The Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) cooperated with an organization with several connections to the Turkish government to commemorate the July 2016 Turkish coup. According to the TASC tweet:
June 28, 2022: In partnership with the 15 July Association, TASC commemorated our 251 martyrs who lost their lives in the treacherous coup attempt that took place on July 15, 2016, with our exhibition “The Last Walk” in New York Times Square. May the souls of our martyrs rest in peace. [Translated by Google with edits]
Read the rest here.
According to its website, the 15 July Association was founded shortly after the July 2016 Turkish coup to commemorate the coup as well as its martyrs and veterans. It also organizes international conferences and panels to speak against Fethullah Gülen, a former ally of President Erdoğan, who Turkey blames for the coup. 15 July Association founders and board members include:
- Mustafa Varank, Turkish Industry and Technology Minister
- Bünyamin Albayrak, Diyanet Religious Services General Manager
- Hasan Doğan, Chief Advisor to President Erdoğan
The 15 July Association is also a member of the National Will Platform, which two British academics have described as founded by Islamic civil society organizations, associations, and foundations. They also describe the organization as having declared “a full commitment to the AKP’s political ideology in widely circulated press releases.”
The Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) is strongly tied to Turkish President 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 e‑mails to Erdoğan family members. GIOR has reported that co-chair Melih Bektaş may have Turkish ultranationalist and Islamist sympathies.