CONDEMNING VIOLENCE AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTESTERS OUTSIDE THE TURKISH AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE
(House of Representatives - June 06, 2017)

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[Pages H4628-H4632]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  CONDEMNING VIOLENCE AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTESTERS OUTSIDE THE TURKISH 
                         AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
agree to the resolution (H. Res. 354) condemning the violence against 
peaceful protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador's residence on May 
16, 2017, and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and 
measures to be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future, as 
amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
  The text of the resolution is as follows:

                              H. Res. 354

       Whereas, on May 16, 2017, President Donald J. Trump hosted 
     President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, a longstanding NATO 
     ally, for an official meeting at the White House to discuss 
     counterterrorism cooperation and bilateral issues;
       Whereas, on the evening of May 16, 2017, over two dozen 
     protesters gathered outside of the Turkish Ambassador's 
     residence in Washington, DC, to demonstrate opposition to 
     Turkish government policies;
       Whereas after hours of peaceful protest, violence erupted 
     when pro-Erdogan supporters and individuals from the Turkish 
     Embassy grounds pushed past District of Columbia police 
     officers to brutally attack the demonstrators;
       Whereas those Turkish officials blatantly suppressed the 
     First Amendment rights of United States citizens, and 
     multiple armed Turkish security officials beat, kicked, and 
     choked unarmed demonstrators;
       Whereas multiple video recordings of the violence and 
     reports by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District 
     of Columbia and the Department of State confirm that the 
     demonstrators did not instigate the violence;
       Whereas at least 11 individuals were seriously injured in 
     the ensuing brawl, with two individuals requiring immediate 
     hospitalization;
       Whereas separately, two armed Turkish security officers 
     attached to a security detail were detained for physically 
     assaulting Federal agents;
       Whereas those two Turkish security officers were later 
     released and subsequently allowed to leave the United States 
     because they held Derived Head of State immunity;
       Whereas the Department of State did not request that Turkey 
     waive the immunity for these two security officers in order 
     to fully investigate the assault prior to their being 
     released from custody;
       Whereas a joint criminal investigation into the incident is 
     ongoing with the combined efforts of the Washington 
     Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Secret 
     Service, and the Department of State Diplomatic Security 
     Service;
       Whereas at no point was President Erdogan in danger;
       Whereas immunity for diplomatic personnel and certain other 
     foreign officials is a core principle, as is the right to 
     protest peacefully and freely in the United States;
       Whereas this is the third instance of violence perpetrated 
     by members of Turkish President Erdogan's security detail in 
     United States territory;
       Whereas in 2011, a brawl erupted in the halls of the United 
     Nations General Assembly between members of Turkish President 
     Erdogan's security detail and United Nations security 
     officers, resulting in one United Nations security officer 
     being hospitalized due to serious injuries;
       Whereas in 2016, members of Turkish President Erdogan's 
     security detail engaged in unwarranted violence against 
     journalists reporting on an event at the Brookings 
     Institution;
       Whereas Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on May 21, 
     2017, that the violence outside the Turkish Embassy was 
     ``outrageous'' and ``simply unacceptable''; and
       Whereas the right to assembly, peaceful protest, and 
     freedom of speech are essential and protected rights in the 
     United States: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of 
     Representatives that--
       (1) the rights to peacefully assemble and freely express 
     one's views are essential to the fabric of American 
     democracy;
       (2) the Turkish security forces acted in an unprofessional 
     and brutal manner, reflecting poorly on President Erdogan and 
     the Government of Turkey;
       (3) any Turkish security officials who directed, oversaw, 
     or participated in efforts by Turkish security forces to 
     illegally suppress peaceful protests on May 16, 2017, should 
     be

