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Turkish-American Influence Group Wants to Use US Politicians For Ramadan Food Aid

March 30th, 2021 11:21

Turk­ish media is report­ing that the Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee wants to con­tribute to Turk­ish-Amer­i­can rela­tions by dis­trib­ut­ing food via US politi­cians. Accord­ing to the Anadolu Agency report:

March 28, 2021 The Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC), one of the umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tions of the Turk­ish com­mu­ni­ty oper­at­ing in the USA, start­ed prepa­ra­tions for aid to those in need dur­ing Ramadan. With the spon­sor­ship of the Turk­ish food com­pa­ny Vin­tage Food Cor­po­ra­tion in New Jer­sey, USA, TASC offi­cials and vol­un­teers pre­pared food pack­ages that will meet a fam­i­ly’s basic needs for about a month. TASC Vice Pres­i­dent İsr­afil Demir stat­ed that they pre­pared 3,500 food pack­ages to be deliv­ered to the Turk­ish and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties, most of them in need, before Ramadan. Demir said, “We hope these activ­i­ties will fur­ther strength­en the bond between Turk­ish and Mus­lim soci­eties.” Demir stat­ed that they also aim to deliv­er the aid to Amer­i­cans in need say­ing, “We want to bring the bless­ings of Ramadan to them and show the gen­eros­i­ty of the Turk­ish com­mu­ni­ty. We will dis­trib­ute the aid through some US politi­cians. We hope that we will also con­tribute to Turk­ish-Amer­i­can rela­tions on this occa­sion.” [Trans­lat­ed by Google with edits]

Read the rest here.

The Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC) is strong­ly tied to Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdoğan:

  • 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.
  • TASC’s for­mer trea­sur­er, Murat Guzel, detailed his US polit­i­cal activ­i­ties in e‑mails to Erdoğan fam­i­ly members.

Addi­tion­al­ly, Pres­i­dent Lev­ent Demir­gil of Vin­tage Food Cor­po­ra­tion, the spon­sor of the food dona­tions, is a board mem­ber of MÜSİAD USA, the US branch of MÜSİAD, a Turk­ish-Islamist busi­ness­man­’s group. MÜSİAD pro­fess­es not to be a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion yet has finan­cial­ly sup­port­ed Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s AKP par­ty and been sup­port­ed in turn by Pres­i­dent Erdoğan, and MÜSİAD lead­ers have left their posi­tions to become AKP politi­cians them­selves. MÜSİAD USA’s cur­rent pres­i­dent is Murat Güzel, a founder of the orga­ni­za­tion and a board mem­ber at TASC.

Oth­er rel­e­vant GIOR report­ing on TASC has included:

  • In March 2021, we report­ed that TASC had suc­cess­ful­ly got­ten an anti-Erdoğan ad pulled from Times Square.
  • In March 2021, we report­ed that TASC denounced a US sen­ate let­ter urg­ing the Biden Admin­is­tra­tion to have Turkey improve its human rights record.
  • In March 2021, we report­ed that MÜSİAD USA had spon­sored a bill­board sup­port­ing Turkey and Azer­bai­jan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  • In Octo­ber 2020, we report­ed that Murat Güzel (TASC, MÜSİAD USA) was a mem­ber of two DNC committees.