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NSC Advisor O'Brien: "Assad is a very bad actor"

 

Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center hosted U.S. National Security Council Advisor Ambassador Robert O'Brien,Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs for a "View from the West Wing" conversation about both national security and the process for managing the National Security Council in our turbulent time.

President of Atlantic Council, Fred Kempe, and Former National Security Advisor Steven Heydemann made opening remarks and CBS News Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Face the Nation Moderator Margaret Brennen moderated the program.

"Assad is a very bad actor,Iranians who are up to their ears are terrible actors,the Russians are not helping the situation, and Turks are not helping the situation. Erdogan and Putin, who have an interesting relationship, sometimes they are the best of friends and sometimes they are not. It is really up to them to work that situation out," Ambassador O'Brien said.

Margaret Brennan asked Ambassador O'Brien what the U.S. is doing about the violence in Idlib, Syria. "I do not think we are going to intervene militarily in Idlib to straighten out that bad situation,What are we supposed to do to stop them? We're supposed to be a global policeman and hold up a sign and say stop this Turkey, stop this Russia?" Ambassador O'Brien said.

U.S.-China Relations:

Ambassador Robert O'Brien admitted that the Chinese Government promised purchases under the Phase 1 trade deal will be reduced as a result of the growing health emergency.

"This could have an impact on phase one deal. It's not going to change the phase one deal. It's just we expect that is part of the phase one deal. China will expend more money on U.S. agricultural products. And we'll have to see how that plays out, "Ambassador O'Brien said.

Ambassador O'Brien said:" We've offered American doctors and experts to China to assist with coronavirus, but the offer has not yet been accepted."

He also highlighted that the U.S. would like to see North Korea its Singapore Summit commitments, and they are open for another summit If there's an opportunity to make progress.

Ambassador O'Brien believes that It's time for America to come home, and we wanted to come back under conditions that keep in place protections for our colleagues and our partners in Afghanistan. We want to make sure Afghanistan doesn't become a safe-haven for terrorism again."

Restructuring NSC

In his address, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert reported that the National Security Council was in the final stages of a reorganization that would get it "back to a manageable size. In the last five months of the Trump Administration, White House National Security Council has shrunk from over 175 policy staffers to 115 staffers. He also explained how NSC is working under his leadership.

Regarding the recent Philippines decision ending its military cooperation agreement with the United States, Ambassador O'Brien said that the United States would remain a strong partner in the Philippines. We are there to help the Philippines."

Pictures taken by Ali Cinar,Atlantic Council

US CONDEMNS IDLIB ATTACKS, STAND BY NATO ALLY TURKEY

 

The United States condemns the escalating assaults on Turkish Army Forces and innocent Syrian civilians by the Assad regime, Iran, Hizballah, and Russia.The statement came after leight Turkish soldiers and civilian contractors were killed by Syrian government forces in Northern Syria.

"The U.S. stands by our NATO Ally Turkey in the aftermath of the mortar attack by Assad regime forces on Turkish observation posts. This is a grave escalation. The Assad regime, Russia, Iran, and Hizballah's ruthless actions are preventing the establishment of a ceasefire." Secretary Pompeo said.  

"Turkey has the "full support" of the United States in responding to the Syrian Regime's "unjustified attacks" in Idlib "U.S. ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft addressing the U.N. Security Council.

Last December, the United Nations called on Russia and Assad to cease the massacre and, Russia and China vetoed the European Union countries' proposal for Idlib at the United Nations Security Council. The states that had prepared the plan stated that almost 1 million people had left their homes since the start of the last military operation by Syrian forces and Russian air support, four months ago. Thus, Russia, an ally of Assad, had rejected a U.N. Security Council bill for the 13th time since 2011, when the Syrian war began.

 

"We're very, very worried about this. First of all, the significance of Idlib – that's where we've had chemical weapons attacks in the past. We've got three million-plus refugees that may be pushed across the border. We have the Russians in the U.N. being very difficult on the whole humanitarian border assistance thing of late, with their veto of our efforts to try to get a decent U.N. resolution to keep the border crossings in the northeast open, and we think that the northwest will be next. And we see not just the Russians but the Iranians and Hizballah actively involved in supporting the Syrian offensive." said Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Ambassador James Jeffrey during his press briefing sharing the latest developments in Syria.

