Local Washington, DC, law enforcement last week filed charges against a dozen members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail in last month’s violent attack on lawful protesters on US soil. It’s past time for the feds to play their part.
The increasingly dictatorial Erdogan is most unlikely to allow extradition of these thugs: Dictators, after all, can’t last without loyal bodyguards. And he surely approves of how his bullies beat dozens of Kurdish- and Turkish-Americans protesting his crackdown back home, which has detained more than 130,000 people.
But Turkey’s government has to pay for this assault on Americans in America.
DC cops have arrested two Americans (Sinan Narin of Virginia and Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey) for assault. But the State Department isn’t promising more than to consider “additional actions.”
The incident seems to have frozen a $1.2 million small-arms sale for Turkish security forces that State had been set to approve last month. But Congress clearly expects more: New York’s own Rep. Eliot Engel played a leading role in this month’s bipartisan House vote to condemn the attack, along with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
The State Department need to start expelling Turkish diplomats, and denying visas to high Turkish officials and keep it up until Erdogan gets the message.