US bill that restricts loans to Turkey clears Senate committee
A United States bill that would restrict loans from international financial institutions to Turkey until it frees arrested U.S. citizens including American pastor Andrew Brunson cleared a Senate committee on July 26, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the legislation, dubbed the “Turkey International Financial Institutions Act,” which was introduced by Senators Thom Tillis, Jeanne Shaheen, James Lankford and Bill Nelson last week.
“We never wanted this bill to be necessary, but we warned the Turkish government that there would be consequences if it did not cease its unjust detention and harassment of U.S. citizens and locally employed embassy staff,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said in a statement.
Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which Ankara blames for the failed coup in 2016. He was transferred to house arrest on July 25.
The agency reported that the bill is now expected to pass in the Senate and be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives. A compromise measure must then be passed by both chambers and signed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The bill directs the U.S. executive of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to oppose future loans, except those for humanitarian purposes, to Turkey by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the EBRD until the U.S. administration certifies to Congress that Turkey is “no longer arbitrarily detaining or denying freedom of movement to United States citizens or locally employed staff members of the U.S. mission to Turkey.”t loans from international financial institutions to Turkey until it frees arrested U.S. citizens including American pastor Andrew Brunson cleared a Senate committee July 26, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.