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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