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Board Member of Erdoğan-Tied Groups Member Of DNC Committees

October 14th, 2020 20:18

A US media arti­cle about prob­lem­at­ic appoint­ments to com­mit­tees of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee (DNC) is report­ing that a board mem­ber of two orga­ni­za­tions tied to Pres­i­dent Erdoğan was on two DNC’s com­mit­tees accord­ing to a Sep­tem­ber 2019 mem­bers list. The arti­cle describes Murat Guzel as follows:

August 8, 2020 Guzel, a fre­quent large donor who has made hun­dreds of dona­tions to Demo­c­ra­t­ic com­mit­tees nation­wide, had also been trea­sur­er of the Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC). Guzel was alleged by Sas­soun­ian to be pro­vid­ing updates on his U.S. polit­i­cal activ­i­ties to Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inner cir­cle. Accord­ing to a report last Novem­ber by the Lon­don-based Inves­tiga­tive Jour­nal, Wik­ileaks released an email in which Guzel wrote to Erdogan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, that “to stand behind Erdo­gan and do what­ev­er we can do against the evil pow­ers is not just an act of com­pas­sion but rather an ‘Islam­ic oblig­a­tion’ upon all of us” (p. 45).

Read the rest here.

In addi­tion to Albayrak, Murat Guzel has had direct con­tact with oth­er fig­ures close to Erdoğan in regards to US polit­i­cal mat­ters, as demon­strat­ed by oth­er leaked e‑mails from 2014 including:

  • An e‑mail exchange with Erdoğan spokesman İbrahim Kalın about pay­ing a US con­gress­man to write an op-ed favor­able to Erdoğan.
  • Anoth­er exchange includ­ing Erdoğan’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, dealt with respond­ing to anoth­er congressman’s praise of an Erdoğan polit­i­cal ene­my, Fethul­lah Gülen.

Guzel is cur­rent­ly list­ed as a board mem­ber of the Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC) and was list­ed as its trea­sur­er as late as June 2020. TASC itself is strong­ly con­nect­ed to Pres­i­dent Erdoğan as:

  • TASC’s co-chair, Halil Mut­lu, is Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s cousin.
  • Mut­lu is the for­mer chair­man of the Turken Foun­da­tion, where Erdoğan’s daugh­ter Esra Albayrak is on the board of directors.
  • The oth­er co-chair of TASC, Gunay Evinch, is a prin­ci­pal of Saltz­man & Evinch, the law firm retained by Turkey and engaged in the legal defense of Erdoğan’s body­guards accused of assault­ing pro­tes­tors dur­ing Erdoğan’s May 2017 vis­it to Wash­ing­ton DC.
  • TASC also has host­ed events in the US where Pres­i­dent Erdoğan has spoken.

TASC addi­tion­al­ly has sev­er­al rela­tion­ships with the US Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, anoth­er transna­tion­al influ­ence oper­a­tion cov­ered by the GIOR:

  • In Sep­tem­ber 2019, TASC host­ed an event where pres­i­dent Erdoğan spoke along­side and met with USMB leaders.
  • TASC also par­tic­i­pat­ed in the 15th Annu­al MAS-ICNA Con­ven­tion in 2016, along with one of Erdoğan’s daugh­ters, Turk­ish pub­lic broad­cast­er TRT, and oth­er Turk­ish orga­ni­za­tions and agencies.
  • TASC co-spon­sored a ral­ly against Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s 2017 dec­la­ra­tion that Jerusalem is the cap­i­tal of Israel along with sev­er­al US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups.

Guzel has also been list­ed as a board mem­ber of MÜSIAD USA, the US divi­sion of MÜSIAD: an Islamist Turk­ish businessman’s asso­ci­a­tion described in a report authored by the GIOR edi­tor as also sup­port­ed by Erdoğan and which played a role in the 2010 Gaza Flotil­la involved with a vio­lent alter­ca­tion with Israeli naval forces.