Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced bipartisan legislation Thursday that seeks to block a proposed sale of U.S. military equipment to the Republic of Turkey over concerns about its treatment of American allies including Israel, Cyprus and Armenia.
"We are deeply concerned by Turkey's increased saber rattling, its threats against Israel, its outlook toward the European Union, its occupation of Cyprus and its unrelenting blockade of Armenia. It appears as though our long-standing ally in Ankara is not only drifting toward confrontation with its friends and allies, but is also cozying up to some of our most entrenched enemies. The U.S. should be busy raising these very serious concerns with Turkey, rather than selling arms to them," said Reps. Berkley and Engel.
The $111 million arms sale to Turkey proposed by the Obama Administration late last month would include AH-1W Super Cobra Attack Helicopters, engines, spare parts, training equipment, technical documentation and support services. Under Section 36(b) of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the Administration must notify Congress 15 days before selling arms to a NATO ally such as Turkey, if the sale is $50 million or more. After 15 days, the sale can be finalized, unless Congress passes legislation prohibiting or modifying the proposed sale. The resolution introduced by Berkley and Engel would prohibit this sale. Cosponsors of the Berkley-Engel bill, H.J.Res.83, include Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Ed Royce (R-CA).