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September 11

September 11 (10)

"For the first time in the U.S., the events of September 11 are being viewed through the eyes of a particular ethnic group. Elif Ozmenek brings together issues such as the impact of this historical event on Turkish people living in New York, the witnesses to the terrorist attack, and people who lost their loved ones in a documentary called “The Yellow Leaf.” Ozmenek writes about the terrorist attacks which changed the world through the eyes of Turks for TurkofAmerica."

On the 65th Floor of the 1st Tower During the Terrorist Attack

 “WE WERE THERE!”
Five years later, the Turkish people living in and around New York, in response to the unfair treatment against the Muslims and the change of attitude against the immigrants by the U.S. as well as other countries of the world say with reproach “We were there on September 11 and we also suffer from material and spritual losses.”

Dr Oz: "Americans Were Not Able to Understand What Islam Was"

MEHMET ÖZ (HEART SURGEON)
“As a Turkish surgeon, I was not much affected by 9/11; however I happen to have observed its effects closely on Arabs, particularly the Saudis, as well as the Afghani, Iraqi and Pakistani populations…” says the world-famous heart surgeon Mehmet Oz.

American Dream Is Over

İBRAHİM ÖZDEMİR (RESTAURANT OWNER)
A tiny but a well-known restaurant on 73rd Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan: Its name is Üsküdar.  What seems quite unknown on the other hand is that its chef, İbrahim Özdemir, whose meals Americans adore, no longer sees America as the country of dreams after 9/11…

"Our Nervous Systems Are Not That Strong"

BEKIR SAHIN- (TADF, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT)
After the first shock of 9/11, the Turkish-American Association (TADF) in New York stepped in as soon as possible. They were receiving telephone calls from Turkey one after another. Those who hadn’t heard from their relatives and friends were worried whether their people were also in the building.

"Discrimination between 'Our Muslims' and 'Other Muslims"

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the reaction against Muslims and the White House’s demeanor against immigrants made Turkish people who had been living in the USA for several years stop thinking that “the USA is the land of opportunity.” It is obvious that the time that has passed after September 11 has left deep marks on Turkish immigrants.

Lost Around $10 Million

ADEM ARICI  (BUSINESSMAN)

Adem Arici first sees a flash, then a thick layer of smoke over the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, while he is crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. He is the owner of one of the top supermarket chains, Amish. He immediately calls his shop, which is next to the World Trade Center.

He Lost His Brother

MEHMET IBIS  (Trader)
Mehmet Ibis speaks of his desperation in the morning of September 11 with these words, “I got to work at an early hour that morning. My friend called and asked about my elder brother who was working in the World Trade Center. He told me he saw on TV that there had been a small accident at the Towers.

September 11: Through the Eyes of the Turkish Community

By Elif Özmenek
Photographs by Cem Yücer
Turks are Muslims, but they are not Arabs. They are also a minority in the U.S., but a minority whose origins are hard to tell from their physical appearance. However, their dramatic stories display the fact that the U.S. has started to go through a transitional period and has passed the point of no return.
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