[[Page H4629]]

     charged and prosecuted under United States law;
       (4) the United States Secret Service and the Diplomatic 
     Security Service of the Department of State should review 
     this incident and confirm with the Turkish National Police 
     the standards expected by visiting security details to 
     prevent future violent incidents;
       (5) the Department of State should immediately request the 
     waiver of immunity of any Turkish security detail official 
     engaged in assault in the United States prior to release of 
     that individual from custody;
       (6) the Department of State should conduct a review of its 
     own security procedures to determine how to mitigate the 
     likelihood of such an event in the future;
       (7) the United States respect for free speech requires 
     officials of the United States to speak out against such 
     incidents; and
       (8) the United States should take steps to strengthen 
     freedoms for the press and civil society in countries such as 
     Turkey, and combat efforts by foreign leaders to suppress 
     free and peaceful protest in their own countries.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce) and the gentlewoman from the District of 
Columbia (Ms. Norton) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             general leave

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks 
and to include any extraneous material in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the gentlewoman from 
the District of Columbia, and also the gentleman from New York, the 
ranking member of this committee, Mr. Engel, for working with us on 
this clear condemnation of the violence against peaceful protesters 
outside the Turkish Ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., on May 
16.
  That day, President Erdogan of Turkey, a longstanding NATO ally, met 
at the White House to discuss counterterrorism cooperation and to 
discuss bilateral issues. This was an important meeting. But that 
evening, armed members of the Turkish President's security detail 
brutally attacked demonstrators who had gathered outside the Turkish 
Ambassador's residence on Sheridan Circle in Washington, D.C. They were 
there to protest various policies of the Turkish Government.
  In an unprovoked attack, armed Turkish personnel broke through D.C. 
Metropolitan Police lines and attacked the protesters. They choked, 
beat, and kicked the demonstrators until D.C. Metropolitan Police 
officers, and State Department Diplomatic Security were able to stop 
the melee and restore order.
  One woman was beaten unconscious. She testified before the Foreign 
Affairs Committee that she sustained brain damage as a result. A 
protester near her was beaten to the ground and repeatedly kicked in 
the face. His front teeth were smashed.
  Mr. Speaker, what was the reason these and other American citizens 
were harshly beaten?
  They chose to exercise their constitutional right to free speech and 
assembly. They chose to criticize actions of President Erdogan's 
government. The protesters got under the Turkish delegation's skin.
  Let us be clear: at no time was President Erdogan in danger. This was 
not an act of protection. It was an act of suppression on our American 
soil.
  The actions of the Turkish security detail were unprofessional and 
dangerous. You had armed security personnel creating a melee. The 
actions were unjustified and, up to this point, have gone largely 
unchallenged.
  H. Res. 354 puts Congress firmly on record in clear, unmistakable 
terms condemning the actions of the Turkish security guards last month. 
The resolution also demands that Turkey immediately lift diplomatic 
immunity for all those who assaulted U.S. citizens and law enforcement 
officers.
  This resolution also calls for the U.S. State Department and the U.S. 
Secret Service to review their security procedures and for them to 
convey to Turkish officials in clear terms the expectations for the 
behavior of their security teams when they are operating in the U.S.
  Mr. Speaker, one of the most disturbing aspects of last month's 
attack is that this assault by Turkish security officials was not an 
isolated incident. Rather, it was the third instance of violence they 
have engaged in while operating in the United States in recent years.
  Passage of this resolution is an appropriate, strong response by this 
House to those brutal actions by Turkish forces.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution. I thank the 
Democratic and Republican leaders who introduced this resolution 
condemning the violence of the security detail at the Turkish Embassy 
here in the Nation's Capital.
  I am not surprised at the bipartisan nature of this resolution coming 
from the top of Congress about the right to protest peacefully in our 
country. This was an assault, after all, not only on the protesters, 
but on one of our most important American values: the right to assemble 
and use the First Amendment to protest.
  Mr. Speaker, we must persist because I do not recall a demonstration 
like this. It was witnessed by the chief of police himself, Peter 
Newsham, and he, himself, is an eyewitness who declared that these 
protesters were all peaceful. There were also videos of the nonviolent 
protesters being assaulted.
  Now, the United States and the protesters deserve an appropriate 
response from the Turkish Government. Instead, we received a farfetched 
shifting of blame from Turkey. That makes it all the more important 
because the shifting of the blame will lead some to believe that we are 
responsible for what happened. Actually, we need to protest in the 
strongest terms because it turns out that this is part of a pattern.
  A similar incident occurred about a half dozen years ago at the 
United Nations, same head of state, same thugs attacking peaceful 
protesters.
  Last year--just this past year--there was an attack on journalists 
outside of The Brookings Institution.
  So if we don't tell them it is time to stop when we have had the 
third attack, they will persist. That is for sure.
  We know who these security details are. They couldn't have gotten 
into the country accompanying a head of state without telling us who 
they are. Moreover, two of them were arrested, so we have their names. 
I have written the Secretary of State, Mr. Tillerson, to ask him to bar 
the reentry of these security personnel; to hold them if they are still 
here; and to request information on whether they are entitled to 
immunity, and if they are, to have this immunity waived.
  We will not let the Turkish thugs who took on our protesters 
unprovoked hide behind immunity. It can be waived if it is present. It 
should be waived. These security personnel should be charged and 
prosecuted under U.S. law. Imagine, we would have done precisely the 
same if some of our security had behaved in this fashion in Turkey.
  There will be no justice to the citizens exercising their First 
Amendment rights who were stomped, kicked, and seriously injured until 
they and our country are vindicated with an appropriate response from 
the Turkish Government.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Sarbanes), my good friend.
  Mr. SARBANES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 354, which 
forcefully condemns the shocking assault carried out here on American 
soil, here in our Nation's Capital, by trained paramilitary agents of 
the Turkish Presidential security force against a peaceful assembly of 
protesters who were exercising their First Amendment rights to freedom 
of speech.
  Video footage offers evidence that President Erdogan sanctioned the 
attack, and then calmly sat back to watch as his bodyguards carried it 
out.

[[Page H4630]]

  


                              {time}  1645

  Each of us in this Chamber must ask the question: What sort of 
foreign leader invited for an official visit by the President of the 
United States would conduct himself in such a reprehensible manner and 
would show such contempt for America's commitment to human rights and 
civil liberties?
  Make no mistake. This is the same man who has ordered mass 
incarcerations in his own country, who persecutes dissenters and jails 
democratically elected officials, and who locks up journalists on a 
whim. In fact, he is the number one jailer of journalists in the world.
  The assault on innocent protesters in the streets of Washington, 
D.C., is entirely consistent with the impulses of an autocratic Turkey. 
It has unmasked President Erdogan for the bully that he is and offers 
Americans a teachable moment on the character of official Turkey. It 
reflects a deeply imbedded reflex that, in the modern era, has brought 
the world, among other things, the unlawful invasion and occupation of 
Cyprus, the Armenian genocide, and the violent repression of the 
Kurdish people.
  This incident demands more than just the prosecution of Erdogan's 
security personnel or the expulsion of the Turkish Ambassador or the 
strong condemnation of Erdogan himself, all of which should happen. It 
is time for a complete reevaluation of the U.S. relationship with 
Turkey. We cannot pretend that it is business as usual with a foreign 
leader that has attacked our Nation's most cherished democratic values 
on our very own soil.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time to close.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, this has been painful not only for the 
protesters, it is painful for our country because Turkey is an ally. We 
have our differences with Turkey, but we are dependent on Turkey for 
security matters. If this had never happened before, perhaps we could 
say that Turkey just doesn't understand how we operate in this country. 
The fact that it was the third incident makes it particularly 
bothersome.
  Now, we are aware how sensitive this matter is. You cannot deal with 
a foreign adversary who happens to be an ally at the same time as if he 
were simply the enemy or our opponent. We have to understand the 
sensibilities of operating in the international sphere. But it is clear 
that Turkey doesn't understand that.
  I was particularly concerned that Mr. Erdogan was in his car the 
entire time. He could have gotten out of his car and called attention 
to his security detail. He could have asked a staff member to do the 
very same thing. Instead, he stayed in his car, got out after the 
security detail from the D.C. police department had calmed things, 
stood there and had nothing to say. If we let this third incident go by 
with no response or accept--or even seem to accept--the Turkish 
response, that will be a signal to keep it up.
  So I am so pleased that my good friend on the other side and I are in 
unison on this. I am particularly pleased that this was not a 
resolution introduced by me or by my good friend, that this resolution 
was introduced by top leaders on the Republican and the Democratic 
side.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), who is the Democratic whip of the House.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Representative from the 
District of Columbia, Ms. Norton, for yielding. I want to thank Mr. 
Royce for his continuing principled and focused leadership on issues 
that relate to foreign policy, that relate to human rights, and that 
relate to international law. I appreciate very much his leadership.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that I was able to join with the majority 
leader, Mr. McCarthy, my friend, in sponsoring this resolution. It is 
an appropriate response to the terrible actions that were taken by 
security officers protecting Mr. Erdogan on his visit here.
  I rise in support of this resolution, which I am proud to have 
introduced along with the majority leader, Ranking Member Engel, and 
Chairman Royce.
  The assault on nonviolent demonstrators here in our Nation's Capital 
on May 16 by Turkish security personnel was an outrage. Our resolution 
makes it clear: the United States will not tolerate violence against 
peaceful protesters on our shores, and those responsible must face 
justice.
  Turkey remains a critical NATO ally, but I am, nevertheless, 
extremely concerned, Mr. Speaker, by the fact that this is the third 
such incident in recent years, marking a pattern of violence by Turkish 
security personnel in the United States--unacceptable.

  Senator John McCain--I won't quote him, but his response was very 
direct and very basic. He, too, said this was unacceptable behavior, 
and he even suggested that perhaps the Turkish Ambassador ought to 
leave. I do not suggest that, but I do suggest the conduct must change. 
It is unacceptable.
  Our resolution calls on the State Department to take appropriate 
actions to ensure that the Turkish Government understands that we will 
not allow this to happen again. There must be consequences to this 
unprovoked attack on peaceful American citizens in their own country, 
and those responsible should be charged and prosecuted by the United 
States.
  It should be clear to Turkey and to all nations that we will oppose 
any attempt to suppress dissent or the freedom of speech. That is why 
that is in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States 
because our Founding Fathers and, frankly, those who follow Western 
values--and, yes, some Eastern values--believe that free speech is 
absolutely the sine qua non--an absolute essential--for democracy to 
succeed and to flourish.
  I want to thank Mr. Royce again for his principled leadership. I want 
to thank Ms. Norton, and I want to thank the members of the Foreign 
Affairs Committee for their work on this resolution. I urge every 
Member of this House to join not only in passing it but sending this 
strong message not only to our Turkish allies but to all those who 
would come to these shores and understand that our citizens may well 
have something to say. They may say it with signs, they may say it with 
their voices, and they may say it by standing someplace in proximity; 
one of the facets of America is that they have the right to do that, 
and those who visit our shores must honor that right.
  Support this resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the remaining time for 
the minority will be controlled by the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Espaillat).
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ESPAILLAT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I rise in support of this measure. I want to thank Mr. Hoyer, the 
gentleman from Maryland.
  Let me start by thanking the chairman of the Foreign Affairs 
Committee, Mr. Royce of California, for authoring this legislation and 
working to bring it to this floor.
  By now we have seen the footage. We went to the film and saw the 
footage of Turkish thugs attacking peaceful protesters during President 
Erdogan's visit to Washington a few weeks ago. It is bad enough when we 
see governments anywhere crack down on basic rights like the freedom of 
assembly or expression. It is bad enough to see that sort of oppression 
in the streets of Ankara or Istanbul, but it is becoming more and more 
common as Turkey slips towards authoritarianism.
  But to see that on the streets of Washington, D.C., is absolutely 
unacceptable--especially at the hands of foreign government officials 
who are guests in our country. We cannot allow these actions to remain 
unnoticed and to trample on our constitutional rights.
  We know that President Erdogan was never in danger. He simply decided 
to treat Americans the way he treats his own people. His guards even 
had the nerve to attack law enforcement officials who were protecting 
him and his delegation.
  This behavior cannot stand, and the resolution before us sends a 
clear, decisive message that Congress won't tolerate it. The State 
Department must do whatever it takes to make sure that this does not 
happen again, and those responsible for these heinous acts must be held 
accountable. Charges must be filed and pursued.

[[Page H4631]]

  I am glad to support this measure that puts the House on record 
saying that we won't stand for this type of bully who attacks American 
citizens and American democracy.
  Mr. Speaker, free speech, free assembly, and free expression are at 
the core of any democracy across the world. Turkey is certainly a 
partner and an ally, and it is deeply concerning to see the steady 
erosion of democracy in that country.
  But we cannot tolerate that sort of behavior here in our country. 
When you are in the United States, you play by our rules, and that 
means obeying our laws and respecting our values. Those responsible for 
violence against American citizens should face the consequences. 
Otherwise, what is to stop them from doing this once again?
  Mr. Speaker, I support this measure, and I urge all my colleagues to 
do the same.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  The violent attacks, Mr. Speaker, by officers assigned to Turkish 
President Erdogan's security detail against peaceful protesters back on 
May 16 were designed to do one thing. They were designed to silence 
those protesters' criticism of the Turkish Government. That is why it 
is so important that we speak out.
  We must speak loudly and clearly that we will protect our citizens 
and their fundamental rights to free speech and to assembly. Turkey is 
an important and longstanding NATO ally, but the Turkish Government can 
and should do better than this, and it can start by addressing the 
concerns of the House of Representatives and many Americans who were 
very angered by the video capturing this disgraceful attack on these 
citizens.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this 
resolution, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 354, 
which condemns the violence, on American soil, against peaceful 
protestors outside the residence of the Turkish Ambassador to the 
United States and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
  On May 16, 2017, the President hosted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan 
of Turkey for an official meeting at the White House to discuss 
counter-terrorism cooperation and bilateral issues.
  That evening, over two dozen protestors peaceably assembled outside 
the Turkish Ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., to voice their 
opposition to Turkish Government policies.
  It was not long before unprovoked violence erupted, when pro-Erdogan 
supporters and individuals from the Turkish Embassy grounds pushed past 
District of Columbia police officers to brutally attack the peaceful 
demonstrators.
  These Turkish officials violated the First Amendment rights of United 
States citizens, and multiple armed Turkish officials beat, kicked, and 
choked unarmed demonstrators.
  Multiple video recordings show the violence with which these 
demonstrators were attacked.
  The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and 
the Department of State confirm that the demonstrators did not 
instigate the violence.
  Two armed Turkish officers attached to a security detail were 
detained at the scene for physically assaulting Federal agents but were 
later released and allowed to leave the United States because they held 
diplomatic immunity.
  Mr. Speaker, it is beyond dispute that the life of President Erdogan 
was never in any danger.
  It must be noted that immunity for diplomatic personnel and certain 
other foreign officials is a core principal but so is the 
constitutionally protected right to protest peacefully and freely in 
the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, this is the third instance of violence perpetrated by 
members of Turkish President Erdogan's security detail on United States 
soil.
  In 2011, a brawl erupted in the halls of the United States Nations 
General Assembly between members of Turkish President Erdogan's 
security detail and United Nations security officers, resulting in one 
United Nations security officer being hospitalized due to serious 
injuries.
  In 2016, members of Turkish President Erdogan's security detail 
engaged in unwarranted violence against journalist reporting on an 
event at the Brookings Institution.
  On May 21, 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson affirmed that 
violence outside the Turkish Embassy was ``outrageous'' and ``simply 
unacceptable.''
  It is imperative that the right to assembly, peaceful protest, and 
freedom of speech are not abridged because they are the bedrock of 
democracy.
  For this reason, the United States Secret Service and the Diplomatic 
Security Service of the Department of State should review this incident 
and confirm with the Turkish National Police the standards expected by 
visiting security details to prevent future violent incidents.
  The Department of State should also conduct a review of its own 
security procedure to determine how to mitigate the likelihood of 
similar events in the future.
  It is the duty of this House to stand for our ideals and take steps 
to strengthen freedoms for the press and civil society in countries 
such as Turkey, and oppose efforts by foreign leaders to suppress free 
and peaceful protest in their own countries.
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, as an original cosponsor of H. Res. 354, I 
rise today in strong support passing this legislation to condemn the 
reprehensible attacks outside the Turkish Ambassador's residence on May 
16.
  I am a proud member of the Congressional Caucus on Turkey and Turkish 
Americans. New Jersey's Ninth District, and particularly my hometown of 
Paterson, has a large and thriving Turkish-American community and I 
cherish our close relationship. However, what happened last month was 
beyond the pale. The brutal attacks on peaceful protesters are an 
affront to our American values and core democratic freedoms of free 
speech and peaceful assembly.
  One of the individuals attacked by President Erdogan's thugs was a 
constituent of mine from East Rutherford. As a college student, Ceren 
Borazan bravely joined her friends to peacefully protest President 
Erdogan's policies in Washington D.C.
  Since President Erdogan has taken office, Turkey has cracked down on 
freedom of expression, raided media outlets, and jailed judges, 
journalists, and civil servants in violation of democratic norms.
  Outside the embassy Ceren was thrown to the ground and kicked by the 
Turkish security guards. During the attack a blood vessel in her eye 
burst and weeks later she is still reminded of the trauma by nightmares 
and fears of retribution. While freedom of speech and freedom to 
protest may be prohibited in Turkey, they are bedrock U.S. principles 
that must be safeguarded. Violence is never an appropriate response to 
free speech.
  To ensure such an incident never happens again on our soil, those 
involved in carrying out this attack must be brought to justice. They 
must be denied diplomatic immunity and prosecuted to the fullest extent 
of U.S. law. Mr. Speaker, we must pass H. Res. 354 today to call 
attention to these attacks and to ensure justice is carried out for 
people like Ceren.
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record an editorial from The 
Star-Ledger titled ``Trump won't denounce American thuggery. Will he 
punish Turkey?''

     Trump Won't Denounce American Thuggery. Will He Punish Turkey?

                    (By Star-Ledger Editorial Board)

       Time to take stock of our rights of free speech and 
     peaceful protest in this country, and what--if anything--
     President Trump has done to protect them.
       He's been noticeably silent on the brutal beating of 
     peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. by the Turkish 
     President's thuggish bodyguards, on public property, right in 
     front of our own police, fully caught on video.
       The violence was completely unprovoked, and happened 
     shortly after Trump welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip 
     Erdogan to the Oval Office. Among others, a young woman from 
     East Rutherford, Ceren Borazan, was put into a headlock and 
     choked--popping a blood vessel in her eye--by a man who 
     threatened to kill her.
       This is common practice in Turkey--which is why Trump needs 
     to make it clear that it isn't acceptable here.
       But perhaps the real problem is that it is increasingly 
     acceptable here. Not just verbal and physical attacks against 
     peaceful protesters, but against journalists, whom Trump has 
     called ``the enemy of the people.''
       In the past month alone, reporters have been arrested, 
     slapped, pinned against a wall and choked for trying to do 
     their jobs; most recently by newly-elected Montana 
     congressman Greg Gianforte, accused of body-slamming a 
     journalist.
       He's faced no real consequences. ``Elections are about 
     choices and Montanans made their choice,'' Speaker Paul Ryan 
     said Friday. Trump, who had lavished praise on Gianforte--``a 
     wonderful guy''--added: ``Great win in Montana.''
       Perhaps this is why the former Breitbart News reporter 
     Michelle Fields, who was grabbed roughly by Corey Lewandowski 
     last year when she tried to ask Trump a question, said some 
     Republicans ``have put party over civility.''
       The casualty isn't just civility. Trump's hostility toward 
     the press--like his attempt to use the FBI to muzzle 
     journalists--has led

[[Page H4632]]

     Reporters Without Borders to lower America's ranking on press 
     freedom, measured by government restrictions and threats 
     against the news media.
       We're now ranked right below Burkina Faso, one of the 
     world's poorest countries.
       This failure to speak up for peaceful protesters and 
     journalists began at Trump's rallies, where his supporters 
     threatened and committed actual violence against them. Since 
     then, the United Nations has warned that the basic principle 
     of peaceful protest is under attack in the United States. At 
     least 19 states have introduced measures that would 
     criminalize such protests.
       The very least the President can do is make some sort of 
     distinction between what is tolerated here and in Turkey. 
     Yes, it's a NATO ally, and we have a complex relationship. 
     But this is about protecting the freedom of speech and 
     assembly, and basic rules of law in our own country.
       The New York Times has publicly identified the culprits, 
     and New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell is among those leading the 
     bipartisan charge to hold them accountable. If we can't get 
     to the thugs in Turkey, then the Trump administration should 
     hold the diplomats here to account.
       Think about the message it sends if the Turkish government 
     escapes this without so much as a slap on the wrist. A truly 
     populist President, a defender of American freedoms, would 
     stick up for the people--not the jack-booted thugs.

  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support H. Res. 
354, condemning the violence perpetrated against peaceful protesters 
outside the Turkish Ambassdor's residence during Turkish President 
Erdogan's visit last month. This timely and critically important 
measure was introduced by my good friend, and Foreign Affairs Committee 
Chairman, Ed Royce.
  Mr. Speaker, as representatives of the American people, we take a 
solemn oath to ``support and defend the Constitution of the United 
States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'' This sworn 
commitment spurs us to speak out now after the violent attack last 
month on peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. who were peacefully 
exercising their First Amendments rights.
  On that day a group of peaceful demonstrators--including a resident 
from my home state of New Jersey, Ceren Borazan--gathered outside the 
Turkish Ambassador's residence to protest the policies of Turkish 
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Shortly after President Erdogan's 
arrival at the residence during his official visit to the United 
States, a contingent of his security guards, joined by some supporters, 
rushed across the street where the protesters were gathered. Before the 
demonstrators knew it, this group of thugs was upon them, throwing them 
to the ground and raining blows upon them.
  By now we are all familiar with the shocking video images captured of 
men in dark suits, some with guns, and others in plainclothes 
mercilessly kicking protesters in their faces while they lie helplessly 
on the ground. Some demonstrators were outnumbered four to one by their 
assailants who punched and manhandled them until DC police intervened. 
When police stepped in, some attackers turned to assault our uniformed 
officers.
  Among this group of protesters were Kurdish- and Armenian-Americans, 
members of minorities with a painful history of persecution and 
marginalization in their ancestral homelands. These individuals came to 
the United States to seek the freedom and safety they were deprived in 
their lands of origin.
  The United States and its Bill of Rights are a promise to these 
people that must not be broken. That members of the President's 
security detail and others felt they could attack these sacred rights 
with impunity should offend us all. That Erdogan would calmly watch the 
melee unfold--as video evidence shows--is as galling as it is 
unsurprising. Indeed, just a year ago his security detail was involved 
in an all-too-similar incident at a public event in Washington.
  Mr. Speaker, the steps recommended by this measure should be urgently 
implemented. Among other things, the United States should charge and 
prosecute all those involved in the attack. The State Department should 
request a waiver of immunity for any Turkish officials charged and 
detained in connection with the incident. Finally, the United States 
should redouble its efforts to promote democracy and human rights in 
Turkey.
  Mr. Speaker, this was a brutal physical assault on a group of 
peaceful demonstrators in our nation's capital and a brazen insult to 
all Americans. I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to 
join their voices and votes in strongly condemning this incident and 
calling for justice.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that the House suspend the rules 
and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 354, as amended.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

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