US senators push bill to impose sanctions on Turkey over human rights record

High-ranking Democratic senators re-introduce Turkey Human Rights Promotion Act of 2021

A group of prominent Democratic senators re-introduced on Friday a bill that would impose US sanctions on the government of Turkey if it does not take measures to address its deteriorating human rights record.

Edward Markey, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced the move in the Senate, which could lead to President Joe Biden imposing sanctions on Turkey.

The bill would focus on “officials of the government of Turkey found responsible for the detention of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners, politically motivated detention of journalists, restricting freedom of expression through social media, and other gross violations of internationally recognised human rights”.

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The 19-page-bill accuses Ankara of detaining tens of thousands of people and for cracking down on political freedoms under the guise of investigating the attempted coup of July 2016.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had imposed a state of emergency until 2018. But the government has continued detentions, jailing journalists, dissidents and opposition politicians.

Read more: The National News