Senator Graham labels Turkey as "The Squad" of NATO, criticizes leadership
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has sparked a diplomatic debate by comparing Turkey's position in NATO to the controversial U.S. House group known as "The Squad." In a recent statement, Graham expressed disappointment and concern over Turkey's leadership, likening it to the informal group of progressive House Democrats. His comments were made through a post on a social media platform, reflecting the escalating tension between Turkey and other NATO members.
The controversy stems from recent remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. Speaking in Istanbul, Erdogan accused Israel of committing war crimes and announced plans to declare Israel a war criminal internationally. This statement has prompted Israel to recall its diplomats from Turkey to reassess bilateral relations. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen cited "grave statements" from Turkey for this diplomatic withdrawal.
As reported by The Hill, Graham's critique indirectly references the progressive lawmakers of "The Squad," including Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, Jamal Bowman, and Ayanna Pressley. Some of these members have supported pro-Palestinian stances amidst the ongoing conflict. In a recent post, Ocasio-Cortez commented on the dire situation in Gaza, questioning the long-term consequences of the current military actions and calling for thoughtful consideration of a ceasefire.