Don Bacon, a Republican representative for Nebraska's second congressional district, praised Turkey's contribution to the fight against Daesh terrorists and dealing with the refugee influx, in a bill he recently sponsored on Turkey's Republic Day.
Resolution 581, Congratulating the people of the Republic of Turkey and Turkish Americans nationwide on the Turkish Republic Day highlighted Turkey's importance as a valuable security partner of the U.S. while commending the contributions of the Turkish-American community in the country.
The bill expresses appreciation for Turkey's contribution to global efforts to fight Daesh.
Turkey has been targeted by a wave of deadly attacks by Daesh and the PKK since 2015. It has so far deported more than 5,000 Daesh suspects and 3,290 foreign terrorists originating from 95 countries while dismantling terrorist cells and safe houses.
The country also launched Operation Euphrates Shield last year to back moderate Syrian opposition groups to retake key cities near the Turkish border in Syria from Daesh.
Meanwhile, the bill also acknowledged the "unique political, economic, and social challenges confronting the people of Turkey from the influx of refugees that the ongoing conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq have caused."
It noted that the Syrian crisis "has especially burdened Turkey," which has over 3 million refugees "fleeing the horrors of the Assad regime" and has become the country with the largest refugee population in the world, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
U.S. President Donald Trump also reiterated the importance of the alliance with Turkey at the Republic Day reception at the Turkish Embassy in Washington Saturday as relations between two countries have been experiencing a tumultuous period.
The relations between the two countries is going through the worst period in the last decade. The presence of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader Fetullah Gülen in U.S. state of Pennsylvania remains a key problematic issue, especially after the bloody July 15, 2016 coup attempt blamed on FETÖ. Turkey has repeatedly called for Gülen's extradition and said enough evidence was presented, whereas the U.S. has responded that it is a judicial issue.
The two NATO allies are also at odds in their policies in Syria. While the U.S. supports the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the ground, Turkey says that the group is nothing but an extension of the PKK terrorist organization, also designated a terrorist group by the U.S., the EU and NATO.
The detention of a U.S. consular staff of Turkish origin in a probe over his links to the FETÖ led to cancellation of U.S. visa services in Turkey, which has responded in kind.