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"Politicians from Turkey and the U.S. comment two countries relationship and current problems, foresight future relations... Presidents, Prime  Ministers, Ministers and Members of Parlement  all speak to TURKOFAMERICA, share their experiences and views with our readers. All exclusive interview from Ankara and Washington, D.C...  

 

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Kosoglu to Work at the White House!

Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris today announced 3 new White House senior staff  who will work on her team. The wife of Turkish-American Ozkan Sedat Kosoglu was Sri Lankan-born Rohini Kosoglu will be working for Kamala Harris as  Senior Advisor for Domestic Policy
 
"Serving as my Domestic Policy Advisor will be Rohini Kosoglu, who is not only an expert on some of the most important issues facing the American people, but also one of my closest and most trusted aides from the Senate and presidential campaign,” said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
 
Turkish-American, Ozkan Sedat Kosoglu ,the wife of Rohini Kosoglu,  a software engineer at TransitScreen.He has a MS-Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology.He is from Vize, Kırklareli.
 
The Couple married on June 25th, 2011 and have three sons.
 
***Turk of America congratulates Rohini Kosoglu for her new position at White House.We wish her lots of success and happiness in your new job.
 
Rohini Kosoglu, Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President 
 
Rohini Kosoglu currently serves as Senior Advisor to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the Biden-Harris Transition Team and previously served as Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Before that, she was a Spring 2020 resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Kosoglu has a dedicated career in public service and was the first South Asian American woman to serve as Chief of Staff in the United States Senate. She served as Vice-President Elect Harris’ Chief of Staff for her Senate office and later for her presidential campaign. Before that, she was Policy Director for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, where she oversaw economic, health care and budget issues. She has negotiated several bipartisan bills into law and served as a senior health care advisor during the drafting and passage of the Affordable Care Act. She also previously served as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Originally from New Jersey, Kosoglu is a graduate of the University of Michigan and George Washington University and is a mother to three young children.
 
 

President-Elect Biden: "I'm going to shut down the virus, not the economy."

Joe Biden, who has been elected president according to unofficial results following the November 3 elections in the U.S., has criticized Trump administration officials once again for failing to share information concerning the vaccination distribution processes with his team. Biden has warned that failure to share this information could lead to more lives being lost. During his teleconference call with governors, Biden stated that the country's mask mandate was being discussed. Biden also said that he would be announcing his Secretary of the Treasury immediately after Thanksgiving Day.

President-Elect Biden, who stated that the governors who had participated in the meeting had presented a joint resolve, said, "They have shown that we are all Americans, before all else." Biden stated that it was necessary to fight against the coronavirus, which has caused the loss of 250,000 lives, in unity, as "one country" and listed the matters planned within the scope of the coordination activities.

First, Biden stated that the states, cities, and local communities need to receive economic support from the federal government and that businesses, schools, and working families needed to benefit from that support.

Second, Biden pointed toward the need to find ways to distribute a safe vaccine to everyone equally and emphasized that distributing 330 million vaccines would take a great deal of time and require resources and cooperation. Biden said, "There is no need to raise false hopes," and also stated that campaigns were being planned in order to inform the public in the correct manner.

In addition,Biden stated that he would call upon the National Guard to help the governors with the distribution activities, but there would be a cost involved with this. He said that the cost of sending the National Guard to the states would need to be met.

National Mask Mandate to Fight Covid-19

President-Elect Biden stated that a national mask mandate was one of the matters discussed on the agenda, and said that this needed to be seen as an act of patriotism rather than a political stance.

Biden, who stated that it was possible to accomplish all of these, said, "We need to come together as a country to be able to cope with the problems."

On the other hand, during the Q&A session of the event, Biden said that he would be announcing his nominee for the Secretary of the Treasury immediately after Thanksgiving and that this person would be one who would be accepted by both the moderate and progressivist sections of the Democrat Party.

Biden stated that the U.S. would immediately rejoin the World Health Organization and the Paris Agreement, which President Trump had withdrawn the U.S. from, and responded to a question as to whether he was considering economic sanctions against China by saying that the objective was not to punish China but to show it that it needs to play by the rules.

President-Elect Biden stated that there was no excuse for the Trump administration not to share the data related to the coronavirus vaccine distribution activities, and said that it would take months for the work once they took over and that this would mean more deaths.

