February 15, 2023

Duckworth Meets with Turkish Ambassador Following Devastating Earthquakes


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, met with Ambassador Murat Mercan, Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., to discuss the ways in which the United States can help Türkiye recover from the devastating earthquakes that have killed more than 35,000 people in the country. Duckworth also raised concerns over Türkiye’s obstruction in approving North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) accession for Sweden and Finland. Photos from this meeting can be found here.

“The people of Türkiye have been through unimaginable pain and loss because of the recent earthquakes that have claimed so many lives and destroyed homes and buildings. During my conversation with Ambassador Mercan, I reiterated our nation’s commitment to helping provide Türkiye with the resources and tools necessary to recover from this devastation. Additionally, I conveyed my concerns that Türkiye continues to delay Sweden and Finland’s acceptance into NATO and urged him to help move the process along so we can continue to strengthen the alliance amid Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and broader attempts to destabilize the global order.”

Duckworth recently helped send a bipartisan letter to President Biden expressing concern about the Republic of Türkiye’s continued delays around ratifying the NATO accession protocols for Sweden and Finland. The letter also states that congressional consideration of F-16 fighter jet sales to Türkiye should not begin until the NATO protocols are ratified.

Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and is an Iraq War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient. She was among the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.