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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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President Biden: "America is Rising Anew"

The U.S. President Joe Biden has addressed a joint session in Congress for the first time since taking office. President Biden declared that "America is rising anew" in his speech, in which he highlighted his economic plans.

The U.S. President has started his speech by saying, "It has been 100 days since I inherited a nation in crisis. I can tell you this after 100 days: America is advancing again by turning peril into possibility, crisis into opportunity, setbacks into strengths."

Highlighting the process made regarding the fight with the pandemic since his taking office, Joe Biden said, "Less than 1% of the seniors were fully vaccinated when I was sworn in. Approximately 70% of the seniors are vaccinated after 100 days." He also called for those who have not been vaccinated so far to get the vaccine.

-He explained the details of the family support plan.
-"Middle class" emphasis: "It is time for the wealthiest 1% of the American population to begin to pay their fair share."
-"We must prove America's adversaries wrong." said President Biden. He also stated that they have to prove the U.S. democracy works, solves the public's problems, and gives results.
-George Floyd and the police reform message
"We must work together to eliminate systemic racism in the criminal justice system and to restore the trust between the police and the people they serve," he said.

A message for China

Relations with China were also on the agenda of U.S. President Biden. He said that he clearly stated in his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping that they do not want conflict with China and they will defend America's interests across the board.

"We can end cancer."
President Biden underlined that America should lead the world in the field of health and science. "I can think of no more worthy investment," said Biden. "Let's end cancer. It is within our power," he stated.

"Gun violence is an epidemic in America."


"I know how hard it is to make progress on this issue. I will do everything in my power to protect the American people from this epidemic of gun violence. But it's time for Congress to act as well." he said.

A first in American history

Behind the President of the U.S. for the first time sat two senior female government officials, Vice President Kamala Harris and the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

About 200 people watched President's speech due to the pandemic.
 
Polls after the President Speech:
 
CBS News-YouGov: 85% of viewers said they approved of Biden’s speech
 
A CNN-SSRS : 78% of respondents had a very or somewhat positive reaction to Biden’s speech
 
President Biden's first Congressional speech  drew 26.9 million viewers, according to figures from ratings company Nielsen. 45th President Trump's first speech at Congress had 47.7 million viewers in 2017.
 

Two men indicted in attack on Turkish restaurant in Beverly Hills

LOS ANGELES  — A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted two Armenian American men on charges of conspiracy and hate crimes for allegedly attacking five people at a family-owned Turkish restaurant last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The men allegedly stormed into the restaurant on Nov. 20 and attacked five people, including four who are of Turkish descent, prosecutors said in a press release.

President Biden's April 24th Statement and Echoes of His Statement

President Joe Biden officially recognized the massacre of Armenians in World War I as a genocide. He is the second President who recognized 1915 events as “genocide”. In a statement made on Holocaust Memorial Day, on April 22, 1981, former President Ronald Reagan commemorated the victims of the Jewish Holocaust. In his statement, Reagan said, "The lessons learned from the Holocaust, just like the Armenian holocaust prior to it and the Cambodian holocaust after it, must never be forgotten."

President Biden said:Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring. Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination.”

Turkey and Turkish American condemned the President statement on April 24th and shared their disappointed with White House.

Turk of America Journalist Ali Cinar interviewed prominent American Academicians who are expert on the issue and U.S. Turkey relationship.

Prof.Michael Reynolds, Princeton University

I don’t agree with what Biden said or did, but I think the biggest mistake is the one committed by Turkey, and that is to react to statement. The best thing Ankara can do, I think, is to say something along these lines: We respectfully disagree with the president of the U.S.A.’s assessment of Ottoman history. And leave it at that.

Yes, Biden made the declaration in part to slap Ankara and send a message about American displeasure with contemporary Turkey and its policies. He instrumentalized the issue, making something far from a brave statement of historical truth

But it is Ankara that makes this tactic effective when it reacts with fury. Biden bent over over backwards not to reference Turkey or Turks.

More broadly, Turkey should open the border with Armenia. Azerbaijan is ready for that, and it would be the best thing for Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

 

Prof Edward Erickson , Antalya Bilim University

It is a mistake to politicize history simply to please a political party's base. As a registered Democrat, I believe that President Biden has made a bad miscalculation.

