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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York

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Donovan Condemns Vicious Attack On American Protestors, Urges State Department To Bar Those Responsible From Reentry

May 26, 2017
Press Release
Donovan call comes after video evidence clearly shows Turkish officials violently attacking American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights on American soil

Washington, DC – May 26, 2017….Congressman Dan Donovan today strongly condemned the indefensible – and likely illegal – attacks last week by Turkish personnel against American citizens protesting across the street from the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC. Donovan called on the U.S. State Department to expel those responsible and prohibit their reentry into the country. Yesterday, Donovan voted in support of a resolution in the House Foreign Affairs Committee condemning the attack.

Donovan said, “Video evidence shows Turkish officials – some of them armed with weapons – charging American protestors and brutally kicking, punching, and shoving them. This behavior is repulsive, deeply disrespectful, and has no place in the United States of America. Turkey is on notice: In this country, human beings have the Constitutionally-protected right to express their opinions. The U.S. State Department should immediately expel those responsible, if they’re still here, and permanently prohibit their reentry. If American authorities conclude prosecutable crimes were committed, then they should pursue charges to the fullest extent permitted under American law.”

This morning, the New York Times released comprehensive video analysis of the incident. It clearly shows Turkish personnel, some of them armed with handguns, rushing American protestors and viciously punching and kicking them until bloodied.

Donovan continued, “I’ve been protested and shouted at plenty of times in my career in public office. Every man and woman in this country may speak freely, and I will always defend their Constitutional rights. The thuggish tactics of Turkish authorities have no place in a civilized world, and certainly not on American soil.”

Yesterday, Donovan voted in support of H. Res. 354, which condemns the violence against peaceful protests outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence. The measure passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously. Donovan’s letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is below.

May 26, 2017

The Honorable Jeff Sessions
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530
The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Attorney General Sessions and Secretary Tillerson:

I am outraged over the remorseless acts of violence inflicted upon individuals exercising their Constitutionally-protected First Amendment right to free speech outside the Washington, D.C. residence of the Turkish Ambassador on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Widely circulated video evidence shows, and subsequent reports confirm, that several members of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail physically assaulted multiple individuals leaving them bloodied and bruised with some having to be hospitalized due to the severity of their injuries.

This behavior is the second time in two years that Turkish security forces have threatened and assaulted U.S. citizens and legal residents on American soil. This is unacceptable in any situation, but even more so when Turkish leaders come and claim to be faithful allies to the United States. This clear disrespect for our laws and those who enforce them, especially during National Police Week, is intolerable. 

The individuals involved in Tuesday's attacks on Americans on U.S. soil must be identified and brought to justice. I believe that Turkish personnel based in the U.S. who were involved in the attacks should be declared persona non grata and expelled from the U.S. immediately. Furthermore, I believe that Turkish personnel not based in the United States who were involved in the attacks should be barred from entry into the U.S. in the future. Foreign nationals who cannot respect the rule of law of our great country should not be allowed to enjoy the rights and privileges it affords.

Allies do not threaten U.S. troops, and allies do not attack U.S. citizens on American soil. We ask you to uphold law and order and demand accountability from the Erdogan government.

Thank you both for your prompt attention to this important matter and I look forward to your responses.

Sincerely,

Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.

Member of Congress

 

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