The Turkish Connections of Dr. Oz would run afoul of Senate seat, PAC warns

Mehmet Oz Republican election to Turkish Citizenship Senate
GOP Senate candidate Mehmet Oz was accused of “defiantly” refusing to give up his Turkish citizenship in an ad released Thursday by group Really American PAC. Oz is pictured during an event in Newtown, Pennsylvania on May 11, 2022.
Michael M.Santiago/Getty

Critics of GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz have accused him of posing a “clear and present threat to the United States” because of his ties to Turkey.

An ad published by liberal activist group Really American PAC on Thursday warned that Oz “despite” refused to give up his Turkish citizenship and “cannot be trusted” to serve in the Senate. Oz, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, has drawn criticism from both sides of the political spectrum in his bid to secure his party’s nomination and ultimately replace outgoing US Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz defiantly refuses to give up his Turkish citizenship,” a spokesman said meanwhile the ad, while images of Oz and marching Turkish soldiers are shown. “He has served in the Turkish military for years, he takes part in Turkish elections. He paid millions of dollars from Turkish Airlines. And he’s comfortable with Turkey’s theocratic dictator, Recep Erdoğan.”

“More alarmingly, Oz has endorsed the Turkish regime’s official line of denial of the Armenian Genocide,” the ad continued. “Not only can Oz not be trusted to represent the United States and the Constitution faithfully, his election would pose a clear and present danger to the United States. Pennsylvania, stop Mehmet Oz before it’s too late.”

news week has reached out to the Oz campaign for comment.

Although born in Ohio to Turkish parents, Oz has maintained ties to Turkey. Oz, 61, served in the Turkish military at a young age, which is required for male Turkish citizens aged 20-41.

In March, the famous doctor and former TV star vowed to give up his Turkish citizenship if his bid for the Senate is successful, although dual citizenship does not bar candidates from holding Senate office.

Despite previously saying that he “was not politically involved in Turkey in any capacity,” Oz also took part in the 2018 Turkish election. He received backlash after one earlier this month picture of him casting his vote surfaced online.

The advocacy group Armenian National Committee of America has accused Oz of working as a “foreign agent” without properly registering about his work for Turkish Airlines because the Turkish government owns close to 50 percent of the airline.

Oz has also been accused of denying the Armenian Genocide, which resulted in over 1 million Armenians dying in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.

Oz campaign spokeswoman Brittany Yanick told NBC News that the candidate “rejects genocide and the murder of innocent people in all forms” when asked about the issue last month, without specifically using the term “Armenian genocide.” to use.

Some Trump supporters have also been reluctant to endorse Oz despite Trump’s endorsement. A significant number of attendees at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania this month booed when Oz was introduced.

Last week, Trump-appointed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued that Oz “has the time and energy to vote in a Turkish election but not in an American election,” while supporting Oz’s GOP chief opponent, David McCormick.

“You’re stacking that with some of the work he’s done, some of the political engagement he’s had with Turkey, and I think the campaign owes the people of Pennsylvania … an explanation for that,” Pompeo said.

Yanick called the assessment “pathetic and xenophobic” in an email to. news week, without directly mentioning Pompeo in her response and instead blaming McCormick. The Turkish Connections of Dr. Oz would run afoul of Senate seat, PAC warns

Rick Schindler

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