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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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Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia visit Secretary Pompeo on Friday

On Friday, foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia are scheduled to separately meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, DC.

Recently, Secretary Pompeo made a statement on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. "We are watching what's taking place there. We have joined our European partners, and frankly, many countries around the world to ask that there be a ceasefire as the beginning of a solution to the conflict. We've watched the reporting of civilian deaths. We've watched Turkey begin to reinforce Azerbaijan. We've asked every international player to stay out of the region, not to continue to reinforce trouble, and we're working to deliver that. We're using our diplomatic toolkit to try and achieve an outcome that gets a stand down, a ceasefire, and an outcome that is a solution based on international law."

As the fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces is continuing close to the region where the natural gas and oil pipelines going from Azerbaijan to Europe are situated, this is also causing fears that it will have a serious negative impact on both a regional and global scale.

Western Media is Ignoring the Armenian Attacks  to Azerbaijan

The media, which is described as the "mainstream press" in the US, did not make headlines about many civilians' death, including children, in the ballistic missile attack Armenia organized in Ganja since last week.

Azerbaijan had begun operation on September 27. The Azerbaijan army had started a counter-offensive following attacks by the Armenian army on civilian residential areas.

Having lost its positions, the Armenian army had continued its attack on Azerbaijan's civilian settlements with artillery and missiles.

During the talks in Moscow, Armenia and Azerbaijan had decided on a humanitarian "ceasefire" on October 10 to exchange funerals and prisoners in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, Armenia broke the ceasefire three times the past ten days and continued to attack civilian areas in Azerbaijan.

President Erdogan stated that "The West isn't taking sides with Azerbaijan. A ceasefire was declared tonight, but Armenia has again violated it. The West isn't saying anything. And when Turkey says something, they say 'Look, Turkey never keeps quiet.' We will not stop. We will stand by the right and the righteous."

Biden's "Vote Early" Call

Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden called on voters in North Carolina, where he is located for the election campaign, to vote as soon as possible.

Stating that the momentum they have gained shouldn't be lost, Biden said, "Don't wait, vote today."

Close to 28 million electors in America have already cast their votes, either postally or by the determined voting centers.In North Carolina, where Biden made this call, 20 percent of the voters, 1.4 million people in other words, have already voted.

Biden has criticized what President Trump said about the coronavirus in North Carolina and stated that the number of cases was highest in recent months.

President Trump had stated at the weekend that America had overcome the threat of the virus. President Trump was in Nevada last night and according to official figures, more than 100,000 electors have already cast their votes in Nevada.

Campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said that President Trump would continue his election campaign in Nevada, followed by Arizona and North Carolina, until the televised debate in Tennessee on Thursday.

Democratic candidate Biden will be in North Carolina and Senator  Kamala Harris, the Vice-Presidential candidate of Biden, will also be in Florida on Monday.

Despite the Democrat candidate Hilary Clinton getting more votes than Trump throughout the country at the 2016 elections, Trump had become president by defeating Secretary  Clinton in the number of delegates.

In the 2016 presidential election in the US, around 153 million voters went to the polls. It is expected that this figure will be more than 160 million at these elections. However, the coronavirus pandemic is causing many people to be worried about going to vote.
What to Expect on the Final Trump-Biden Debate
The final debate between President Trump and Democratic Presidential Candidate Biden is scheduled to take place on October 22 from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET in Tennessee.
 Topics to discuss:
 -Fighting COVID-19
 -American Families
 -Race in America 
-Climate Change 
-National Security 

President Trump:”Feeling Great”

President Donald Trump was discharged yesterday from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was receiving treatment for COVID-19.He came back to the White House shortly around 7 p.m. on Sunday , where he took off his mask and gave a thumbs up from the balcony.

President Trump, who has been under treatment at the hospital since Friday evening, posted a series of videos to show that his coronavirus infection treatment was going well and to put the public at ease.

“I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami,” Trump tweeted today and he added. “It will be great!”

Symone Sanders, a senior campaign adviser to Biden spoke to CNN on the upcoming TV Debate. "We are looking forward to the debate on Oct. 15 in Miami," He  said that he is hoping that President Trump will be well enough to attend.

The President compared COVID-19 to the flu on Tuesday morning and he said  Americans "have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid."

In the video he posted on Twitter earlier President Trump said, “This is an interesting journey. I have learned a lot about COVID.”