Biden, who stated that they had discussed the urgent needs of the states with the governors and that action needed to be taken straight away to meet these needs, said that the National Defense Production Act could be put into action for this.

 "I'm going to shut down the virus, not the economy."

When he was asked whether he would shut down the country completely in the fight against the virus, Biden said, "I'm going to shut down the virus, not the economy." Biden, who said, "Let me say once again that there will be no shut down at a national level," continued as follows: "That would not be productive. Every city and every community is different. The measure which will be taken here will also be different.

Biden pointed out that blacks, Asians, Native Americans, and those of Latin roots are the groups that mostly suffer the worst and pick themselves up the latest during crises, and said, "We will reverse this."

The Democrat Party candidate Joe Biden, who has won the U.S. presidential elections according to the unofficial results, continues to determine the team he is going to work with at the White House. 

The campaign team of Biden has announced the individuals appointed to four positions, including the directorates of legislative affairs and the presidential personnel office.

Cathy Russell,White House Office of Presidential Personnel 

Louisa Terrell,Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affair 

Carlos Elizondo,Social secretary for upcoming First Lady Biden 

Mala Adaga,Policy Director for upcoming  First Lady Biden 

NYC Mayor: Schools could close by Monday as coronavirus cases spike

In New York City, where most people died due to Coronavirus in the U.S., the increasing number of cases in recent days prompted the authorities to take new measures.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that mandatory face mask rule came into effect in nine different districts as of September 29th, and those who do not comply with the mandatory use of face-mask in the designated areas will be fined up to $1,000. Mayor de Blasio said that those who are not wearing a mask would first of all be warned by the NYPD Officers and that those who continued to resist would be fined.

In addition, the bars, restaurants, and gyms are to close at 10 PM. Gatherings in New York will be limited to no more than ten people.

NYC Mayor De Blasio warned that if the infection rate hit 3%, schools would close. The city had measured the rate at 2.8% as of Friday, a bump from Thursday’s 2.6%. Mayor Bill de Blasio shared the current Covid-19 situation in NYC:

-121 patients admitted to the hospital 

-916 new cases 

-The infection rate 7-day average is 2.83% 

New York City has 1.1 Million students and about 300,000 are  in classrooms — than virtually any city in the country. Mayor also said that” We NEED to get this virus under control.”

Voters Show Great Interest in the Presidential Election

With five days remaining until the presidential election on November 3, early voting is continuing non-stop. While President Trump is busy continuing his election campaign, we see that the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden is organizing his program with small groups. Trump and his supporters are ridiculing Biden and using his slips of the tongue against him, such as him saying, “I am Joe Biden, and my wife is Joe Biden, too,” in his speech yesterday, and also other statements concerning completely unrelated matters. While Biden was 10–12% ahead of Trump on average in the opinion polls, this gap has fallen to 7% this week.

While the number of citizens who have already voted has exceeded 73 million so far, 48 million voted via postal voting, and 25 million citizens cast their ballots by going to polling stations. We see that many people vote by mail, mainly due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. I, too, voted by mail last week. But I should admit that this was not as exciting as casting your vote for the ballot box. Yesterday, I was in Bethesda, 20 minutes away from Washington, D.C. There were long queues at the early voting center that I went to. I saw both Biden supporters and Trump supporters approach the voters, who had formed a line to vote, and give them promotional brochures. Similarly, the garden of the polling place was full of election posters for both candidates. I have seen that, despite long queues, the voting process is continuing very swiftly and without any problems.

I Asked Voters in the U.S.: Which Candidate Do They Prefer?

I had a nice conversation with approximately 5 different voters. Of these 5, 4 indicated that they would vote for Biden, whereas 1 voter said that they would vote for Trump. The voter who said that they would vote for Trump was a retired soldier. When I asked why he would vote for Trump, he  said that Trump was taking care of them and added that they liked Trump’s “America First” slogan. It is already expected that the majority of police officers and soldiers will vote for Trump, so there is no surprise there. One of Biden’s supporters had Obama’s picture on his t-shirt. He said that they had been Democrat since they were a child and believed Biden would save the country. The striking thing I noticed about the voters is that they were from every age group and profile. It is tough to guess who will win the election. Even if one candidate gets millions of more votes than the other, the other can get the majority of the delegates in the swing states and still win it: This is the kind of competition that[WE1]  we are witnessing.

Who was the preferred presidential candidate in the capital and surrounding areas in 2016?