 

There is a tremendous U.S. support to Turkey on Idlib crisis. Turkey and the U.S. are on the same page about Idlib. No matter how much the two NATO allies disagree on the issue of the YPG-PKK terrorist elements, they both want Assad removed and the killing of Idlib's civilians to stop. From time to time, President Donald Trump shows his appreciation for Turkey's efforts in the region.

 

President Trump and President Erdogan had a phone call on January 27th to discuss recent developments in Syria, and both leaders agreed that the violence being carried out in Idlib, Syria, must stop.

Election 2020- What We Know?

By Ali Cinar - The results of 2016 presidential election came as a surprise to nearly everyone who had been following the national and state election polling, which consistently projected Hillary Clinton as defeating Donald Trump. How could the polls have been so wrong about the state of the election? The fact that so many forecasts were off-target was particularly notable given the increasingly wide variety of methodologies being tested and reported via the mainstream media and other channels. Prof. Monica McDermott from Fordham University had a press briefing at the State Department FPC regarding "Elections 101 - Campaigns and Polling".

The Distinguished Friends of Turkey and The Loved Ones Whom We Lost

By Cemil Ozyurt - First time ever we have rewarded the distinguished friends of Turkey in 30 different fields from academia to business, from art to social life. We dedicate this special issue to “Friends of Turkey.” We reward Americans who support and strengthen people-to-people relations between America and Turkey by deepening the understanding and appreciation of our two centuries of friendship. We hope you enjoy reading this issue that involves Distinguished Friends of Turkey.  From Boston to Los Angeles, from Silicon Valley to New York finance world, TURKOFAMERICA highlights the great untold stories of friends of Turkey.

We Should Not Only Face History, We Should Embrace It

It was October 2005; one of our reporters conducted an interview with a young film director, Didem Yılmaz who had shot a short documentary about His Imperial Highness Prince Osman Ertugrul, the head of the Ottoman family. The documentary, “Seeking the Sultan”, showed how a young Turkish-American student came across the Ottoman Royal family in New York.

Since then, I have been very curious about the Ottoman Dynasty, which has lived in exile. I attempted a couple times to reach out to Prince Ertuğrul Osman but I wasn’t able to make it. He died in 2009 and one of my biggest regrets is not meeting with him before he passed away.

Almost 10 years later, I learned that current head of the Ottoman family lives in New York. I couldn’t miss this opportunity once again and I reached him through a friend.
We met with HIH Bayazıd Osman on a cold winter night. Since then we get together once a week for lunch or dinner.  Over the last 30 years of my life, I have been reading history books and autobiographies and watched documentaries about the Ottoman family in exile; now I am a witness to this history.    
 
After serving their country for 622, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and about 300 members of the Ottoman Dynasty were forced into exile in March 1924. They spread out over 15 different countries, from France to Germany, Austria to Switzerland. Some of them ended up in America.  

In this issue, we have researched the family members who came to the United States. TURKOFAMERICA is the first publication, which has gathered family members together in New York.

We have come across very sad stories, heartbreaking memories and inconceivable incidents. The family kept quiet almost 70 years. They declined most interview requests and preferred to stay low profile. While preparing this issue, I have met Princes (Şehzade), Princesses (Sultan), Imperial Princesses (Hanım Sultan), and other members of the family. The Ottoman family members whom I have met are down to earth people, each of them able to speak least three or four languages, generous and very proud of their heritage. Even though they have lived almost 90 years in exile, they don’t say anything against Turkey.

In the last decades, Turkish governments have make reconciliation with different minorities and ethnic groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, and Gypsies who live in Turkey. I think it’s time for the Turkish government to face the last Ottomans who survived in very hard conditions over the past 90 years. The government should consider giving their estates, lands, possessions, and assets back to them along with their Turkish IDs and passports. If Armenian, Assyrian, and Gypsy people in Turkey deserve to have their rights back, the family who served their country for 622 years should have the same rights as the rest.



