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US Group Tied To Erdoğan Protests US Senate Letter Critical Of Turkey

March 9th, 2021 17:41

Turk­ish state media is report­ing that the Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee has harsh­ly crit­i­cized a recent let­ter signed by 50 US Sen­a­tors, “urg­ing the Admin­is­tra­tion to press the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment to improve its human rights record, which includes an increas­ing­ly author­i­tar­i­an crack­down on dis­sent both domes­ti­cal­ly and abroad.” Accord­ing to the Anadolu Agency report:

Feb­ru­ary 11, 2021 The US-based Turk­ish Amer­i­can Nation­al Steer­ing Com­mit­tee (TASC) said Thurs­day it is “appalled” by a let­ter by 50 US sen­a­tors that char­ac­ter­izes the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment as “author­i­tar­i­an admin­is­tra­tion and vio­la­tors of Human Rights.” “Turkey’s gov­ern­ment was deter­mined by a free and fair elec­tion by all cit­i­zens regard­less of their back­ground,” senior names of the com­mit­tee said in a state­ment. “The Turk­ish peo­ple made it clear that no one can tem­per with their future when they took to streets and resist­ed a coup attempt on July 15th, 2016. The Turk­ish peo­ple made it clear to the world that they val­ue their democ­ra­cy above all else, and will pro­tect it at any cost.” The state­ment came two days after half of the US Sen­ate has signed a let­ter urg­ing Pres­i­dent Joe Biden to push Turkey on its human rights record. The let­ter, which was writ­ten by Demo­c­rat Ron Wyden and Repub­li­can Mar­co Rubio, false­ly alleges that Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan “has tak­en the coun­try down an increas­ing­ly author­i­tar­i­an path” and “mar­gin­al­ized domes­tic oppo­si­tion” as well as “silenced or co-opt­ed crit­i­cal media outlets.”

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.

Pre­vi­ous GIOR report­ing on TASC includes:

  • In Novem­ber 2020, we report­ed on TASC orga­niz­ing demon­stra­tions in sup­port of Azer­bai­jan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  • In Octo­ber 2020, we report­ed on a TASC board member’s mem­ber­ship in com­mit­tees of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Committee.
  • In Octo­ber 2020, we also report­ed on a Mary­land Con­gress­man who thanked TASC for Coro­n­avirus aid.