President Trump, who is 74 years old, was being treated with dexamethasone, which is a type of cortisone. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid used in the treatment of the most severe coronavirus infection cases. Trump was also intravenously receiving a five-day course of an antiviral drug called remdesivir.

With less than one month before the presidential elections in the U.S., the infection of Trump and some of his close colleagues with COVID-19 makes the reelection of the president more difficult.

11 Key Takeaways from the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly

The 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly was chaired by a Turkish national for the first time. The leaders of the UN member states addressed the world via video conference due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place. The General Assembly, officially started on September 15th, will be adjourned on October 5th, although great importance was placed on the discussions of last week. On the first day, a total of 33 state leaders gave speeches that each lasted between five and 15 minutes. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, addressing the world leaders, urged for a global ceasefire to be materialized within 100 days, before the end of 2020. 

The theme of this year’s General Assembly was:“The Future We Want, the United Nations We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism - Multilateralism in the Time of COVID-19”

Let’s have a look at 11 significant points to which we should pay attention:

- As the General Assembly Meeting was held virtual for the first time in the history of the UN, both the UN building and New York were empty. During their speeches at the UN General Assembly, country leaders introduced by their Representatives  to the United Nations.

- Among all world leaders, the leader with the most impressive video conference recording was President Trump. Trump’s team had used different cameras and features such as zoom in, zoom out, and various frames in the video shooting.

- President Trump urged the UN to hold China accountable for COVID-19, while President Erdogan re-articulated that the UN Security Council must be reformed.

- Brazilian Head of State made an interesting statement and said that they were facing a smear campaign due to the fires which broke out in the Amazon forests and added that they were condemning these attacks.

- The speeches made by the world leaders mainly focused on the combat to tackle COVID-19, and they also provided recommendations on potential areas of collaboration. During his speech, Pope Francis recommended that the vaccine should be given to those living in poverty as a priority.

- Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis offered President Erdogan to come together in order to find a mutually acceptable solution and to give diplomacy a chance while Erdogan suggested organizing a large-scale assembly meeting regarding the Eastern Mediterranean issue, which will also include Turkish Cypriot representatives as participants.

- The German Chancellor, though indirectly, supported Turkey’s “The World is Bigger than 5” discourse by advocating that the UN must be reformed. Russian Head of State argued that the five permanent members of the UN General Assembly should maintain their veto powers. French President Macron said, “United Nations is also facing chaos just as the entire world,” whereas the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized the structure of the UN General Assembly.

- The President of Uzbekistan, Mirziyoyev, spoke Uzbek rather than Russian when he addressed the UN General Assembly, which was the first time a President spoke Uzbek at the general assembly meeting since the independence of Uzbekistan.

- For the first time, a media center was not set up for the United Nations General Assembly. Only a very limited number of journalists were permitted to follow the general assembly meeting.

- When Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, started his speech at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, an Indian diplomat left the room, and Azerbaijan’s Head of State, Aliyev, said: “Armenia should withdraw from Azerbaijan’s territories immediately and unconditionally.” Nigerian Head of State Issoufou Mahamadou spoke both at the UN General Assembly and at the UN Security Council, simultaneously, as a pre-recorded video was broadcast.

- That there were only 21 female heads of state from 193 member countries, a very low representation number, was not to go unnoticed.

US Election Seen from Turkey: Turkish People Have "A Very Negative Perception of Joe Biden"

İpek Yezdani is an international freelance journalist based in Turkey. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.Carlos Santamaria: In your opinion, what are two or three issues that people in Turkey are concerned about regarding the upcoming US election?

IY: There are several very important critical issues for Turkey-US relations. One of them is, of course, Syria. During the Obama administration, there was huge support for the Kurdish YPG forces in Syria. During the Trump administration, this support has continued for a while. The Turkish government considers the YPG as a terrorist organization, but on the other hand, Turkey is an ally, a NATO ally, maybe one of the strongest US allies in the Middle East. We has been fighting against this terrorist organization for decades, so this is a very important issue for Turkey.

Secretary Pompeo Visits Southern Cyprus

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that his country is not comfortable with Turkey's activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Secretary Pompeo made this statement in Southern Cyprus during an official visit. Secretary of State met Greek leader Nicos Anastasiades as part of his schedule of meetings.

Secretary Pompeo called upon a diplomatic solution for the crisis between Turkey and Greece. He said, "The countries in the region must resolve the issues related to energy, security, and sea borders via diplomacy and dialogue." The Secretary of State highlighted that the escalated military tension between the two countries would only benefit the competitors who want segregation in the transatlantic unity."

