US Freezes Arms Sales to Turkey Police Forces amid Strained Ties
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The US government has frozen arms sales to the bodyguards unit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid strained ties between the two countries, local media reported on Tuesday.
The move would block a deal by New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer to sell 1.2 million US dollars' worth of arms to the bodyguards unit behind the May 16 assault on anti-Erdogan protesters during a presidential visit to Washington, the report said, Xinhua news agency reported.
"This sale to President Erdogan's security guards should never have been approved, given their history of excessive force," the report cited a US military statement as saying.
"We should also stop selling weapons to units of the Turkish National Police that have been arbitrarily arresting and abusing Turkish citizens who peacefully criticize the government," the statement said.
Erdogan, who labeled the protesters "terrorists," early this month blasted the US indictment of his bodyguards, saying the case was a "scandalous demonstration of how American justice works."