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Congress, State Department divided on sanctions against Turkey

While Congress has bipartisan support for sanctions against Turkey, the State Department is pushing back, demanding that newly established consultative mechanisms to normalize relations between the NATO allies be given time.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrive to a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Cem Ozdel/Pool - RC1EECDD07D0
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As the US Congress continues to weigh potential sanctions against Turkey over its unremittingly hostile stance toward the United States, there is growing debate within the policy community about the merits of such action, with some arguing it could bow Turkey into submission and others insisting it will make the problem even worse.

Fury at what Washington calls the unlawful detention of US consular staff and US citizens, in particular that of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson since October 2016 on unsubstantiated terror charges, has spurred bipartisan support for sanctions against Turkey. These include targeted visa bans on Turkish government officials thought to be responsible for the detentions. Another option being mulled is to ban imports of Turkish manufactured handguns, which pull in an estimated $100 million in annual revenue for Turkey, sources familiar with the deliberations told Al-Monitor.

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