Turkish media is reporting that an MP of President Erdoğan’s AKP party has visited the US and spoken with Turkish citizens about the Turkish 2023 elections. According to the Yeni Akit report:
AKP Istanbul Deputy Hasan Turan met with Turkish citizens in Paterson, New Jersey, which is densely populated by Turks, within the framework of his contacts in the USA. During the meeting, Turan stated that they visited Turkish citizens within the framework of the program carried out by the AKP Presidency of Foreign Relations and that he traveled more than 10 thousand kilometers in about 10 days and met with thousands of citizens. Pointing to the importance of the elections to be held in Turkey in 2023, Turan underlined the importance of Turkish citizens living abroad to go to the polls. [Translated by DeepL with edits]
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The article also notes that the AKP USA representative, Halil Mutlu, gave Turan a gift. Mutlu is the former co-chair of the Turkish-American National Steering Committee, a Turkish influence group.
The Turkish Justice and Development Party (Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi; AKP) is the current ruling party in Turkey led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The party was founded in 2001 by several politicians from Islamist political parties who were banned for violating Turkey’s secular order, proclaiming themselves as practicing “conservative democracy” and rejecting the Islamist label. The party narrowly survived an attempt to close it via the courts for violating Turkey’s secularism laws for its lifting of a ban on headscarves at universities. Following this, the AKP passed constitutional amendments weakening the independence of the military and judiciary, both of which had threatened the AKP in defense of secularism. The AKP has close ties with the Global Muslim Brotherhood and operates abroad with representative offices in Europe, notably in Belgium, and has announced intent to open them in other western countries.