Secretary Pompeo added that  U.S. is  deeply concerned about Turkey's ongoing operations and that Southern Cyprus has the right to use its natural resources, including the economic hydrocarbons that it has discovered within its exclusive economic region.

Two survey vessels sent out to the Mediterranean gets a reaction from Greece and Southern Cyprus. France supports Greece upon the responses.

European Union will put the matter on its agenda at the meeting to be held on September 24th. 

In addition, Secretary Pompeo underlined that they know not all of the Russian vessels which stop at the Southern Cypriot ports carry out humane activities in Syria.

At the end of the visit, it was determined to establish a "Cypriot Land, High Sea and Port Security Center" between the U.S. and Greek Cypriot region.

The reaction from  TRNC:

The Presidency of TRNC reacted to the U.S Secretary of State, Pompeo, who was said to meet only Greek officials during his visit to Cyprus, stating, "It is not possible to accept such an attitude." 

Turkish Defence Minister Akar arrived in the TRNC to monitor the "Distinguished Observer Day" activities of "Mediterranean Storm-2020 Drill".

During his visit, Hulusi Akar said: "We have done everything under good neighborhood relations, and we will keep on to do so. We expect the same from the other party. Hence, as long as our demands and requests on this are met, we seek peace."

Regarding the recent developments, retired Admiral Cihat Yaycı also indicated that the Greek President's visit to Meis and surrounding Turkish islands is unacceptable and that "this is a major diplomatic opportunity to justify our position to the rest of the world."

Key Takeaways from the 2020 Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention was held for four days  on a virtual platform due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Very few of the Democrats, who came to Wisconsin Center from various states around the country, were accepted in, and a limited number of events and conferences took place due to Coronavirus The Democratic National Convention was hosted by Eva Longoria, the famous American actress, and producer.

The main themes of the speeches made at the Democratic National Convention were the pandemic, discrimination, and the country's deteriorating economy. Democrats claimed that President Trump, who underestimated the virus, was responsible for the current situation. Democratic Presidential Candidarte Joe Biden took the floor on the last day of the Convention. And both Biden and Harris' nominations were officially approved. It was stated that the 4-day Convention was viewed by 122 million (85 million on TV and 35 million online) and that $70 million was raised during the event.

In his 22-minutes speech, Joe Biden stated that the country is currently going through a dark period, and he would end this period and reunite the public if he is elected.

Stating that President Trump caused 'Too much anger, too much fear, too much division' in the county, Biden said. "Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I'll be an ally of the light, not the darkness. It's time for people to come together. We can and will overcome this season of darkness in America. I am a proud Democrat, and I will be proud to carry our party's banner into the general election. So, it is with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for President of the United States of America."

Highlights from the Speakers at the DNC Convention:

VP Candidate-Senator Kamal Harris, "Things get better when we vote."

President Carter, "Joe will unite us."

President Barack Obama: "Don't let them take away your democracy, your power."

President Bill Clinton: "Trump does not work. If you want a president who spends his time on social media and watching television instead of working, he is the one you are looking for."

First Lady Michelle Obama: "If Trump gets reelected, everything will go even worse for the country."

Secretary Hillary Clinton: Most of all, no matter what, vote. And convince everyone you know to vote.

Secretary John Kerry: "Trump is destroying the relations we have with our allies."

General Colin Powell: "Joe Biden will show his leadership from day one."

Jill Biden: "We need honest leadership, worthy of our nation."

Governor Cuomo: "Trump made the virus political.

Senator Sanders called the left-wing voters to vote for Biden and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez presented Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate.

Secretary Pompeo; United States demands 'snapback' of measures at UNSC

The U.S will activate the "snapback" mechanism that has recently brought up to the international agenda, to unilaterally re-implement the expired sanctions against Iran.

The Trump administration, having withdrawn in 2018 from the international agreement that covered Iran's nuclear program, has no backing from UN Members in their  "snapback" move.

Following lengthy negotiations, Germany, along with the permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the United States, China, Russia, France, and Britain, had signed a historic agreement with Iran in 2015 on its nuclear program.

In the agreement, it was decided that the UN would lift international sanctions against Iran in return for the Tehran government's promise not to manufacture nuclear weapons.

According to the agreement, the conventional arms embargo on Iran will expire on October 18, officially named as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and entered into force with the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

After failing to convince the UN Security Council members about prolonging the agreement, the Trump administration brought the "snap back mechanism into the light to try their chances again.

