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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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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."

President Trump: “We have the greatest economy in U.S. History.”

According to the data announced by the U.S. Ministry of Labor, the unemployment rate in the U.S. decreased by 13.3% in May. The decrease of the unemployment rate in May, which was recorded as 14.7% in April, was perceived as an unexpected positive development in the economic recession period caused by the coronavirus pandemic. New unemployment data were released following the surveys, showing that consumer confidence, manufacturing, and service sectors began to stabilize.

At the press conference held in the White House, President Trump evaluated the unemployment number and the agenda. Evaluating the unemployment number as “amazing,” President Trump said, “We had the greatest economy in U.S. history. And then this horrible pandemic hit the world. Tremendous progress is being made on vaccines. I also think we can have some very positive surprises in terms of treatment.”

Reacting to the states that have not started with the normalization yet, President Trump said, “I don’t know why some governors still continue with quarantine. Look at Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, they have reopened, and they are doing a tremendous job.” Claiming that the best figures were achieved in terms of employment of African, Asian, and Latin Americans before the new type of coronavirus pandemic, 

President Trump said, “The unemployment numbers announced today are a document of appreciation for equality in our country.” Stating that the economy was making a quick recovery, looking at the unemployment numbers released today, Trump said, “We were talking about a V-recovery of our economy, but now we can talk about a rocket-oriented recovery.” 

About the steps taken for the African American population, Trump said, “My administration has done more for the Black community than any president.” Pointing out that the violent incidents in George Floyd’s demonstrations were largely suppressed, President Trump said, “We have a great army and National Guard. National Guard was barely used, but they helped the secret service at Washington a lot. The job they did at the White House is unbelievable.” 

President Trump: “Covid-19 is a terrible gift from China!”

Stating that Covid-19 would have been prevented in China where it emerged, President Trump said, “Should we have not stopped flights from China, and we would have lost 2.5 million lives. We closed our economy. So, we’re at 105,000 lives now. Europe also closed its economy. Europe became acutely infected by the virus that came from China.

President Trump added, “China never had a dominant economy. It is not going to happen.” Pointing out that airlines and travel companies have begun to get back their old customers in the U.S.,” 

Pointing out that the world is seeking answers for some questions about China with the threat of sanctions on the issue of Hong Kong, President Trump emphasized that they had seen the damage caused by the foreign dependency of the U.S. supply chain during the pandemic. Trump reported that he also ordered his financial markets working group to address the actions of Chinese companies in U.S. financial markets. 

President Trump said, “The last steps taken by China show that Hong Kong is no longer an autonomous region. China changed its formula of ‘two systems, one country’ to ‘one country, one system.’ So I order my administration to begin eliminating Hong Kong’s political privileges.” Trump added that “The USA will take the necessary steps to impose sanctions on the officials of China and Hong Kong who harm the autonomy of Hong Kong.”

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveils large street banner reading 'Black Lives Matter'

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser shared the painting made on 16th Street, which became the center of protests in response to the killing of African American George Floyd while in the custody of the police in Minnesota, on her Twitter account and announced that an intersection near the White House was renamed to Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Each of the 16 bold yellow letters spans the width of the two-lane street, creating a huge visual easily spotted by aerial cameras and virtually anyone within two-three blocks.

Mayor Bowser sent a letter to  President Trump, stating that she ended the “state of emergency” situation and the curfews in the city, and requesting that he withdraw the National Guard soldiers in the city.

Per President Trump's request,Pentagon moved 1,600 active-duty troops to the Washington area as the military is playing a critical role in responding to protests in the nation's capital,Washington,DC .

Protests Continue in New York City

In the U.S. , the peaceful protests that started and spread across the country in response to the police killing of African American George Floyd continue on the twelfth day.Thousands of protesters have come together in various territories in New York yesterday and called for justice for Floyd. The protests that took place in Brooklyn,Bronx,Staten Island and Manhattan in the afternoon were calm in general.

There were few  clashes between the police and the protesters who did not comply with the curfew, which had been in force after 8:00 p.m. for five nights in order to prevent looting and violence in protests in New York.

NYPD Commissioner Shea tweeted :"The widespread criminal activity that we’re witnessing at night has nothing to do with the peaceful protests we’re standing with during the day. This senseless looting is organized by bad-actors using a worthy cause as cover."

Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller, alongside his two counterparts had a press briefing on Saturday:NYPD arrested 1,024 people in protest related arrests and 1,164 summonses.This arrest number  did not include curfew violations. Deputy Commissioner Miller said: “It does not appear that groups traveled into New York together and initially arrests of people outside New York made up a high percentage but over time they became a much smaller percentage. 

NYPD Officials also said that 292 officers injured during George Floyd protests in 5 boroughs. NYPD 10th Precinct tweeted and highlighted that "We respect everyone’s First Amendment rights, but there is no reason to bring axes (attached to signs) and knives to peaceful demonstrations."

