TurkeyNovember 14 2022, 8:16 am

Erdoğan Meets with Turkish-American Influence Groups

Turk­ish media is report­ing that Pres­i­dent Erdoğan has met with a num­ber of Turk­ish-Amer­i­can influ­ence orga­ni­za­tions while vis­it­ing New York in Sep­tem­ber to attend the 77th UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly. Accord­ing to the TRTHABER report:

Sep­tem­ber 18, 2022 Erdo­gan, who is in New York to attend the 77th Gen­er­al Assem­bly of the Unit­ed Nations (UN), held a meet­ing at Turke­vi. In a closed-door meet­ing, AK Par­ty Deputy Chair­man Efkan Ala, AK Par­ty Wash­ing­ton Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Halil Mut­lu, Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC) Chair­man Melih Bek­taş, TÜRKEN Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent Behram Turan, Cihan­nü­ma Asso­ci­a­tion USA Pres­i­dent Lev­ent Ali Yıldız, MUSIAD USA Pres­i­dent Murat Güzel , Mem­ber of the Board of Nil Edu­ca­tion and Sol­i­dar­i­ty Asso­ci­a­tion Mine Anlar, Pres­i­dent of the Black Sea Gire­sun Asso­ci­a­tion of the USA Savaş Şahin, Islam­ic Soci­ety Mil­li Görüş USA Region­al Pres­i­dent Nevzat Tun­cel, Hasene Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent Ned­im Sez­gin, Turk­ish Amer­i­can Stu­dents Fed­er­a­tion Pres­i­dent and AK Par­ty USA Youth Branch Pres­i­dent İsr­afil Demir, TASC Penn­syl­va­nia and Delaware Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Fatih Dur­sun, Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democ­rats (UID) New York Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Hakan Kar­alok, UID Cal­i­for­nia Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ebru Şahin, TASC Chica­go Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sey­it Şahin.

Read the rest here.

The Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee  (TASC) is strong­ly tied to Erdoğan; 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. In addi­tion, TASC’s for­mer trea­sur­er, Murat Guzel, detailed his US polit­i­cal activ­i­ties in emails to Erdoğan fam­i­ly mem­bers. GIOR has report­ed that co-chair Melih Bek­taş may have Turk­ish ultra­na­tion­al­ist and Islamist sym­pa­thies. Atten­dees Halil Mut­lu and İsr­afil Demir, AKP Wash­ing­ton Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and AKP USA Youth Branch Pres­i­dent, respec­tive­ly, pre­vi­ous­ly had lead­er­ship roles at TASC. On this same trip to New York, Erdoğan also spoke at a TASC gala.

The oth­er Turk­ish influ­ence orga­ni­za­tions present at the meet­ing and iden­ti­fied above included:

  • The TÜRKEN Foun­da­tion (con­nect­ed to TASC, the board includes Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s daugh­ter, Esra Albayrak
  • Cihan­nü­ma (an asso­ci­a­tion that has host­ed Hamas lead­ers, includ­ing Khaled Meshaal)
  • MÜSİAD (a Turk­ish businessman’s group which has finan­cial­ly sup­port­ed the AKP par­ty; its USA branch pres­i­dent, Murat Guzel, is TASC’s for­mer treasurer)
  • Mil­lî Görüş (a Turk­ish reli­gious and polit­i­cal move­ment found­ed by Necmet­tin Erbakan, Erdoğan’s polit­i­cal men­tor)
  • Hasene (a char­i­ty that shares the same address and two board mem­bers with Islamis­che Gemein­schaft Mil­lî Görüş, Mil­lî Görüş’s Euro­pean network)
  • The Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democ­rats (UID), a lob­by­ing group for Pres­i­dent Erdoğan and the AKP that empha­sizes Turk­ish val­ues and customs)


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