Washington, D.C. and the surrounding states are predominantly known to vote for Democratic candidates. Therefore, Biden is expected to get more votes in the district that I visited. While Hillary got 90.9% of the votes in Washington, D.C. during the 2016 presidential elections, Trump got 4.1% of the votes. In Maryland, a neighboring state, 60.3% of the voters voted for Hillary, and 33.9% voted for Trump. Both candidates do not spend much time in states  where they are confident they will win; their campaign processes are more focused on the swing states. There is essential dynamism and excitement, especially in states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan.

Critical Run for the Senate

Even if the public opinion and the media are completely focused on the presidential elections, there is also a competition for all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 35 Senate seats, two of which are special in the Senate.  There are 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats (including two Independents) in the U.S. Senate, and the Democrats will need to win 3 or 4 seats in order to gain a majority. You need 51 in order to have a majority in the Senate. Right now, Democrat and Republican candidates are competing fiercely in 9 states, and the race is like a battleground, especially in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. While the surveys between Lindsey Graham, one of the senators closest to Trump, and his opponent, the Democrat candidate Harrison, are head-to-head, it is very likely that the Republican Senator Tillis, whose name has been mentioned a lot due to his plans against Turkey, will lose to his opponent, Democrat Cal Cunningham. While it is expected that the Democrats will take the House of Representatives again, if Republicans lose the Senate and Trump wins, a 4-year incumbency in hell will be ahead for President Trump. As you may recall, the House of Representatives impeached Trump with the majority votes of Democrats, and the Senate acquitted him with the majority votes of Republicans. Democrats dominating the Senate will bring along a lot of troubles for Trump. If Biden wins, but the Republicans gain a majority in Senate, it will not be easy for Biden to get laws passed through Congress.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Biden:" If I get elected, the coronavirus vaccine will be free."

With COVID-19 cases climbing to 9 million, the number of casualties reached 230 thousand in the U.S., which is currently the epicenter of COVID-19. A critical warning has come from experts as the number of cases in the U.S. continues to rise at pace. In the announcement, it was stated that the number of deaths could reach 480,000 in February unless all Americans wear masks. The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, stated that the number of patients being admitted to hospitals had begun to increase in 75% of the hospitals throughout the U.S., where the number of daily cases has increased to 85,000.

Having announced his plan to fight COVID-19, the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden accused President Trump of failing to do so.

Biden, who addressed voters in Wilmington, DE, with 10 days to go until the November 3 elections, said, “When a safe and effective vaccine is found, the COVID-19 vaccine will be free for everyone, whether you have health insurance or not.”

Biden, who criticized his biggest rival Trump and his administration, said that the U.S. had faced a great crisis for around eight months, but President Trump did not have any plans to solve this crisis. Arguing that COVID-19 dwarfed anything the U.S. faced in the recent history, “and (it) isn’t showing any signs of slowing down,” as Biden said.

The 77-year-old politician, who stated that he would prepare a national plan regarding COVID-19 as a matter of urgency if elected, said, “We will overcome the pandemic and return to our normal lives with this plan.”

Biden had criticized Donald Trump severely in his latest speech, which was broadcast on television, saying, “He has abandoned you, your family and the whole United States.”

Biden intends to impose a mask mandate and bill the COVID-19 tests, PPE supply, reopening guidelines, and the distribution of vaccines to the government. He stated,  “I'll reach out to every governor in every state, red and blue, as well as mayors and local officials during the transition to find out what support they need and how much of it they need. I’ll ask the new Congress to put a bill on my desk by the end of January, with all the resources necessary to see how both our public health and our economic response can be seen through the end, what is needed.”

The Biden Plan to combat Covid-19 and prepare for future global health threats:

More Details: https://joebiden.com/covid-plan/

Current COVID-19 Status in the U.S.:

COVID-19 Cases: 8,823,899

Total Deaths: 230,045 

Total Recovered: 5,735,731

Reference: Worldmeter

 

Nine neighborhoods of New York shut down again.

In a press conference, New York mayor Bill de Blasio declared that nine zip codes that have reported a more than 3% increase in new cases in the past week will be shut down starting Wednesday.In some neighborhoods of New York, schools and nonessential businesses are to be closed again due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “The decision to shut down these neighborhoods aims to prevent a bigger second COVID-19 wave by getting the situation under control.”

