WASHINGTON, D.C. — While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan enjoyed a generally positive relationship with former U.S. President Donald Trump, pursuing an aggressive foreign policy —often at odds with its NATO partners — with little to no pushback from the U.S.
Under the new administration of President Joe Biden, however, Ankara is under intensified pressure regarding its systemic violation of human rights and the purchase of Russian weapon systems.
Many members of U.S. Congress have also spoken out about against Turkish foreign and domestic policy. U.S. Senator from Illinois Tammy Duckworth recently sent a letter to President Biden urging him to take a stricter stance towards Ankara.
In the letter, Sen. Duckworth called for the Biden Administration to do more to support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) of North and East Syria, whom she said had stood side-by-side with U.S. forces in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
Sen. Duckworth condemned the former President Trump’s greenlighting of Turkey’s invasion of the region in October 2019.
“The Turkish military operation created a humanitarian crisis that put tens of thousands of civilians at risk, threatened the release of ISIS prisoners, and severely damaged our international credibility,” Duckworth stated.
The United States should pressure Turkey to stop its continued violations in North and East Syria and compel it to fulfill its obligations as a NATO member and settle international disputes peacefully.
Her letter also called for foreign and humanitarian aid to be delivered directly to the region to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed in the fight against ISIS.