 

What A List! The 50 Most Influential Turkish-Americans

By Cemil Ozyurt - As the first Turkish-American business magazine, which has been publishing since 2002, this issue contains one of the hardest and longest pieces of research we conducted in 11 years. Our team has read thousands of resumes, searched hundreds of websites, made several interviews to name the most influential 50 Turkish-Americans. It wasn't easy. It was conducted for the first time ever and most readers would recognize some of the names chosen with help of the Turk of America team. I am sure that if you are not very much involved in the Turkish-American community, you will be seeing most of these names for the first time.

Does Brooklyn Have A Chance to Host DNC 2016?

By Ali Cinar- 11/26/2014  - If you ask where the most Turkish American live in the United States, one of the response would be Brooklyn. There are over 30,000 Turks living in Brooklyn and this number is increasing every year. Recently, I was invited to a press conference regarding DNC 2016.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has  gathered Elected Officials  and Community leaders at  New York City Hall just hours after the Democratic  Party has announced it had pared down its short list to three cities -- New York, Philadelphia, and Columbus.

If Democratic Party picks Brooklyn for 2016 , the convention will be at Brooklyn's Barclays Center as a symbol to the nation. NYC Mayor Bilasio believes Brooklyn will be chosen for 2016 and he added ""Brooklyn matters, because Brooklyn has shown the way -- this amazing renaissance over the last few decades, a place that was often the underdog; now the envy of the world. Brooklyn's an example to us all -- an example to America,"

Senator Charles Schumer,  Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Rep. Yvette Clarke and her mom, former Councilwoman Una Clarke, and Council members Laurie Cumbo and Brad Lander were at the conference who are supporting this campaign from the beginning. Senator Schumer says " "This convention means a four-letter word: JOBS. J-O-B-S."

Given his audience, Senator Schumer said "He lives right near Barclays and has no trouble zooming in and out during marquee events.All those folks from the neighborhoods that we're going to bring on board, we'll make sure that everything works out just fine... There's no transportation problem."

Laura Santucci,who was the Chief of Staff for Mayor now is charge for DNC 2016 Campaign for New York indicated that " We will work all Communities and businesses during the campaign. We need a lot of signatures from Brooklyn.Lets work together and bring more businesses to Brooklyn"

DNC will be making a decision in January 2015 and it seems like there is a huge competition going on between three cities.One of the rumors that we are getting is Brooklyn doesnt have any hotels for the Convention and transportation would be an issue what the other 2 cities are highlighting.

Nevertheless ,Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs Harold Zimmerman has told me that they will work with the Turkish-American Community and get their support for the race.

Lets see what the result would be but it would be very beneficial for the city growing the economy and job opportunities for the People of New York.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has already said he will raise $100 million over the next two years should the Democratic National Committee hold its 2016 convention at Brooklyn's Barclays Center,

New York hosted  Democratic National Convention in 1924, 1976, 1980, and 1992.

 Lets see if NYC will be the lucky one to get?

Over 200 Turkish-American Lawyers Practice in the U.S.

By Cemil Ozyurt - According to TurkofAmerica’s research on Turkish-American lawyers in the U.S., the most experienced lawyer is Elizer Kapuya, who has practiced since 1975 in Los Angeles. Kapuya graduated from the University of West Los Angeles. After Kapuya, the second-most experienced lawyer is Aydın S. Çağınalp, who has practiced in New York since 1976. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America. Melih Doğan also has practiced since 1979 in New York. İskender Cemaletin has also practiced immigration law for over 26 years and has maintained his main office in the same building, located in downtown New York City.

New York is a home for Turkish-American lawyers. According to our research, 82 lawyers have practiced in New York State, 38 lawyers are located in California, and 25 lawyers have practiced in Washington, DC.

The most popular law schools for the lawyers are Brooklyn Law School, Touro Law School, Seton Hall University School of Law and Suffolk University Law School. The most preferred practice areas are immigration, business law and international law.

In addition to Turkish-American lawyers, there are plenty of American lawyers who target the Turkish-American community and they are very active in it. Considered as friends of Turks, Michael E. McMahon of Herrick, Feinstein, LLP, Andrew P. Johnson, David Saltzman of Saltzman & Evinch P.C., and John Driscoll of Eaton & Van Winkle LLP are well known American lawyers in Turkish-American community.  

