Dr Oz’s Turkish connections would clash with Senate seat, PAC warns

GOP Senate candidate Mehmet Oz was accused of “defiantly” refusing to renounce his Turkish nationality in an announcement published Thursday by the group Really American PAC. Oz is pictured at an event in Newtown, Pennsylvania on May 11, 2022.
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Critics of GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz have accused him of representing a “clear and present danger to the United States” because of his ties to Turkey.

An announcement released Thursday by the liberal activist group Really American PAC warned that Oz had “defiantly” refused to renounce his Turkish citizenship and could not be “trusted” to sit in the Senate. Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has faced heavy criticism from both ends of the political spectrum during his quest to secure his party’s nomination and ultimately replace incumbent Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey.

“Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz defiantly refuses to renounce his Turkish citizenship,” a narrator said during the announcement, as footage of Oz and marching Turkish soldiers is shown. “He spent years serving in the Turkish army, he votes in Turkish elections. He is paid millions of dollars by Turkish Airlines. And he is comfortable with the Turkish theocratic dictator, Recep Erdoğan.”

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

Newsweek contacted the Oz campaign for comment.

Although Oz was born in Ohio to Turkish parents, he maintained ties to Turkey. Oz, 61, served in the Turkish army when he was younger, which is a requirement for male Turkish citizens between the ages of 20 and 41.

In March, the famous doctor and former TV star vowed to renounce his Turkish nationality if his candidacy for the Senate is successful, although dual nationality does not prevent candidates from serving in the Senate.

Although he previously said he had “never been politically involved in Turkey in any capacity”, Oz also voted in the 2018 Turkish elections. He received a backlash earlier this month after a picture of him voting appeared online.

The Armenian National Committee of America advocacy group has accused Oz of working as a “foreign agent” without properly registering on his publicity work for Turkish Airlines, as the Turkish government owns just under 50% of the airline company.

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

Oz campaign spokeswoman Brittany Yanick told NBC News that the candidate “opposes genocide and the killing of innocents in all its forms” when asked about the issue last month. last, without specifically using the term “Armenian Genocide”.

Some Trump supporters have also been reluctant to back 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 had “the time and energy to vote in a Turkish election but not in a US election” while supporting Oz’s main GOP opponent, David McCormick.

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

Yanick called the toll “pathetic and xenophobic” in an email to Newsweek, without directly mentioning Pompeo in his response and instead blaming McCormick.


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