President Biden and the Democratic Party need the political capital that accrues from pandering to the Armenian and Greek communities in America. Adam Schiff, a California congressman who represents a district heavily populated by Armenian-Americans, is a powerful voice and advocate for Armenians and he has pushed the party towards recognition.

Were I a Turkish-American, I would "just let it go" for now. This is a battle that cannot be won in our lifetimes and Turks and Turkish-Americans might, instead, sponsor research and scholarship which investigates other views and interpretations.

Dr. Mark Meirowitz, Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College and THO Advisory Board Member

Turkey should be proactive and request the implementation of the Turkey Armenia Protocols agreed to in 2009 by Armenia and Turkey, intended to normalize relations, which included the establishment of a historical submission of Turkish, Armenian, Swiss and other experts to do an impartial scientific review of the historical records and archives related to these events. This is needed to focus the world’s attention on Turkey’s willingness to do an objective analysis of these historical events.

Obviously since the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh the road to reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia will be much more difficult

As far as Biden’s statement previous Presidents have issued virtually the same statement annually referring to the events in 1915 as “Meds Yeghern” the “great crime” in effect synonymous to the events in Armenia - except this time Biden uses the term “genocide”.

100 Bipartisan Members of Congress submitted a letter to President Biden asking him to take this stance by using the word “genocide”.
And Biden did so.

In light of the phone call yesterday and upcoming June meeting between Biden and Erdogan on the sidelines of the Nato summit, Turkey should not overreact and as stated above ask that this issue be handled objectively as contemplated by the Protocols. Turkey has bigger issues to deal with when Erdogan meets Biden

Prof.Herbert Reginbogin, Catholic University of America

Demonstrate sincerity about the tragic events of 1915 - 1923 by making all efforts to seek the truth about the injustice of the past that occurred during this time by having parliament pass legislation signed in to law that all public and private archives are immediately open to a international commission of Turk and International historians

similar to the Bergier Commission in Switzerland and the same type of legislation passed by the Swiss Parliament in the 1990s. This means no government interference and it is enough to start with Turkish archives and other archives can be pursued such as those in Armenia, but is then in Armenia's backyard to open their archives as would be the case of Turkey.

Lawsuits in the US brought against a sovereign State like the Republic of Turkey are halted by the Department of Justice filing a Statement of Interest meaning that the U.S. government has a overriding reason in seeing such litigation move forward. Now that President Biden has announced his opinion that an Armenian Genocide occurred

the Dept. of Justice will very unlike file a Statement of Interest and the court will decide if such case has jurisdiction

in the federal court district where the civil lawsuit was filed. If the party has seeked justice in Turkey's civil courts or respectively can prove that he can find no such justice then the party representing the Armenian's will very like argue that the US court has jurisdiction under the US Constitutional provision referred to ACTA - Alien Claims Tort Act.

I think that it is an opportunity to work together to seek reconciliation for the injustices of the past. This was done in South Africa. It can also be a starting point for other historical conflict and injustice of the past including Armenia 1915.

Prof.Michael Gunter, Tennessee Tech University

President Biden is a good person who sincerely is trying to emphasize human rights. Unfortunately, in characterizing what happened to the Armenians as genocide he is being naïve and one-sided. Yes, we can all agree that the Armenians suffered terribly. And so did the Muslims! Neither side had a monopoly on good or evil. So to single out the Turks as somehow uniquely guilty, is not only naïve and one-sided, but unfair. Furthermore, to the extent that many supporters of the Armenian version of history also accuse Turkey of continuing genocide after WWI and even today regarding the recent war over Nagorno-Karabakh is risible. Anyone who knows his/her history, should be aware that after WW I, Turkey fought for its very existence against the Armenians in the east who were trying to conquer one-third of Anatolia, and the Greeks in the west who drove to within 50 miles of Ankara in their foolhardy attempt to resurrect the Byzantine Empire. And of course, just this past fall, Azerbaijan with Turkish support successfully regained 20 percent of its territory that Armenia had been occupying since the early 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed. Azerbaijan had every right to fight to regain its occupied territory. Yet some Armenian supporters are calling this a continuance of Turkish genocide. Biden’s naïve statement today will give these people who seek to legitimize Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan encouragement. Furthermore, Biden’s misguided statement today ignores how what happened to the Armenians was part of a much larger historical process that began as early as the Greek rebellion in the 1820s, followed by uprisings against the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 19th century that led to the deaths and ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the Balkans, a process that was renewed in the 1990s with Serbia’s violence against the Bosnians Muslims. Thus, the Armenian tragedy was part of a much larger historical process that Biden’s statement today simply ignored.

