Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 4695

Should the U.S. Sanction Turkey for its Invasion of Northern Syria?

Argument in favor

While Turkey is a longstanding NATO ally, its invasion of Northern Syria to target America’s Kurdish allies and purchase of a Russian missile system clearly show the deterioration of the U.S.-Turkey relationship. The U.S. should sanction Turkish officials involved in the invasion until it halts its operations against the Kurds to send a message that Turkey needs to start behaving like an ally.

jimK's Opinion
···
10/29/2019
YES! Their ignoring of trump’s warnings is a factor as is using former Al Qida mercenaries to mercilessly sweep through and randomly execute our Syrian Kurdish allies, women and children are factors as is the willful displacement of the Kurds from the entirety of their homelands. I think NATO should sanction Turkey as well; NATO should expel Turkey for it’s alliance with Russia- protection from which was the very basis for NATO’s formation in the first place. Russian techs are installing Russian anti-aircraft missiles on site in Turkey which maintains a fleet of NATO approved and widely deployed strike fighters. Turkey was a manufacturer for key components for this aircraft until recently and has access to key design information- and they are now allied with the Russians and installing Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Does any of this make any sense to anyone at all? Do you trump klan-mates support any of this at all?
Like (91)
Follow
Share
Linda 's Opinion
···
10/27/2019
But this wouldn't have been necessary had the president left our troops where they were. Leaving the Kurds to be killed by Turkey.
Like (53)
Follow
Share
Leah's Opinion
···
10/29/2019
This wouldn’t be necessary if Trump wasn’t such a goddamn moron and pulled out our troops at such a delicate time. So many civilians were killed and ISIS prisoners escaped. The Kurds should honestly put some sanctions on us. Trump ruined our reputation in the Middle East.
Like (46)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Sanctioning Turkey for its invasion of Northern Syria will only worsen its relations with the U.S. and NATO, and make it more likely that Turkey continues to move closer to Russia. The U.S. has nothing to gain from interjecting itself in a long-running dispute between Turkey and the Kurds. Congress should consider the issues of Turkey’s invasion of Northern Syria and its purchase of Russian missiles separately.

Nick-Papagiorgio's Opinion
···
10/29/2019
We opened the door and invited them in! Why would we then Sanction them? Seems very hypocritical.
Like (11)
Follow
Share
Chris's Opinion
···
10/29/2019
Stay out of other countries affairs. Stop trying to make America the world’s police.
Like (8)
Follow
Share
Tony's Opinion
···
10/30/2019
The fact that the majority of the American public are devoid of any knowledge of the history of the Kurds, is how our government gets to do what it does with impunity. Go to the Wikipedia web site and read up on the Kurds. You'll see that they are not the "innocent" victims they are portrayed to be in the Liberal Media or with the Liberal Democrats. Did our government "use" these people to get rid of ISIS in the region? Absolutely. This has been the problem with U.S. / Middle East policy since we began importing OIL from the region. In fact, our whole "foreign policy" in the region was to "destabilize" the region and keep it that way as to make sure the Arab states didn't get together and align against U.S. (and the west's) interests. We "complicated" matters by endorsing Israel as a state and recognizing it's right to exist. Not that Israel doesn't have a right to exist. It just never sat well with the hard line Muslims and is still the cause of friction in the region. So much so that the issue gave rise to the "Enitifhada" of the late 20th century and now the Taliban, ISIS and other "radical" Islamists in the region. Christians and Jews are now seen as the "real" enemy and the Kurds are part of that. The Kurds have demanded "autonomy" in just about every Muslim state in the region. The Muslim states see the Kurds as "mercenaries" of the west. So to put sanctions on Turkey, an ally of the U.S. in the region, at a time when ISIS, although severely stricken, is still a threat, is LUDACRIS. President Trump, rather than listen to the "knee jerk" reaction of the foolish members of the "Coup Congress," orchestrated a "cease fire" between Turkey and the Kurds living in Syria. That's the best he could do given the long history of the Kurds in the region and to "save face" for U.S. foreign policy. A shrewd move given the alternative offered by the Liberal Left. Which was to take military action against Turkey, a U.S. ally. The situation, at least for the time being, seems abated. Letting the uneducated idiot Democrats (and the Rino's) have their way by imposing sanctions on Turkey would be a foreign policy catastrophe. Especially when they would do it out of SPITE to undermine U.S. foreign policy for the sole purpose of undermining President Trump.
Like (4)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed October 29th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 403 Yea / 16 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedOctober 16th, 2019

