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Turkish-Islamist Businessmen’s Association Hosts Maryland’s Secretary of State at Turkish Government Center

May 11th, 2022 14:11

Turk­ish media is report­ing that the Mary­land Sec­re­tary of State attend­ed a Turk­ish-Islamist busi­ness­men’s asso­ci­a­tion’s Ramadan fast-break­ing cer­e­mo­ny (iftar) held at a Turk­ish gov­ern­ment cen­ter. Accord­ing to the dikgazete report:

April 26, 2022: Many Turk­ish and Amer­i­can guests attend­ed the iftar pro­gram orga­nized by the Inde­pen­dent Indus­tri­al­ists’ and Busi­ness­men’s Asso­ci­a­tion (MUSIAD) USA Branch. The iftar, held at the Diyanet Cen­ter of Amer­i­ca, locat­ed in Mary­land, half an hour from the cap­i­tal Wash­ing­ton, brought togeth­er many peo­ple from dif­fer­ent walks of life. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Turk­ish Embassy in Wash­ing­ton and Bosnia-Herze­gov­ina and Ser­bian diplo­mat­ic mis­sions attend­ed the iftar, and Mary­land Sec­re­tary of State John C. Woben­smith also attend­ed. In his speech after the fast-break­ing fast, Murat Güzel, Pres­i­dent of MUSIAD USA, stat­ed that the spir­it of uni­ty and sol­i­dar­i­ty that Ramadan rep­re­sents for the Islam­ic world is remem­bered more strong­ly in such days. [Trans­lat­ed by Google with edits]

Read the rest here.

Woben­smith was sta­tioned in Ankara for the US Depart­ment of Defense from 1993 to 1997.

The Diyanet Cen­ter of Amer­i­ca is the US branch of the Turk­ish Direc­torate of Reli­gious Affairs (Turk­ish: Diyanet İşl­eri Başkan­lığı or Diyanet), the Turk­ish state insti­tu­tion respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing reli­gious affairs. The Diyanet was found­ed in 1924 to monop­o­lize con­trol of Sun­ni Islam in Turkey under the state. The Diyanet drafts a week­ly ser­mon deliv­ered at all of Turkey’s mosques, and their imams are civ­il ser­vants employed by the state.

MÜSİAD is a Turk­ish busi­ness­man­’s group found­ed in 1990 which aims to cre­ate a syn­the­sis of busi­ness and con­ser­v­a­tive Islam­ic val­ues. It pro­fess­es not to be a polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion yet has finan­cial­ly sup­port­ed the AKP par­ty, been sup­port­ed by Pres­i­dent Erdoğan, and MÜSİAD lead­ers have left their posi­tions to become AKP politi­cians. Its pres­i­dent, Murat Guzel, has mul­ti­ple con­nec­tions with Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdoğan and his AKP party:

  • Guzel report­ed his US polit­i­cal activ­i­ties in e‑mails to Erdoğan fam­i­ly members.