, Iran, and ISIS, and a blow to our national security interests (sic).”

McCaul made similar remarks, along with falsely claiming Turkish aggression “will enable an ISIS resurgence” — failing to explain their fighters are US proxy foot soldiers, operating where the Pentagon and CIA send them in the Middle East and elsewhere.

In response to possible US sanctions, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said: “No one should doubt that we will respond in full against each step to the full extent of reciprocity.”

On Friday, Russia and China blocked a draft Security Council statement, saying its members “expressed deep concern over the Turkish military operation and its implications, including humanitarian and security dimensions,” adding:

“They call upon Turkey to halt its military operation and to make full use of diplomatic channels to address its security concerns.”

Russia’s UN mission website and English language media reported nothing about this action.

US and Russian UN envoys failed to denounce Turkish aggression in Syria during Thursday and Friday closed-door Security Council sessions.

Both countries vetoed an EU Security resolution, calling on Turkey “to cease unilateral military action.”

Failing to condemn its aggression showed support for what the UN Charter and other international laws strictly prohibit at all times, under all conditions, with no exceptions — other than in self-defense if authorized by the SC.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.