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

What is House Bill H.R. 4695?

This bill — Protect Against Conflict by Turkey (PACT) Act — would impose financial and travel sanctions on Turkey for its invasion of Northern Syria. These sanctions would target Turkish officials and entities involved in the incursion and those committing human rights abuses. It would also impose sanctions on Turkey for its acquisition of a Russian missile system under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, require a report on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s net worth, and condemn Turkey’s attacks against America’s Kurdish allies in Northern Syria.

Specifically, the bill would sanction Turkey’s ministers of defense and finance, and leading commanders in the Turkish Armed Forces. The State Dept., Treasury Dept., and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) would be required to submit a report to relevant congressional committees regarding the net worth of Turkish President Erdogan and his relatives, including their assets, investments, and other business interests.

Sanctions on Turkish officials would include blocking all financial transactions involving property and assets in the U.S., inadmissibility to the U.S., and the revocation of current visas. Exceptions to the visa sanctions would be made to allow an individual to go to the United Nations Headquarters. 

This bill would prohibit arms transfers to Turkey if those defense articles would be used by Turkish units in Syria. This bill would also sanction Halkbank and other financial institutions that facilitate transactions related to the Turkish Armed Forces and defense industry and the Syria invasion, in addition to other foreign persons arming Turkey in Syria.

This bill would not authorize or require sanctions on Turkish goods to the U.S. It could also be waived by the president if deemed necessary to address humanitarian needs or national security interests. Sanctions unrelated to Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile could be lifted by the president if the president notifies Congress that Turkey has stopped attacking Kurdish forces, isn’t hindering counterterrorism operations against ISIS, and its non-counterterrorism forces have withdrawn from Northern Syria.

This bill would also express the sense of Congress that Turkey’s invasion of Northern Syria is causing a severe humanitarian crisis and risks undoing the collective gains made in the fight against ISIS, including Turkey’s contributions as a NATO ally. Congress would call for Turkey to immediately stop attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Kurdish civilians or other ethnic minorities in Northern Syria while returning its forces to Turkey. Further, it would note that recent actions by Turkey are examples of the weakening and problematic U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship and undermines the security of the U.S. and NATO.

Additionally, this bill would express the sense of Congress that the SDF have been critical partners to the U.S. and allied counter-ISIS & counterterrorism efforts in Syria.

Impact

Turkish officials involved in its invasion of Northern Syria, particularly President Erdogan; and the U.S. government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4695

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthHouse Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced this legislation with Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX) to sanction Turkey for its invasion of Northern Syria, in addition to its purchase of a Russian missile system. Engel offered the following statement following the introduction of this bill:

“What’s happening in Northern Syria right now is a disgrace. Congress must speak out and show decisive action to hold accountable those who created this catastrophe: President Erdogan, who is directing this slaughter, and President Trump, who opened the door to the Turkish incursion and betrayed our Kurdish partners. The Turkish operation is threatening our national security, allowing ISIS to escape, and creating a humanitarian crisis. Yesterday, the House rebuked President Trump with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. Today, we are introducing sanctions to hold Erdogan accountable. Congress must continue bipartisan work to address the disastrous consequences of President Trump’s decision.”

McCaul added:

“Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed my resolution with Chairman Engel calling on Turkey to end its incursion into Syria. The carnage that we have seen over the past week against our Kurdish partners and innocent civilians has been unbearable. There must be consequences. That’s why we introduced a very tough and comprehensive sanctions package to punish Turkey for its actions. The President has already begun implementing sanctions and this legislation builds upon those. My number one priority is protecting the homeland from external threats and that’s at the heart of this bill.”

The American Hellenic Institute called for sanctions against Turkey on October 7, 2019: 

“The American Hellenic community is outraged, and frankly, frustrated, with the West’s inability to take appropriate measures to stop Turkey from: pursuing its expansionist agenda, maintaining its ties with terrorist organizations, and perpetuating its violations of international law in the Eastern Mediterranean; all at the expense of the security and best interests of the United States, our NATO allies, and strategic partners. It bears repeating, Turkey is not a United States ally… We urge Washington and Brussels to act now. We reiterate our call for targeted, swift and overwhelming sanctions to be placed on Turkey, specific to illegal actions Turkey has taken in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus. We welcome the bipartisan call for sanctions should Turkey conduct military operations in Northeast Syria against the Kurds. Additionally, NATO partners must scrutinize Turkey’s place in the Alliance. Further, Congress must hold hearings on Turkey’s threats to peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, including its ties to terrorist organizations, based on these recent developments.”

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Turkey for the invasion of Northern Syria, but agreed to lift them after an initial five-day ceasefire was brokered between Turkey, the U.S., and the SDF under which Kurdish units would move out of a 20 mile “safe zone” occupied by Turkish forces. After SDF forces completed their withdrawal, the ceasefire was extended — although there have been reports of the ceasefire being violated by Turkish-aligned groups, such as the Free Syrian Army.

This bill has the bipartisan support of 72 cosponsors evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. The American Hellenic Institute supports this bill.

A similar bipartisan bill offered by Engel & McCaul to oppose the U.S. withdrawal from Northern Syria & call on Turkey to stop attacking the Syrian Kurds passed the House on a 354-60 vote. After that bill passed, Rep. Engel said in a statement: 

“Yesterday, the House rebuked President Trump with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. Today, we are introducing sanctions to hold Erdogan accountable. Congress must continue bipartisan work to address the disastrous consequences of President Trump’s decision.”


Of NoteExecutive Order 13894 on October 14, 2019, authorized various sanctions on Turkey and actors transacting with it in connection with OPS. Under this Executive Order, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) simultaneously designated three key Turkish government officials; the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources; and the Turkish Ministry of National Defense. It also added those individuals and ministries to the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List). On the same day, the president also announced that the U.S. would halt trade negotiations with Turkey and raise steel tariffs on it by 50%, while prosecutors in New York filed criminal charges against a Turkish state-owned bank, alleging a conspiracy to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.

In addition to this bill, three other bills — the Countering Turkish Aggression Act of 2019 (H.R.4692 / S.2644), the U.S.-Turkey Relations Review Act of 2019 (H.R.4694), and the as-yet-unnamed S.2624 — are also taking a closer look at U.S.-Turkey relations. The Countering Turkish Aggression Act of 2019 would impose some sanctions similar to those in this bill and also prohibit U.S. arms sales to Turkey and impose secondary sanctions on foreign persons who knowingly support or transact with the Turkish military, even for items or services beyond those usable by the Turkish military in northern Syria. The U.S.-Turkey Relations Review Act would require a detailed Administration report to congressional committees on various aspects of the U.S.-Turkey relationship and its implications for U.S.-NATO strategic and military posture in the Middle East. Finally, S.2624 would simply prohibit U.S. arms sales to Turkey.

Separately, in a case that’s been pending for years and is sensitive for President Ergodan, on October 16, 2019, a U.S. Attorney’s office indicted Turkish bank Halbank for violations of U.S. laws relating to Iran sanctions.

The potential effect of sanctions remains unclear. Some believe that U.S. sanctions are unlikely to deter Turkish military operations because they involve “one of Erdogan’s core convictions” that the group is equivalent to the PKK. Others argue that sanctions could negatively affect Turkey’s fragile economy (which slowly considerably over the course of 2018 and entered a recession in the second half of the year, with the Turkish lira depreciating nearly 30% against the dollar) and U.S.-Turkey bilateral relations.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell & Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: VOA Turkey / Public Domain)

AKA

Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act

Official Title

To impose sanctions with respect to Turkey, and for other purposes.

    YES! Their ignoring of trump’s warnings is a factor as is using former Al Qida mercenaries to mercilessly sweep through and randomly execute our Syrian Kurdish allies, women and children are factors as is the willful displacement of the Kurds from the entirety of their homelands. I think NATO should sanction Turkey as well; NATO should expel Turkey for it’s alliance with Russia- protection from which was the very basis for NATO’s formation in the first place. Russian techs are installing Russian anti-aircraft missiles on site in Turkey which maintains a fleet of NATO approved and widely deployed strike fighters. Turkey was a manufacturer for key components for this aircraft until recently and has access to key design information- and they are now allied with the Russians and installing Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Does any of this make any sense to anyone at all? Do you trump klan-mates support any of this at all?
    Like (91)
    Follow
    Share
    We opened the door and invited them in! Why would we then Sanction them? Seems very hypocritical.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    But this wouldn't have been necessary had the president left our troops where they were. Leaving the Kurds to be killed by Turkey.
    Like (53)
    Follow
    Share
    This wouldn’t be necessary if Trump wasn’t such a goddamn moron and pulled out our troops at such a delicate time. So many civilians were killed and ISIS prisoners escaped. The Kurds should honestly put some sanctions on us. Trump ruined our reputation in the Middle East.
    Like (46)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, but it will be hard to justify when the Dictator Trump gives the green light for the invasion.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    We should not support aggressive strongmen.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Trump has already done enough damage by pulling out of Syria, but at least we can still sanction Turkey. Do it! We need to protect Syria! This is insane what they are doing and must be stopped.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Horrible stain on this country’s reputation.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Not only will sanctions bring about protections for the Kurds! After all, they have done most of the fighting against Isis, and have thus reduced American casualties. It will also cause Turkey to take up diplomatic methods to resolve differences with this group of people. Thus forcing Turkey to reduce its militant stand. This is a far better way of dealing with Turkey's internal problems then outright murder of this group, within its borders.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, Turkey should be sanctioned for invading Syria and attacking the Kurds. But, our President is the one that gave Turkey's president the green light. So, yes to sanctions on Turkey. Beyond sanctions, we need to help the Kurds restore their homelands. Lastly, we need to clean up the mess we have in our own executive branch.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Turkey should not be able to hurt our Allies without consequences. Sanctions seem like a fair and reasonable response to their decision to invade northern Syria.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Stay out of other countries affairs. Stop trying to make America the world’s police.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    We are showing the world that we can not be trusted by our allies to stay and support them against terrorism.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Because Turkey seems to take other partners in the NATO alliance as either being weak, or not as strong as Turkey, & not willing to risk a war. NATO needs to yank Turkey
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    If sanctions against Turkey are at least not discussed, American citizens must wonder if the Administration is putting individual interests (Trump Hotel in Ankara) over the security concerns of our country.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Countable asks whether Turkey should be sanctioned for its invasion of Northern Syria. I say, yes, with a further sanction of Trump for giving Turkey the OK to do so.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    The 45th President is impulsive. It was a impulsive decision to leave the Kurds, our allies. Individual 1 is unfit to hold the office of POTUS. Mr. Trump had a father that left him money but instead of educating himself he just pays people to support his bad choices.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes!!! The crooked president won’t do it.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, Turkey has invaded a ‘sovereign’ country... similar to Iraq’s move against Kuwait under Poppy Bush!
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, but we wouldn’t have to do this is Trump hadn’t betrayed our allies with his disgusting foreign policy decision.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE