The Trump administration has withdrawn a proposal to let Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security guards buy $1.2 million in U.S.-made weapons, a congressional official said Monday, following violence against protesters during Erdogan’s visit to Washington this spring.
Earlier this year, the administration told Congress it planned to allow New Hampshire gunmaker Sig Sauer to sell the weapons, which include hundreds of semi-automatic handguns and ammunition. The notification triggered a period in which Congress could review the deal before final approval is granted. The weapons would have gone to an intermediary in Turkey for use by Erdogan’s presidential security forces.
But U.S. lawmakers began expressing strong opposition to the sale after a violent caught-on-camera incident on May 16 outside the home of the Turkish ambassador to Washington as Erdogan was visiting. Nineteen people including 15 identified as Turkish security officials have been indicted by a U.S. grand jury for attacking peaceful protesters.