The Turkish community living in the United States voiced their reactions against the U.S. support to the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian affiliate PYD in a press conference in front of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday. Representatives of the U.S. branch of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), the Cihannuma Solidarity and Cooperation Platform Association and the Turkish-American National Steering Committee (TASC) were present at the press conference protesting the U.S. Congress for using taxpayer money to support the terrorist group.
Murat Guzel, the organizer of the event, emphasized the importance of increasing American-Turks’ role and influence in U.S. politics and stressed that the Turkish community should ask the U.S. authority to account for their taxes.
Pointing out that the U.S. administration was aiming to allocate over $500 million to the PYD/PKK of the 2019 budget, Guzel said, "This money is being cut off from our taxes. Ironically, the U.S. intelligence organizations also described this group [PYD] as an extension of the PKK terrorist organization. As a matter of fact, in the past weeks, they have submitted a report [on this] to the Congress. We, as taxpayers in America, have met the members of the Congress and called them to account for the taxes we have paid and we will continue to do it.
"We have received very positive results especially from talks we have done yesterday and today, and we will increase our visits to the Democratic Party," said Guzel.
He also called on the Turkish community in the U.S. to call their representatives by phone and email or to visit them to contest the use of their taxes.
MUSIAD's U.S. President Mustafa Tuncer said they had told the U.S. congressmen that “terrorism cannot be supported by the taxes we have paid".
He highlighted that the contribution of Turkish investors to the U.S. economy could not be underestimated.
Cihannuma U.S. President Levent Ali Yildiz emphasized that Turkish-American relations were going through a critical period.
He argued that the damage in Turkish-U.S. relations was not only by the PYD/PKK terror group but also U.S. ties with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), as its leader resides on U.S. soil.
“Our negotiations [with the lawmakers] were very productive," he added.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which martyred 250 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
TASC co-Chair Halil Mutlu added that Turkish-U.S. relations were better than what recent media reports were portraying.
He said the Turkish community in the U.S. would continue to make its voice heard and would contribute to restoring relations between the two NATO allies.
"We saw that the connections were not as damaged as they were written and drawn [in recent reports],” he added.
Reporting by Bilal Kenasari:Writing by Sorwar Alam