Thanks, But No Thanks: US Axes Gun Deal With Turkey Following Embassy Brawl
22:29 18.09.2017(updated 22:54 18.09.2017)
As retribution for the violent attack on peaceful protesters outside of the Turkish embassy in May, the Trump administration is withdrawing from a deal to sell $1.2 million worth of weapons to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail.
Announced Monday, the now-defunct proposal would have authorized Sig Sauer, a New Hampshire-based firearms maker, to sell roughly 1,600 semiautomatic pistols to the Turkish state, the New York Times reported. The weapons would have then been given to an intermediary in Turkey for use by Erdogan's bodyguards.
Though the withdrawal was initiated at the request of Sig Sauer, the hefty deal was first brought to the attention of Congress just a day before the May 16 clash by the State Department.
"The United States government is prepared to license the export of these items having taken into account political, military, economic, human rights and arms control considerations," Mary Waters, the acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs, wrote in a May 15 letter obtained by the Times.
Since the bloody altercation, a total of 19 people, including 15 Turkish security officials, have been indicted for attacking protesters during Erdogan's visit. Sixteen of the defendants were charged June 13, three more defendants – all Turkish security personnel – were added to the list in late August.
According to court documents from the August indictment, the violent brawl was sparked by pro-Turkish figures lashing out at Kurdish protesters standing across from the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC.
The announcement to forgo the exchange was released as Erdogan arrived for the annual UN General Assembly gathering in New York Monday.
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