TurkeyAugust 11 2022, 17:09 pm

AKP Opens Representative Office in the US

Turk­ish media is report­ing that Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s AKP par­ty is open­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tive office in the US, head­ed by an indi­vid­ual who has led a Turk­ish-Amer­i­can influ­ence orga­ni­za­tion. Accord­ing to the Tele1 report:

17 May 2022: The AKP opened an offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive office in Wash­ing­ton on the instruc­tions of Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Halil Mut­lu, Erdoğan’s cousin, was appoint­ed as the AKP’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the US.Halil Mut­lu, who is one of the founders and a board mem­ber of the TÜRKEN (USA) Foun­da­tion, which was joint­ly estab­lished by Ensar and Türgev Foun­da­tions in the USA in 2014, and who is also the direc­tor of the pro-AKP Turk­ish-Amer­i­can Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC), has offi­cial­ly reg­is­tered with the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice as the AKP representative.In order to open a polit­i­cal par­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tion office in the US, one must reg­is­ter with FARA (For­eign Agents Reg­is­tra­tion Act). [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL with edits]

Read the rest here.

One of the FARA reg­is­tra­tion doc­u­ments states that it engages with Pres­i­dent Erdoğan him­self, and that the US AKP Rep­re­sen­ta­tion will engage direct­ly in lob­by­ing for AKP poli­cies, includ­ing via US politi­cians, and gain­ing sup­port for the par­ty in elections:

The polit­i­cal activ­i­ties of the AK par­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tion to the Unit­ed States LLC will include but not lim­it­ed to activ­i­ties involv­ing lob­by­ing, orga­niz­ing polit­i­cal, social and cul­tur­al meet­ings for the Turk­ish cit­i­zens, US politi­cians, gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions, non prof­it orga­ni­za­tions, etc in the Unit­ed States regard­ing AK par­ty poli­cies. it will also pre­pare and dis­sem­i­nate AK par­ty mate­r­i­al in the Unites States for the polit­i­cal sup­port of the Turk­ish cit­i­zens dur­ing elections.

In addi­tion to Mutlu’s fam­i­ly ties, the Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC) is also strong­ly tied to Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdoğan as:

  • TASC co-chair Gunay Evinch is a prin­ci­pal of Saltz­man & Evinch, a law firm retained by Turkey and reg­is­tered as a for­eign agent of Turkey in 2020.
  • TASC’s for­mer trea­sur­er, Murat Guzel, detailed his US polit­i­cal activ­i­ties in e‑mails to Erdoğan fam­i­ly members.

GIOR has pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed on Mutlu’s appoint­ment as AKP USA Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, his wife join­ing the TASC board after his depar­ture, and on TASC’s new co-chair, who like­ly has ultra­na­tion­al­ist sympathies.

As GIOR has addi­tion­al­ly report­ed, the TÜRKEN Foun­da­tion is also con­nect­ed to TASC and Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s daugh­ter, Esra Albayrak, is on its board.


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