House Bill Calls for a Halt on Deployment of U.S. Assets in Turkey

Congressman Gus Bilirakis introduced legislation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday to prohibit the deployment of U.S. strategic assets in Turkey.

“Unfortunately, under the control of President Erdogan, Turkey has proven that it can no longer be trusted as a reliable ally of the United States,” stated Congressman Bilirakis. “Deploying strategic assets to Turkey no longer makes sense,” he added.

The proposed legislation, HR#5182, states that Turkey’s recent offensive in Northern Syria is just one of the many destabilizing and oppressive actions perpetuated by the Erdogan regime in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It adds that Turkey systematically denies its citizens basic human rights, has invaded and still occupies an EU nation, strips religious minorities of their religious freedom, and illegally drills for oil in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Bilirakis’ legislation also charges that Turkey infringes on the airspace of a NATO and EU ally on an almost-daily basis, and prosecutes journalists and academics for writing about the Armenian Genocide.

These actions, compounded by the threat posed to the NATO base during the attempted  coup d’état of 2015, clearly signify that the continued presence of strategic assets in Turkey is a national security vulnerability.

Congressman Bilirakis, who says he looks forward to working with his colleagues to advance the bill through the legislative process, added that he sees this as a matter of national security.

Bilirakis has grown increasingly active against Turkey and has looked to build ties with other allies in the region. Back in May, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, teamed up with Bilirakis and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-RI, to create the “Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act.”

Related: Senate Committee Approves Bill to Reshape U.S. Strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean