Bipartisan Turkey Sanctions Bill Supported by Allred Passes House

October 29, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement after the House passed the bipartisan, Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act, H.R. 4695. 

“After the reckless decision to withdraw U.S. troops in northern Syria, it is more important than ever that Congress assert itself and stand up for our values,” said Allred. “The heinous actions by the Turkish government are tantamount to a campaign to remove the Kurds, violently or otherwise, all the while strengthening the position of ISIS in the region. I thank Chairman Engel and Ranking Member McCaul for their work. This bill is a good step, and I urge Congressional leaders in the House and Senate to continue to work together to send something to the President’s desk.” 

Allred was a cosponsor of the sanctions bill which passed with strong bipartisan support. Additionally, after the withdrawal of troops was announced, Allred joined with 57 colleagues to urge the Administration to take a path forward that does not lead to more deadly instability in the region.

About the Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act:

The bill holds Turkey accountable for its brutal invasion of northern Syria. H.R. 4695 imposes tough, but targeted sanctions against Turkey, and highlights the negative consequences of Turkey’s invasion and President Trump’s decision to step back and let it happen. 

Most of the sanctions would not be lifted until Turkey withdraws from northern Syria. The bill also requires concrete strategies from the Administration for combating ISIS, protecting Syrian Kurdish communities, an analysis of human rights violations committed by Turkish forces as well as a refugee program designation for Syrians who partnered with or worked directly for the U.S. in Syria.

Sanctions Include:

Mandatory Asset Freeze and Visa Ban Against Senior Officials

  • Minister of National Defense, Chief of General Staff of Turkish military, and Commander of Turkish 2nd Army, which has led the Syrian incursion.
  • Minister of Treasury and Finance (Erdogan’s son-in-law).
  • Additional senior Turkish defense officials involved in the invasion of Syria and anyone committing human rights abuses.

Stopping All Arms Transfers that Turkey Could Use in Syria

  • Prohibition of the transfer of U.S. defense items to Turkey if they could be used in Syria.
  • Block use of the emergency provision of Arms Export Control Act (AECA) to prevent President Trump from getting around congressional holds on arms sales to Turkey.
  • Secondary sanctions against any foreign person who provides arms to Turkey if they could be used in Syria.

Targeted Financial Sanctions

  • Sanctions on Halkbank, a Turkish bank with ties to President Erdogan, and additional Turkish banks facilitating transactions for the Turkish military’s operations in Syria.