The US government has frozen arms sales to the bodyguards unit of Turkish President, Recep Erdogan, amid strained ties between both countries, local media reported on Tuesday.
“The move would block a deal by New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer to sell 1.2 million dollars’ worth of arms to the bodyguards unit.
“The guards were behind the May 16 assault on anti-Erdogan protesters during a presidential visit to Washington,’’ the report said.
“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 criticise the government,” the statement said.
Erdogan, who labelled the protesters “terrorists,” early September, blasted the US indictment of his bodyguards, saying that the case was a “scandalous demonstration of how American justice works”.