Turkey should not make a big deal out of Biden’s one-sided version of history and just shrug it off as it is not that important. Biden’s statement was only symbolic; it did not entail any sanctions as he has imposed against Russia. Remember that 40 years ago President Reagan also used the term genocide and US-Turkish relations survived. What is important are US-Turkish relations going forward. Already Biden and Turkish president Erdogan have agreed to meet privately at the next NATO meeting to be held in Brussels in June.

I think that if Turkey had not purchased the Russian air-defense system that the US claims could compromise US air power or used military power against the Syrian Kurds in Afrin or again to the east in October 2019, the US might not have been so prone to use the word genocide today.

Also I think the Armenian Lobby played a role in convincing Biden to use the word genocide, but not as much as most observers think. Rather Biden truly believes what he said and that by using the word, he will be promoting human rights and make such horrible events less likely to happen in the future. As I said above, Biden’s is a good person trying to promote human rights, but in this specific case he simply does not know his history, which should be left to the historians. Politicians should not pontificate about historical events they do not fully appreciate.

Major Pressure on Russia During the Biden Era

The impacts of U.S. President Joe Biden's sanctions against Russia continue to be spoken in the world public opinion. The U.S. administration has stated that it has decided to impose sanctions against Russia for three reasons. Russia's interference in the presidential elections, the cyberattacks on the U.S. energy sector, and the reports that Russia paid bounties on the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan were indicated. In this framework, Biden Administration has announced that;

- The expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats
- As of June 14, the U.S. financial institutions will be banned from taking part in the primary market for bonds issued by the Central Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund of Russia, and the Russian Ministry of Finance
- 6 technology companies that support Russia's cyber activities are also on the sanction list
- There will also be sanctions imposed against 16 individuals and 16 media outlets that tried to interfere in the 2020 presidential elections.

Biden: "Now is time to de-escalate tensions."


By saying that "We could have gone further, but I chose not to do so," in his special 7-minute talk at the White House, President Biden underlined their unwillingness to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. Biden said, 
 
" I propose to Putin that we meet in person this summer in Europe. I expressed concern about Russia's military buildup on Ukraine's border and occupied and unoccupied Crimea. I affirmed U.S. support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of #Ukraine, and I strongly urge him to refrain from any military action."

Russian Aggression in Ukraine is Still a Major Problem

It is well known that the U.S. Administration is anxious about Russia's ever-increasing troop buildup around the east of Ukraine and provocations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and allied member countries in Brussels and made a joint statement on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Biden Administration is exercising intense international diplomacy to support Ukraine thoroughly and so that Russia does not take action similar to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Unclarity on U.S. Navy Ships in Black Sea  


The U.S. Department of Defense explained  that demand for warships going to the Black Sea wasn't made recently.In addition, Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that the U.S. has given up sending military ships. It is known that the U.S. The Navy routinely conducts operations within the NATO exercise framework in the Black Sea. It is expected that the U.S. will continue pressuring Russia by collaborating with the allies.

It is not clear whether the U.S. sanctions will bring any changes in Russia's actions especially considering that the previous precautions taken by the U.S. failed to terminate the Russian cyber attacks. Some Russian diplomats were also expelled in 2016 during former President Barack Obama's presidency due to Russia's interference. On the other hand, although Donald Trump does not criticize Putin, he had put in place the option of deporting some Russian diplomats upon the allegations of Russia's poisoning a former intelligence service agent in England in 2018.

Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin in Brussels for Ukraine

After Russia massed troops on the Ukrainian border, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Brussels and announced again "the full support of the U.S. to Ukraine. "

There is heavy Ukrainian traffic in Brussels, the seat of the European Union and NATO. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to Brussels for a 2-day visit to hold talks on Iran and Afghanistan and Ukraine. Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin went to Brussels in the evening after his meeting with his German counterpart in Germany and joined Secretary Blinken.

