Dr. Oz (Mehmet Cengiz Öz), who plans to run for a Pennsylvania Senate seat, said that he would prefer to maintain his Turkish citizenship than receive security clearances. Oz, whose mother has Alzheimer's Disease, insisted he could love his country and his mother.
PoliticsPA reported that Oz answered a question about his dual citizenship, explaining that he kept his Turkish citizenship in order to care for his mother. Oz replied to a question about what he would do in a situation in which security clearances were denied him by stating that he would forgo them as he loves his mother and country.
Both his parents are Turkish, and he was born in Turkey. Children born to Turkish mothers or fathers are Turkish citizens from birth under Turkish nationality laws. Oz was a soldier in the Turkish military, allowing him to retain dual citizenship.
While federal law doesn't prohibit dual nationals from serving as Congressmen, pundits are concerned about Oz's willingness and ability to keep dual citizenship.
“Oz's dual citizenship and his unwillingness to renounce Turkish citizenship will keep the FBI & security managers awake at night,” stated Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
Steven Cook, a senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), wondered if he was a government agent. It's hard to prove that. However, if Oz has business relationships that depend on the government's good graces, it is reasonable to question his views on these matters.
Oz spoke out about his desire for Turkish citizenship the same day that reports indicated that he was in talks to return to television if he loses his Senate bid. He isn't stupid, and no one wants to admit defeat. He is aware that his campaign is on life support. He is looking for alternative ways to keep his career going if he loses, “just like any good doctor,” a source stated.
Oz still has much ground to cover in the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary, scheduled for May 17. A poll showed that Oz was nine points behind Republican candidate David McCormick.