During his presidency, President Barack Obama included the "snapback" mechanism in the agreement to re-enforce all of the previous sanctions in case of Iran violating its provisions.

Unlike other UN Security Council resolutions, this mechanism does not entitle the five permanent members the right of veto.

Resolution 2231 also gives any signatory country of the agreement the right to make a complaint that another treaty participant violated the rules. The use of this right by a state starts a 30-day process for the Security Council to create a new decision that will altogether remove all sanctions in force under the agreement.

U.S.  also took the official step to start this process. According to the agreement, the country receiving the said step has the right to veto the new decision to be taken by the Security Council within 30 days. Therefore, the right to reintroduce all sanctions under the current conditions.

Secretary Pompeo’s Remarks at United Nations:

“I notified them that the United States is initiating the restoration of virtually all UN sanctions on Iran lifted under UN Security Council Resolution 2231.  This process will lead to those sanctions coming back into effect 30 days from today. Our message is very, very simple: the United States will never allow the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to freely buy and sell planes, tanks, missiles, and other kinds of conventional weapons.  These UN sanctions will continue the arms embargo.”

“Our actions today too should come as no surprise to anyone.  Our team has made every diplomatic effort over now almost two years to renew this arms embargo.  I want to thank the Dominican Republic for standing with us in this effort. 

“Our friends in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom – the E3 – all told me privately that they don’t want the arms embargo lifted either.We call on the international community to join us in crafting a stronger deal that addresses the full range of Iran’s malign behavior, and protects people of all nations that simply want to live free from Iranian predation. “

NYC Mayor Blasio: "Planning to Lay Off 22,000 Public Workers on Oct 1st"

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was moving forward with "painfully real" plans to lay off 22,000 public workers on October 1 unless another source of cash comes through.

"The overwhelming cost of local government is the staff. Where we put our money is to provide services to New Yorkers, whether they're first responders, health care workers, sanitation workers, educators, you name it. "

"If you're going to keep cutting and cutting, it has to at some come to the staff. It's just pure logic of budgets, and it's a very sad logic. I don't like it one bit, and I want to avert this at all costs. The number 22,000 is painfully real," he said.

"Every single agency will experience cuts, every single agency will have to save a lot of money, and generally it will be through layoffs."
* Politico was the first media outlet who learned the lay off plan in NYC.

Opposing NYPD Officers to live in the 5 Boroughs

NYC Mayor Blasio also said he would oppose requiring NYPD officers to live in the five boroughs, as most other city workers are required to do because of the high housing cost.

A slight majority of police officers live outside the city. The NYPD's civilian employees, however, are covered by residency requirements, and 94% of them live in the five boroughs, according to data obtained by Streetsblog.
NYC Budget is 92.5 billion dollars
On April 25, 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio released the Executive Budget for Fiscal 2020. The budget totals $92.5 billion, representing approximately a $258 million increase over the $92.2 billion Preliminary Budget that was released in February. 
NYC is facing almost 9 trillion dollars budget deficit this year
NYPD Budget is 6 billion dollars
NYC Mayor  recently announced a $1 billion cut to the NYPD while maintaining patrol strength and focus on safety.


New York, one of the favorite and important U.S. cities, struggles with the pandemic along with protests, violent crimes, especially shootings, following George Floyd's death. Due to a 23% increase in the crime rate in New York, there is uneasiness in the city.

Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio has stated at the press conference that they will double the number of police forces against increased acts of violence in the city.

Mayor De Blasio indicated that the increase in shooting events in recent days was caused by Coronavirus pandemic which devastated the city economy. He said: "We have had very bad days recently. Unfortunately, we are facing things we have seen and struggled with before and we will fight them once again. The epidemic changed every aspect of life. We don't do the usual things we did before. There is now a great deal of burden on the New York Police Department (NYPD) than ever before.”

Mayor Blasio had cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department's (NYPD) annual budget of $6 billion, and his decision had led to controversy. Mayor Blasio had also stated that the $1 billion budget cut would be invested in youth programs and social services.


NYPD Commissioner Shea Meets New Volunteers

NYPD Commissioner met the new volunteers at the Police Plaza.The Commissioner said: "Our peer-support team plays a crucial role in the well-being of our individual members, and of our department as a whole. This morning, I had the chance to speak to some of our newest volunteers. To them, and to every peer-support member, I say: THANK YOU for all that you do."

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