Turkish media is reporting that a Turkish-American influence organization has withdrawn from a declaration it signed with a Jewish organization and apologized to a Turkish MFA Deputy Minister for being photographed with the agreement.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Known for its staunch support of the ruling AKP government, the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) has withdrawn from a declaration that it co-signed with the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce (OJC).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.