Amid complicated relations with U.S., Turkey hires longtime Trump lobbyist Brian Ballard

The contract with Turkey is the firm’s highest profile foreign client and could be its most controversial amid unrest in the nation under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Turkey protested to the U.S. ambassador in Ankara that U.S. officials took “aggressive and unprofessional actions” against Turkish bodyguards in Washington last week when they beat protesters demonstrating against Erdogan. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday denounced the violent clash and told “Fox News Sunday” that State Department had called in the ambassador of Turkey to discuss the incident and say “that this is simply unacceptable.”

Meantime, amid a special counsel’s examining of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, Trump’s former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, has come under increasing scrutiny for his Turkish lobbying, which was also linked to a Russian oil deal.

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