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Turkish-American Influence Group Withdraws from Joint Declaration with Jewish Organization, Apologizes to Turkish MFA

November 17th, 2021 13:02

Turk­ish media is report­ing that a Turk­ish-Amer­i­can influ­ence orga­ni­za­tion has with­drawn from a dec­la­ra­tion it signed with a Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tion and apol­o­gized to a Turk­ish MFA Deputy Min­is­ter for being pho­tographed with the agree­ment. Accord­ing to the Duvar Eng­lish report:

Sep­tem­ber 24, 2021: Known for its staunch sup­port of the rul­ing AKP gov­ern­ment, the Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC) has with­drawn from a dec­la­ra­tion that it co-signed with the Ortho­dox Jew­ish Cham­ber of Com­merce (OJC). Dubbed a “trea­son to the Pales­tin­ian cause” by Ankara only a year ago, the Abra­ham Accords signed between the UAE and Israel last year was list­ed as a cause to be sup­port­ed in the joint dec­la­ra­tion. The Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC), known for its close ties to Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s gov­ern­ment, announced on Sept. 23 that it with­drew from a joint dec­la­ra­tion signed with the Ortho­dox Jew­ish Cham­ber of Com­merce (OJC). The orga­ni­za­tion cit­ed “a lack of prop­er con­sen­sus” as the rea­son. The announce­ment came only four days after the dec­la­ra­tion was signed in which the two groups opposed the Boy­cott, Divest­ment, Sanc­tions (BDS) move­ment led by Pales­tini­ans, want­ed enhanced trade between Turkey and Israel, and sup­port­ed ini­tia­tives such as the Israel–United Arab Emi­rates nor­mal­iza­tion agree­ment, offi­cial­ly known as the Abra­ham Accords Peace Agree­ment, the dai­ly Karar report­ed on Sept. 24.

The arti­cle notes that, fol­low­ing their with­draw­al from the dec­la­ra­tion, the Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee also pub­lished an apol­o­gy to Turkey’s Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter for hav­ing pho­tographed him with the agree­ment, say­ing that the Min­is­ter was unfa­mil­iar with its contents.

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 and reg­is­tered as a for­eign agent of Turkey in 2020.
  • TASC’s for­mer trea­sur­er, Murat Guzel, detailed his US polit­i­cal activ­i­ties in e‑mails to Erdoğan fam­i­ly members.