Mayor De Blasio: "We Do Not Want Armed Forces"

Stating, “When outside armed forces go into communities, no good comes of it in New York,” Mayor of New York City. Bill de Blasio blamed both sides in the protests that involved violent incidents in the city and added, “There are people who participate in these peaceful protests just to do violence. On the other hand, we also witnessed scenes of breach of power by the police that do not match with our values.”

Mayor Blasio also tweeted regarding George Floyd's memorial : " I could see the raw pain and anger in the crowd at George Floyd’s memorial yesterday. I felt it, I heard it. People have seen injustice before our very eyes and can't live with it."

Governor Andrew Cuomo apologized to NYPD

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo apologized to New York Police Department (NYPD) and Mayor Bill de Blasio after his criticism following the violence and looting incidents. NYPD Chief Terence Monahan  was interviewed by "Today" Show and he said "Last night his office called and apologized to me, and I know he called the commissioner directly to apologize,” .  What  Governor Cuomo has said was "The police in New York City were not effective in doing their job last night. They have to do a better job.”

US President Trump: “We think that we will have had a vaccination by the end of the year.”

President Trump held a press conference at the White House on vaccination research.

President Trump pointed to the fact that almost all the states in the country have announced their normalization plans now, thanks to their testing capacities of up to 350,000 per day. Trump said, “Another important pillar of the normalization process of our country is the development of effective treatment and vaccines against the virus. We are looking to get it by the end of the year if we can, maybe before.”

President Trump said that various studies on the vaccine had been initiated as of January 11, the early days of the pandemic, and his government has been doing their best to support such studies.

President Trump Administration Unveils the Warp Speed Project.

Citing that his administration provided $10 billion to fund the research initiatives, President Trump said, “Today, we are starting a new project called Operation Warp Speed in the field of vaccination. In this way, we will make a massive scientific, industrial, and logistical endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.” He said, “Its objective is to finish developing and then manufacture and distribute a proven coronavirus vaccine as fast as possible.”

President Trump stated that within the scope of this project, the Ministry of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and experts from many institutions and organizations came together. He noted that the army would be used to distribute the vaccine to the country after its development.

'Hats off' to whoever develops vaccine First"

Noting that they had been working in collaboration with other countries to develop a vaccine, Trump said, “We have no ego on that matter. We are working with our allies and sometimes we are working with those who are not our allies.” He commented, “Whoever develops the vaccine, we think it’s great.”

“Vaccine or no vaccine, we are back.”

On the other hand, President Trump said, “And I just want to make something clear. It’s very important. Vaccine or no vaccine, we are back to normal. We are starting a process. And in many cases, they don’t have vaccines, and a virus or the flu comes, and you fight through it. And people sometimes, I guess—we don’t know exactly yet, but it looks like they become immune, or at least for a short while.”

Side Notes:

President Trump's F-35 Card

Stating that the U.S. should not have a commitment to China or other countries at the supply chain point, President Trump said, “We have good relations with President Erdoğan now, but what if it breaks down? What are we supposed to do if they say that ‘we won’t be delivering the F-35 parts?’” he said.

President Trump: “We’ll be making an announcement on the World Health Organization shortly, soon.”

Trump also commented on the quitting of the Head of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, saying, “I am OK with it. The World Trade Organization has been acting very badly for a long time. They treat China as a developing nation. Therefore, China gets a lot of the benefits that the US doesn’t get.”

Trump: I don’t want to talk to Xi right now. We might cut off our whole relationship with China.

Arguing that China is responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak and its becoming a pandemic, Trump said, “I am very disappointed in China. They should have never let this happen. So I made a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me. The ink was barely dry and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.” Stating that the USA might cut off its relationship with China, Trump said, “There are many things we could do.

We could take many steps. We could cut off the whole relationship. Now, if you did, what would happen? You’d save $500 billion if you cut off the whole relationship.”

The Economic Situation

There will be an election in November, but Trump is not willing to face this given the existing financial scenario. During the last two months, 36 million people in the US have applied for unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployment rate in the country reached 14.7% in April. This number is expected to climb in the next few months. This is the highest unemployment level that the US has experienced since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Turkish Americans in the 2020 Elections!

In April, Aycha Sirvanci Sawa achieved a stunning election win to become the City Comptroller of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What's Next for Turkish Americans in the 2020 Election Year?  The next-go-around for Turkish Americans at the ballot box is this July. Two Turkish American lawyers are running in elections in the states of New Jersey and Louisiana. The outcome of these polls could be historically significant for the Turkish American community.

We Need Your Help, Spreading Awareness for Aylin Acikalin, Democrat for Judge of New Orleans, First City Court!

Turkish American women saw one political success story so far this year with the election of Aycha Sawa as City Comptroller of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last month. Aycha is the 12th Turkish American elected to public office, and the first Turkish American woman elected as the chief financial officer for a major American city. She is also the second woman elected as a city official in Milwaukee.

