Friday, August 31, 2018

Billy Long: Turkey needs to start acting like a friend

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

On July 15, 2016, the Turkish military devised a plan to overthrow the Turkish government in order to protest what it thought was an abuse of power by President Erdogan. As it unfolded worldwide, in real time, in front of millions on television, it lasted but a few hours before the coup was defeated. 241 people died and more than 2,000 were injured. Shortly after the failed coup, President Erdogan began arresting countless individuals who either took part in the coup or were suspected of helping those who did, with one of those people being American pastor, Andrew Brunson.

In October of 2016, Pastor Brunson and his wife were arrested by Turkish officials. At the time, they were given no reason for their arrest. After 13 days, Pastor Brunson’s wife was released, but he was not. According to Turkish officials, Pastor Brunson stood accused of helping those who attempted to overthrow the government as well as of having ties to terrorist organizations. What evidence did the Turkish government have to prove these accusations? None.

While imprisoned, members of Pastor Brunson’s congregation attempted to bring him food and clothing, but were denied. An attorney came to visit Pastor Brunson, but was also denied. U.S. consulate officials requested to meet with Pastor Brunson, but were denied. These actions, some of which violate international treaties, are unacceptable and something the U.S. should not tolerate from a NATO ally.

President Trump, a strong advocate for religious freedom, has been working diligently to free Pastor Brunson. Earlier in August, he imposed financial sanctions on high-level government officials and raised tariffs on metal. This response came after months of Turkey’s continued refusal to release Pastor Brunson.

In July, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the Senate that would restrict international loans to financial institutions in Turkey until the Turkish government releases Pastor Brunson. If passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate, and signed into law by the president, this bill would have major economic impacts on Turkey, given Turkey’s reliance on international loans from both the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation.

It’s time Turkey acts like an ally and releases this good Christian man. His wife and children have gone almost two years without their husband and father.


Steve Holmes said...

Would Rep. Long had pushed so hard for the release of a good atheist family man, or a good Buddhist family man? Of course not.

With that headline, "Turkey need to start acting like a friend," I was wondering which Republican he was referring to.

Anonymous said...

>>>President Trump, a strong advocate for religious freedom,<<<

I just blew biscuits and gravy all over the keyboard.

Unknown said...

Anonymous 10:13AM
You need to improve your breakfast menu!!

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text

Anonymous said...

I wonder Harvey. Do you have a problem with watermelon or fried chicken also?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Donald Trump and many republicans from SWMO are advocates for freedum of all sorts. As is Billy Long.

If Billy Long was more informed about things maybe he'd be wondering if relations with Turkey got off to a bad start early in the Trump administration.

A former top White House aide was reportedly offered $15m (£11.5m) to help forcibly remove a Muslim cleric from the US and deliver him to Turkey.

Ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son discussed the alleged plot with Turkish representatives, NBC News and Wall Street Journal report.

Next thing you know this Flynn is a fired convicted felon and his son is reduced to retweeting RWNJ fever swamp fantasies such as the Comet Ping Pong 'investigation' and about Hillary's emails.

Need some more details of the alleged plot to export Fethullah G├╝len?

The alleged plot to remove the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, was first revealed in March 2017 by former CIA director James Woolsey.

The Turkish government accuses Mr Gulen, who lives in the US state of Pennsylvania, of being behind last year's failed coup.

He is viewed as chief political rival to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly called for Mr Gulen's extradition from the US.

According to the Wall Street Journal, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is focusing on a meeting in mid-December between Mr Flynn and Turkish officials in New York.

Mr Flynn reportedly discussed having Mr Gulen transported on a private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali.

Mr Flynn was serving on the White House transition team during the reported meeting, which came a month before he joined the Trump administration.

He also met Turkish representatives in September last year, according to Mr Woolsey, a board member for Mr Flynn's consultancy.

Congressman Billy Long doesn't have a clue, and neither do his staffers who probably regurgitated a talking point written by republican party staffers rather than writing this tripe themselves.

Anonymous said...

"It’s time Turkey acts like an ally and releases this good Christian man." Oh, Billy Blob. Haven't you seen what your moron-in-chief does to our allies? I bet you got confused when you heard turkey and though there was a buffet going on somewhere. When you got there you found out there was no food at all, and now you had to come up with something. This was the best you could do. Dag nabbit! Where's that turkey?

Anonymous said...

Well, Billy Blob, when are you going to start acting like a congressman that is working for the people of Missouri?