The list includes Armenian, Greek, and Jews of Turkish descent as well as lawyers who married Turks, such Vanessa Seçkin in New York, Staci Cazanne Pirnar of Bellinger & Suberg, LLP in Dallas, TX, Rachel Cerqueira Denktaş of Saltzman & Evinch, P.C. in Washington, DC, and Christina Angelena Çorbacı of Joyce & Associates, P.C. in Boston, MA.

There are approximately 20 lawyers who have dual law school degrees from both Turkey and the U.S. Cahit Akbulut is the pioneer of the Turkish lawyers who started to practice in the U.S. after obtaining a law degree in Turkey. Mine Gür of The Law Office of H. Mine Gur, Mehmet Fırat Polat of Polat Law Firm, and Betül Ü. Dışkaya of Pinci & Bianchini Law, have obtained dual law degrees from both Turkey and the U.S.

Some owners of boutique law firms expand their offices to different cities. Seda Aktaş of Aktas Law Firm, and Ayhan Ögmen of Ogmen Law Firm have three different offices in three different cities. Seda Aktaş has offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando.   

Some lawyers work at as partners in respected large law firms such as Barbaros Karaahmet of Herrick, Feinstein, LLP, a New York based renowned law firm with 170 lawyers and it has existed since 1928, Berin S. Romagnolo of Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP, founded 1980 in Boston, Demet Başar of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, founded in 1888, and Gülgün U. Mersereau of Hawkins Delafield & Wood, LLP, based on Portland, OR with more than 100 lawyers in eight cities.

The highest ranked person among Turkish-Americans in the legal professions is Jay Ceyhun Karahan, who is a judge in the Harris County Criminal Court in Houston, TX. He has been re-elected twice since 2003. Elizabeth Munisoğlu is the Commissioner of the Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles and Mehmet K. Konar-Steenberg is the Dean of William Mitchell College of Law School in Saint Paul, MN.

While most lawyers prefer to run their own offices, some of them work for companies as in-house legal advisers for companies such as IBM, Blackberry, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, American Express, Morgan Stanley and Travelers.

Some experienced lawyers are also very active in Turkish-American community. Günay Evinch of Saltzman & Evinch was former President of American Turkish Association Assemble; Sevil Özışık of Tooma & Ozisik LLP was President of Turkish American Chamber of Commerce Industry and Remzi Güvenç Kulen of Kulen Law Firm was President of Turkish American Cultural Center in New Jersey.

The younger generation also has a bright future in their careers, including Ayşe Kuzucuoğlu of Vedder Price, a San Francisco based law firm, Ekin Senlet of Hiscock & Barclay LLP in Albany, NY, and Petek Günay of Gunay Law Firm in New York.
 

Great Initiative by US Aid "U.S Global Development Lab"

Ali Cinar-New York - Young Dynamic Leader-41 yrs old- Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced the establishment of the U.S. Global Development Lab yesterday in New York City. Former Secretary Hillary Clinton was a main speaker at the event  along with many high ranking officials and partners.

Bavyera'da T

Prof Dr. Faruk Sen - Bavyera Almanya’da sert bir göçmen politikası uygulayan, buna karşılık ekonomisi her zaman düzgün giden bir eyalettir. Bavyera dış politikada da Almanya’nın diğer eyaletlerinden ayrılır ve kendi ağırlığını büyük bir ölçüde koyar. Bavyera’da büyük sayıda Türk yaşamaktadır ve Türklerin ağırlıklı olduğu yer Münih’tir. Münih’te Türklerin kurumsallaştırmasına baktığımız zaman eskiden Bayern Münih Türk gücü ciddi bir kurumdu, maalesef iç çekişmelerden dolayı dağıldı. Daha sonra Münih’te kurumsallaşmış bir Türk kurumunu söylemekte güçlük çekiyorum. Bazı restoranlar başarılı bir şekilde çalışmalarını sürdürürken, çok fazla da el değiştirdiklerini gözlemliyoruz.
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