Dr. Oz faces mounting criticism in Pennsylvania Senate run

A dual U.S. and Turkish citizen, Mehmet Oz is alleged to have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Dr. Oz faces mounting criticism in Pennsylvania Senate run
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File
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Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is running for a position in the U.S. Senate representing the state of Pennsylvania, is facing a raft of stories that threaten his bid for office.

As reported by ABC News, Oz, who is a dual citizen of the United States and Turkey was involved in Turkish elections.

“The television star has largely shied away from discussing his ties to Turkey, where he maintains citizenship, and dismissed criticism from political opponents that he harbors any so-called ‘dual loyalties,'” ABC News reported. “But a photograph of Oz casting a ballot in Turkey’s 2018 presidential election is rankling some national security experts — particularly after recently saying he has ‘never been politically involved in Turkey in any capacity.'”

Speaking to ABC News, John V. Berry, a former government lawyer who is an expert in federal security clearances, said that Oz’s decision to vote in the Turkish election is “problematic from a security clearance perspective.”

ABC News confirmed the validity of the photo, reporting that the television celebrity voted in Turkey’s 2018 elections.

The damning report was not the only one to hit Oz’s campaign ambitions on Thursday. The New York Post published a report alleging that Oz violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by failing to register as a foreign agent when he worked for Turkish Airlines. The airline is 49.12% owned by the Turkish state, as highlighted by the Daily Wire.

Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian penned a letter to Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, asking the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a formal investigation into Oz’s foreign dealings.

It stated in part:

Dr. Oz indisputably serves as public relations counsel, publicity agent, information service employee, or political consultant for Turkish Airlines. In 2017, Dr. Oz reportedly collaborated with Turkish Airlines on its “Fly Good Feel Good” project, which was designed to provide “an even more comfortable and healthy travel experience to its passengers.” …

More recently, Dr. Oz appeared in an advertising campaign for Turkish Airlines including in a four-minute informational video offering a medical seal of approval to the airline’s COVID-19 safety procedures. These campaigns constituted informational materials disseminated in interstate commerce by the foreign agent on behalf of the foreign principal but did not include the conspicuous statement labeling them accordingly as is required by the statute. 

“Dr. Oz clearly serves as a foreign agent on behalf of the foreign principal Turkish Airlines,” Hamparian wrote. “As you are also aware, the penalty for a willful violation of FARA is imprisonment for not more than five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Certain violations are considered misdemeanors, with penalties of imprisonment of not more than six months, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both. We encourage you to fully investigate this matter.” 

The two scandals come as Oz remains neck and neck with former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator in the state of Pennsylvania. As reported by the Post Gazette, the polls are so close that the results remain within the margin of error.  

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