De Blasio added that the shutdown may last from two to four weeks and that they are closely monitoring eleven additional areas that they consider as a growing problem in the city.

According to the plan, that includes six neighborhoods in Brooklyn, two areas in Queens, and one neighborhood in Far Rockaway, where public and private schools, kindergartens, and nonessential businesses will be closed.

Restaurants will only be able to provide takeaway and delivery services.

Public schools in New York, where classes had already been postponed twice previously due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been opened last Thursday. 

As the daily rate of increase for COVID-19 cases in the city had been below 3% since June, these areas were regarded as a safe zone where schools could be opened, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

There are more than 1,800 schools and more than 1 million students in New York, which has the most extensive school system in the U.S.

 

President Trump Announces Barrett as Supreme Court Nominee

President Donald Trump announced that he nominated Amy Coney Barrett as the new Supreme Court judge to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat after she passed away.

After Ginsburg, considered to be among the liberal wing, passed away last week, Trump stated that he wanted to pick the new judge prior to the presidential elections that will take place on November 3rd. Days later, he announced Judge Barrett as his nominee during an official ceremony at the White House.

Remarks from President Trump:

-Apart from matters of war and peace, the nomination of a Supreme Court justice is the most important decision an American President can make.”

-Amy Coney Barrett will decide cases based on the text of the Constitution as written.

-I am supremely confident that Judge Barrett will issue rulings based solely upon a fair reading of the law.  She will defend the sacred principle of equal justice for citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.

Remarks from Judge Barrett:

I am deeply honored by the confidence that you have placed in me.(President)

If confirmed, I would not assume that role for the sake of those in my own circle, and certainly not for my own sake.  I would assume this role to serve you.

***The President’s nominee must be approved by the Senate. If Barrett is approved by the Senate, conservatives will have the majority of the seats at the Supreme Court, the highest court in the US, with six against three.

Statements from some Senate Members:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “President Trump could not have made a better decision. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD): “The president had a strong list of principled and conservative jurists from which he could have chosen, and I applaud him for his selection of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY): “Judge Barrett is an excellent choice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is exceptionally qualified and her record demonstrates an unwavering fidelity to the Constitution.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “Judge Barrett is highly qualified in all the areas that matter – character, integrity, intellect, and judicial disposition. She is an outstanding #SupremeCourt nominee by President @realDonaldTrump.”

Who Is Judge Barrett?

Judge Barrett has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 2017.  Before becoming a judge, she was Diane and M.O. Miller, II Research Chair in Law and Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School, where her scholarship focused on constitutional and statutory interpretation and the Federal courts.  Judge Barrett has also served as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School and the John M. Olin Fellow in Law at George Washington University Law School.  Earlier in her career, she practiced at the prestigious law firms Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin LLP and Baker Botts LLP.  Judge Barrett clerked on the Supreme Court for Justice Antonin Scalia and for Judge Laurence H. Silberman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  She is a magna cum laude graduate of Rhodes College in Tennessee and a summa cum laude graduate of Notre Dame Law School, where she graduated first in her class.legal analysis, and generous spirit.  Judge Barrett lives in Indiana with her husband Jesse and their seven children.

 

The City of New York is in Economic Crisis

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio  made a reminder that unless the required funds and subsidies are provided and agreements reached with the unions, he would have to lay off 22,000 city employees.

Mayor Blasio said that the city had lost 9 billion dollars in revenue due to the Coronavirus pandemic and that the annual budget deficit was 7 billion dollars. Mayor de Blasio announced that as of October 1, approximately 500 people working in his office, himself being in the first place, will take unpaid leave for one week in order to contribute a little to the city's budget.

At the press conference held by New York Mayor, Blasio said: "Today is a day when we have to take one more step. Therefore, every municipality employee in my office will be taking a one-week unpaid leave from October 1. I will also take a week of unpaid leave. The city workers will work a week less and get less salary", he said.

Mayor Blasio Called out to New Yorkers- Call Your Representatives

NYC Mayor  Blasio: "New Yorkers, push your federal representatives to help us receive this financial support. I ask your representative in the capital Albany to pressure the authorities so that the city can get long-term loans."

Mayor Blasio says that he trusts the NYPD. 

Mayor Blasio stated that he trusts the New York City Police Department (NYPD) concerning armed assault prevention and said: "Right now, we are facing a huge storm in New York. I guess New Yorkers understand this. We live the hell in this city. Everything unraveled at the same time because of the coronavirus pandemic."

