Senator Bob Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered a speech in the Senate hall calling for a reassessment of the relationship between the United States and Turkey based on its aggressive behavior in the region and the dramatic decline of democracy under Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Our strongest allies must be NATO allies, those who have pledged a common defense treaty. Those who share our values," Menendez said.
He added: "Unfortunately, Turkey under control of Erdogan does not embody any of the values of the coalition ... Turkey should not be considered under Erdogan as an ally."
The senator outlined specific measures that the United States should take to protect the interests of its national security and those of its true allies in the region.
Menendez announced that he would soon rely on a rare provision under the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) to force the Trump administration to report to Congress on Turkey's human rights violations in Syria.
Menendez also called on the Senate to adopt the bipartisan Energy and Security Partnership for the Eastern Mediterranean Act of 2019 to support the tripartite partnership between Israel, Greece and Cyprus, and called for specific sanctions on Turkey for its actions in Syria.
Menendez also called on President Trump to cancel any invitation to Turkish President Erdogan to the White House to commit himself to upholding democratic values.
The US senator criticized Erdogan's policies on freedom of religion within Turkey.
Menendez concluded that it was time for the Senate to act on Turkey's bad behavior.