NYC Mayor: No protests are allowed in NYC

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that New York got over the peak already. However, he also remarked that the economic activities could not go back to normal until September.

Mayor De Blasio said, “Consider how much effort and discipline does minimize the numbers take and follow the same path when you are sure that it will not come back.” De Blasio warned that if otherwise, that is, if the pandemic comes back with the boomerang effect, efforts to reopen the economy will be postponed to a far later date.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed out that many New Yorkers flocked to city parks that weekend as warmer weather tempted them out. De Blasio emphasized that if the social distancing and other measures relevant to the pandemic were not obeyed, the pandemic could boomerang and hit the city folk again.

De Blasio said, “We will not give permission even to small groups that do not obey the social distancing rules. Failure to obey the rules will delay the city’s return to life.”

He said that the number of cases and deaths began to decrease in New York. Stating that the pandemic was in a silent period, Blasio highlighted that even though the numbers decreased, this fight was not over, and there was a long way ahead.

New sector councils are established in NYC.

Mayor Blasio stated that he would be forming several advisory councils to aid New York City’s reopening when the coronavirus pandemic recedes. New York City is rolling out six councils on specific business sectors of city life today with four more on the way in the coming days.

No protests are allowed in NYC.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea stated outright that New Yorkers are not permitted to gather for protests in public due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mayor de Blasio said: “People who want to make their voices heard, there are plenty of ways to do it without gathering in person.”

 NYPD Commissioner Shea stated: “We’re in a pandemic, and executive orders have been issued, these are laws that have been passed down through executive order to keep people alive, while we greatly, greatly respect the right of people to protest, there should not be protests taking place in the middle of a pandemic by gathering outside and putting people at risk.”

As of to date, New York has 337,421 cases, 26,365 deaths and 1,089,916 tests.

President Trump: "Task Force Will Keep Working "Indefinitely"

President Trump said that Coronavirus Task Force, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, has done a fantastic job of bringing together vast, highly complex resources that have set a high standard for others to follow in the future.President stated that the extra ventilators will be shared with the countries which are in need.

 " Likewise, before we had a few tests only, and now we do more tests than every country combined. There is a great number of face masks, shields, gloves, and protective gowns now. The last four Governor's teleconference calls have been conclusively strong. Because of this success, the Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on safety and opening up our country again. We may add or subtract people properly. Task Force will also be very focused on vaccines and treatment." President Trump said. 

President Trump also stated that he was unaware of the famous of the task force that he wanted to stop earlier.

Task Force has 22 members including:Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury,Robert Wilkie,Secretary of Vet. Affairs,NSA Robert O'Brien,Stephen Biegun,Deputy Secretary of State, Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council,Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy,Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID , Dr Deborah Birx, US Global Aids Coordinator, Jerome Adams Surgeon General of the United States

White House Press Secretary McEnany described the relationship between USA-China as a disappointment.

Underlining that China did not share sufficient information about the human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, McEnany said, "China did not allow our researchers to investigate their virus management."

McEnany commented, “The US has, to date, conducted 7.5 million coronavirus tests. This is an extraordinary number. It’s not an accidental success.”

“The idea to test everyone is nonsensical.”

When asked if all the workers need to be tested for all people to go back to work safely, McEnany said, “If we tested every single American at this moment, We’d have to retest them every hour. That’s because you can be exposed to the virus anytime. Therefore, the idea to test everyone does not make sense. We have to act in a strategic manner about tests, as we have done so far.”

Reminding that the decision of loosening virus rules was passed on to the federal governors, “We encourage every single governor to follow the guidelines that White House put forward to a phased reopening approach.”

United States thanks to NATO Ally Turkey for 'generous donation' of coronavirus aid

On his Twitter account, the U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo shared the photo taken while the military cargo plane carrying the medical aid sent by Turkey was landing on Andrew Air Base near the capital, Washington.

“NATO allies must stand together in times of crisis,” said Pompeo in a Twitter message. “We thank Turkey for their generous donation of medical supplies and protective equipment to help us fight COVID-19 in our hardest-hit areas. Americans are grateful for your friendship, partnership, and support.”

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policies Michael Ryan said, “We are grateful to Turkey for the aid they have provided the USA with and the leadership model they have presented in NATO in the fight against COVID-19.”

Stating that Turkish and American officials coordinated the aid for a week, Ryan said, “Turkey’s aid to the USA, like its aids to Italy, Spain, England, and the Balkans, has been made with the coordination of NATO.”

The Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca had a phone call with U.S. Minister of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kılıç, met the shipment and delivered President Erdoğan’s letter to Trump to U.S. officials during the transportation of the aid package at the U.S. Joint Andrews Base.

It was announced that Turkey’s aid package included 500,000 masks, 400,000 gowns, 2,000 liters of disinfectant, 500 face shields, 400 N95-type masks, and 1,500 protective glasses.

In addition, The second military cargo plane from Turkey arrived in the USA on Friday, May 1, completing the entire delivery.

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