Retirement Increases in NYPD this year

Police authorities have stated that over a period spanning from the end of May to September this year, thousands of New York Police Officers stepped down or retired, which suggests an increase of 75% when compared to the same period last year.

NYC Crime Rate Statistics:

The number of armed assaults increased in all boroughs except Staten Island. Last month, in August, there was a 166% increase in the number of armed incidents (242 v. 91).

Important data from the previous month's crime statistics:(August 2020)

-Murders increased by +34% in the first eight months of 2020, compared to the first eight months of 2019 (291 v. 217).

-Compared to the 91 shooting incidents taking place in August 2019, there were 242 city-wide shooting incidents in August 2020, which corresponds to an increase of +166%. 

-From the beginning of the year to August 31, there is a + 87% increase in city-wide shooting incidents (1,014 vs. 541).

-In August, there has been a +22% increase in the number of thefts (1,310 vs. 1,076), and from the beginning of the year to August 31, there is an increase of +42% (9,942 vs. 7.008).

Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian and Swedish Officials

A Norwegian far-right politician announced that he nominated the U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his Middle East efforts. Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a parliament member of the far-right Progress Party in the Norwegian Parliament, said President Trump should be selected for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the agreement reached between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Israel and the United Arab Emirates had reached a historic agreement last month for the bilateral normalization of relations. The deal is expected to be signed on September 15 at the White House. 

In the meantime, Magnus Jacobsson from the Swedish Parliament was the second person to nominate President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Jacobsson said that the reason behind this nomination for the prize is Trump's conciliation and peacemaking efforts between Kosovo and Serbia.

Former President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 at the very beginning of the first term of his early presidency.

Saying last year, "I would get a Nobel Prize for many reasons if they gave it out fairly," President Trump stated that the Nobel Prize is not awarded fairly.

In the written statement made by White House Spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany, reporting that President Trump is nominated for Nobel Peace Prize at a time, where the international community's support for peace treaties and trust for the Middle East are tested, she stated, "By uniting two of America's closest partners in the region, this agreement will create a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous the Middle East." 

WHO DECIDE THE NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS AND HOW ARE THEY DECIDED?

The Norwegian Nobel Committee selects Nobel Peace Laureates, and the Norwegian Parliament appoints this committee, which comprises five members. Members of the committee, who are expected to represent the power of political parties equally, can remain in office for six years and be re-elected. Furthermore, all members must be citizens of Norway.

WHO GETS NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE?

An individual or an institution cannot nominate themselves for the Nobel Peace Prize. Those who can be selected are listed as follows:

Apart from current heads of state, members of national assemblies and national governments (cabinet members, ministers),

Members of the International Court of Justice and the International Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague,

Nobel Prize is the prize awarded by the association established by Alfred Nobel to reward those who serve for humanity. The first Nobel Prizes were given in 1901. The first Nobel Prize winner in Turkey was Orhan Pamuk. In 2015, Nobel Prize in Chemistry was received by Aziz Sancar, a Turkish scientist.

U.S. Envoy to Syria will be in Turkey this week.

U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement, Ambassador James Jeffrey and Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn will go to Switzerland and Turkey for official visits. During the visit, which will take place August 22-28, the two diplomats will first go to Geneva and attend the Syrian Constitutional Committee meetings that are to start on August 24.

The purpose of the visit is to hold official talks on the constitutional reform process in Syria, conducted under the leadership of Syria, and under the United Nations' auspices.

Ambassador Jeffrey will meet with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen and other members of the Syrian Constitutional Committee and some other diplomats.

Syrian Constitutional Commission Reunites

The U.S is not directly involved in the commission established under the supervision of the UN. However, U.S. officials aim to support the work of the commission established by the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 to resolve the political disputes in Syria.

According to the statement made by the U.S. Department of State, former U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, James Jeffrey will meet the representatives of Syrian opposition groups and Syrian NGOs in Istanbul on August 26 to evaluate the latest situation in Syria.

Ambassador Jeffrey will go to Ankara on August 27-28. It is stated that Jeffrey will meet senior Turkish officials, during which they are expected to discuss the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

It was noted in the statement of the U.S. Department of State that Jeffrey would also discuss the continuation of the fight against ISIS and other regional issues with Turkish officials.

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