TurkeyFebruary 6 2024, 8:54 am

US Firm Begins Lobbying for Turkey at US Congress

On 22 Decem­ber 2023, Intel­li­gence Online report­ed that The Van Auck­er Group (TVAG) lob­by­ing firm had begun advo­cat­ing on behalf of the Turk­ish embassy. The firm’s CEO, Robert Lewis Jr., is focus­ing his efforts on select mem­bers of Con­gress and their staffers, par­tic­u­lar­ly those serv­ing on com­mit­tees over­see­ing US for­eign and mil­i­tary pol­i­cy. The tasks assigned to TVAG include propos­ing and pur­su­ing leg­is­la­tion that pro­motes Turkey’s inter­ests and iden­ti­fy­ing key gath­er­ings for embassy per­son­nel to attend. Lewis’s lob­by­ing efforts are strate­gic, tar­get­ing indi­vid­u­als who are well-placed with­in the US polit­i­cal land­scape. The lob­by­ing activ­i­ties extend to both sup­port­ers and crit­ics of Ankara. The firm’s efforts also cov­er the Sen­ate Human Rights Cau­cus, a sig­nif­i­cant area for Turkey, giv­en fre­quent crit­i­cisms over its human rights record. The lob­by­ing firm is paid $10,000 a month for its ser­vices. In one instance, Lewis con­tact­ed a Senior Advi­sor on Europe and Eura­sia about a sui­cide bomb­ing in Ankara.

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