Oz Vote in 2018 Turkish Election Draws Criticism


“As Dr. Mehmet Oz embarks on a bid for the U.S. Senate, the television star has largely shied away from discussing his ties to Turkey, where he maintains citizenship, and dismissed criticism from political opponents that he harbors any so-called “dual loyalties.”

But a photograph of Oz casting a ballot in Turkey’s 2018 presidential election is rankling some national security experts — particularly after recently saying he has “never been politically involved in Turkey in any capacity.”

“The decision to vote in a foreign country’s election is problematic from a security clearance perspective,” according to John V. Berry, a former government lawyer with expertise in federal security clearances.

After a rocky start to his campaign, Oz recently earned a coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump, bolstering his chances of capturing the Republican nod. But political opponents have continued to target his connections to Turkey — a strategy the Oz campaign and others have called xenophobic smears. If elected, Oz has said he would renounce his Turkish citizenship.”

 

  • Background: “When asked about the photograph, which appeared in June 2018 on the Facebook page of Turkey’s consulate in Manhattan, Brittany Yanick, an Oz campaign spokesperson, confirmed its authenticity to ABC News and confirmed that Oz did vote in the 2018 election. According to Yanick, Oz voted for opposition candidate Muharrem Ince in his unsuccessful campaign against Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan. She denied that Oz’s vote amounted to “political involvement.””
  • Why It Matters: “Elected officials are not subjected to the same level of scrutiny as civilians who seek security clearances for sensitive government work; once sworn-in, lawmakers are granted access to classified information, unless the executive branch denies them certain information.”
  • The Bottom Line: “Born and raised in Ohio, Oz has said that he maintains dual U.S.-Turkey citizenship to care for his mother in Turkey, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. He also served in the Turkish army for 60 days in the early 1980s — reportedly to retain his Turkish citizenship — and maintains real estate holdings in Turkey, plus has an endorsement deal the country’s national airline, Turkish Airlines.”
  • What They’re Saying: “”Any single one of those would be enough to torpedo a [security] clearance,” Kel McClanahan, the executive director of National Security Counselors, a nonprofit public interest law firm said. “Taken together, I would not put good odds on that person getting a clearance anywhere.”
  • Worth Noting: “If I were advising [Oz], I would suggest divesting from any assets or … financial ties with any entity of the Turkish government,” said Sean Bigley, a national security lawyer and former Trump-appointee to the National Security Education Board.”

 

11 Responses

  1. I saw an Ohio voter asked on TV about Biden. He said he did not like Biden as a person, but liked Biden’s policies. What policies? He has no policy other than self-enrichment. Reporters who fail to ask the follow-up that a voter name the Biden policies he likes is committing journalistic malpractice!

    1. Please explain – with verifiable numbers – how Biden is enriching his self. No? Got nothing? Then STFU, you Putin Troll.

  2. Cmon Republicans- dump the freaking carpetbaggers on May 17th. Nominate Bartos

  3. I voted in Norway last year because Uncle Leif was running for Village Dog Catcher. Trump endorsed him and he won!

  4. Divided loyalties, Oz? You cannot be a US Senator while voting in Turkey.

  5. Oz will get booed out of Greensburg tomorrow. Pennsylvania doesn’t want him.

    1. Lol PA doesn’t want Kathy Barnette – she will be lucky to get 10%. Oz is the only true conservative in the race, as shown by his endorsement by Donald J. Trump.

      1. You mean the guy w spirit cooker Marina Abromavich and the sex trafficking guru John of God? THAT Dr. OZ?? He is no more conservative than Mt left nut.

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