AHEPA commends the Trump administration for withdrawing a proposal to sell approximately 1,600 U.S. semi-automatic pistols that would have eventually found their way to the security detail of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced Supreme President Carl Hollister. Fifteen Turkish security officials, and four others, were indicted for their roles in the brutal attack upon peaceful American protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C., May 16, 2017. In June, the U.S. House of Representatives condemned the violence.
“We commend the Trump Administration for reaching a just and proper decision to withdraw this proposed small-arms sale,” Supreme President Hollister said. “The May attack was an assault on the First Amendment Constitutional rights of American citizens, and it was not the first one carried-out by the Turkish president’s security detail in the U.S. The administration’s decision sends a clear and correct message to Turkish officials that thuggery and the blatant disregard of our fundamental Constitutional rights on U.S. soil will not be rewarded.”
The supreme president added the Order’s gratitude to members of Congress, who conveyed bipartisan objection to the proposed small-arms sale.
“We appreciated the strong, bipartisan objection to the proposed sale voiced by the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, Congressional Armenian Caucus, and several senior members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees,” he said. “Their strong advocacy contributed to the administration reaching this correct decision.”
In June, then-Supreme President Andrew C. Zachariades sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson opposing the proposed arms sale and supported a Hellenic Caucus-led letter. In July, AHEPA backed legislative measures in the House of Representatives aimed to halt the proposed sale.