Turkish state media is reporting on a successful effort by the Turkish American National Steering Committee to remove a Times Square ad with the text “STOP ERDOGAN.” According to the Anadolu Agency report:
March 4, 2021 A defamation campaign advertisement by members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) against Turkey has been removed in New York City after backlash from the Turkish community. The anti-Turkey ad, broadcast on a screen in Times Square, prompted the Turkish-American National Steering Committee (TASC) and members of the Turkish-American community to protest. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, TASC Co-Chairman Halil Mutlu said the ad outraged the Turkish-American community, who he said flooded the advertising company with emails and phone calls. In addition to the reactions of hundreds of Turkish people, Mutlu said the TASC also reached out to the managers of the advertising company and informed them about the terror group’s activities and its coup attempt in Turkey.
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The Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) then ran ads via vans with LED screens in Times Square, one reading “LOVE ERDOGAN.” Another showed photos advancing the Turkish government’s position on the 2016 Turkish coup attempt, blaming the Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Gülen rejects this accusation, and the US has so far refused to extradite him, citing insufficient evidence. Turkey calls Gülen’s religious movement the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). TASC’s ties to Turkey and to Turkish President Erdoğan include:
- TASC co-chair Halil Mutlu is Erdoğan’s cousin.
- TASC co-chair Gunay Evinch is a principal of Saltzman & Evinch, a law firm retained by Turkey.