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NYC Mayoral Candidate Received Donations from Turkish-American Influence Group Leaders

July 3rd, 2021 16:01

A US uni­ver­si­ty news ser­vice is report­ing that New York City May­oral Can­di­date Eric Adams has received dona­tions from two lead­ers of orga­ni­za­tions con­nect­ed to the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to the NYCITY NewsSer­vice report:

June 17, 2021 […] Busi­ness­man Murat Guzel—contributor to numer­ous nation­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic campaigns—gave Adams $5,000 on July 12. Guzel donat­ed an addi­tion­al $5,100 a month lat­er. Because Adams is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the city’s match­ing cam­paign-funds pro­gram, indi­vid­ual donors can give a max­i­mum $2,000 in total con­tri­bu­tions. Any addi­tion­al amount is refund­ed by the cam­paign. Guzel, for instance, was refund­ed $8,100. Behram Turan, board chair­man of the Turken Foun­da­tion, a non­prof­it that pro­motes Turk­ish and Mus­lim cul­ture, donat­ed $3,000 to Adams that July. In Novem­ber 2018, Turken broke ground for a 21-sto­ry build­ing in Man­hat­tan where Adams hoist­ed a cer­e­mo­ni­al shov­el along­side Turan and Turkey’s ambas­sador to the UN. “We’re not expect­ing any spe­cial treat­ment,” Turan said when asked by the NYC­i­ty News Ser­vice about his dona­tion. “We just hap­pen to like him per­son­al­ly and see the poten­tial for him to pro­vide good ser­vice for New York City, where we have a project.”

Read the rest here.

Murat Guzel has sev­er­al con­nec­tions with Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdoğan and his AKP party:

  • Guzel is the pres­i­dent of MÜSİAD USA, the US branch of the Turk­ish Islamist businessman’s group, MÜSİAD, which aims to cre­ate a syn­the­sis of busi­ness and con­ser­v­a­tive Islam­ic val­ues and which has finan­cial­ly sup­port­ed  Erdoğan’s AKP party.
  • Guzel report­ed his US polit­i­cal activ­i­ties in e‑mails to Erdoğan fam­i­ly members.

Behram Turan is also a board mem­ber of TASC as well as the Chair­man of the Board of the Turken Foun­da­tion, whose stat­ed objec­tives include pro­vid­ing hous­ing as well as social and edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties to Turk­ish and Mus­lim stu­dents. Turken’s board also includes:

  • Ömer Faruk Albayrak, like­ly a rel­a­tive of Esra Albayrak’s husband.
  • TASC Trea­sur­er Memis Yetim.

Adams also has had a rela­tion­ship with the Turken Foun­da­tion, in 2018 pre­sent­ing the group with a  cer­tifi­cate of appre­ci­a­tion for “out­stand­ing achieve­ments and con­tri­bu­tions to society.”

The arti­cle also notes that Adams trav­eled to Turkey to sign a sis­ter city agree­ment between Brook­lyn and an Istan­bul dis­trict in 2015, a trip paid for by the Turk­ish Con­sulate. He received more dona­tions from Turk­ish-Amer­i­can sup­port­ers after the trip.

Relat­ed GIOR report­ing has included:

  • In June 2021, we report­ed that TASC’s new Vice Chair­man of the Board is also the pres­i­dent of MÜSİAD USA’s youth wing.
  • In May 2021, we report­ed that TASC, along­side an NJ mayor’s office, orga­nized a Ramadan iftar (fast-break­ing) attend­ed by NJ Con­gress­man Bill Pascrell.
  • In Octo­ber 2020, we report­ed that Murat Guzel was on two of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Committee’s com­mit­tees accord­ing to a Sep­tem­ber 2019 mem­bers list.