Secretary Blinken met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba, who was in Brussels to seek support from the E.U. and NATO, in the first phase of their meeting the day before the extraordinary meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers. In his meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba, Secretary Blinken reiterated "the unwavering support of the United States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression." Secretary Blinken told reporters that "ongoing discussion for being Ukraine's a NATO member"

Speaking to journalists about his meeting with Kuleba, Secretary Blinken warned that since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, it has gathered the largest number of forces on the Ukrainian border, saying, "I conveyed the unwavering U.S. support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia. We continue to support Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration in the face of continued aggression in Donbas and Crimea."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba is in Brussels seeking both political and military support from the E.U. and NATO. Political support statements were made from NATO, G7, and E.U. in the first place. However, no sign of military aid has yet come to Ukraine, which is not a member of the E.U. or  NATO.

Full support" from NATO to Ukraine

Alongside Secretary  Blinken, Kuleba met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and allied country representatives at the NATO-Ukraine joint meeting."NATO stands by Ukraine," said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who met with Kuleba at NATO headquarters. Kuleba asked the allies "not to repeat the mistakes that led to the annexation of Crimea and to give concrete support to Ukraine."

Continuing his contacts in Brussels, Kuleba also held an assessment meeting with permanent representatives of NATO member countries on the crisis. At the meeting, Kuleba explained that they expect "concrete and effective" support from NATO, directly conveying the events in the region to the member countries' representatives and asking Europe and NATO not to repeat the mistake that led to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg asked Russia to end the military buildup and provocations on the Ukrainian border and take steps to reduce tension. Stoltenberg said, "Russia's military buildup is unfair, inexplicable and deeply worrying. Russia should put an end to this military buildup in and around Ukraine, stop their provocations and calm down immediately."

NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu announced that NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg would meet with Blinken and Austin tomorrow at NATO headquarters.

Surprise Call with Putin:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. 

Here is the official statement after the call:

They discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty. President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. President Biden emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions. President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with U.S. interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/13/readout-of-president-joseph-r-biden-jr-call-with-president-vladimir-putin-of-russia-4-13/

Recent Developments in Ukraine

Ali Cinar interviewed three distinguished experts on Russian aggression in the region. US forces in Europe are on higher alert, citing "escalations of Russian aggression" in the area. President Biden spoke with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week  and  "affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s aggression in the Donbas and Crimea,”

H.E. Dan Herbst, Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and Director,Atlantic Council:

Moscow has pursued an aggressive policy in eastern europe and the Caucasus since at least its cyber attack on estonia in 2007. Western response to the Kremlin War on Georgia and seizure of Crimea was late and weak, which only encouraged further aggression in donbas and provocations elsewhere.   Finally, after the shootdown of mh17 in the summer of 2914, the EU joined the  U.S. in placing punishing sanctions on Russia for its  aggression in Ukraine. And by the fall of 2015, the U.S. began to provide significant military aid to Ukraine and in late 2017, javelins, tank killers.  In other words, it took years for the west to develop a sensible,  strong policy to thwart kremlin revisionism. 

President Biden understands this and that is why he mentioned Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine in his first call with Putin. His administration moved smartly this past week with phone calls from the whole national security team to Kyiv expressing support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s military buildup in northern Crimea and along Ukraine’s eastern border.  This was a timely warning to Moscow not to escalate its aggression against Ukraine.  

Regarding Crimea, the U.S. has a sound policy in place, the Pompeo doctrine.  That is a policy of non-recognition of Moscow’s illegal control there, and sanctions for firms operating there. The point is to raise the price on the kremlin for its aggression. 

To contain the kremlin in Ukraine and the broader black sea region, the U.S. should work to enhance cooperation among its NATO  allies and friendly countries such as Ukraine,Georgia and perhaps Moldova.  Washington should promote joint exercises and eventually contingency planning.  

Andrij Dobriansky, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America,Director of Communications;

I am looking to Putin’s actions in Georgia in 2008 as a guide: Russian media and social media in occupied Donbas has been telling those citizens that Ukraine is about to “invade” Russia’s occupied territories. This is what Russia said about Georgia in 2008 as an excuse to invade them. Also in 2008 the world was focused on the Olympics, while this time the west is focused on Easter (Ukraine and Russia celebrate in May)

The US is already in a different position: US advisors are on the ground in Ukraine and are able to travel wherever they need to (President Obama prevented them from traveling east of Kyiv) Also, the flyover and naval deployments to the Black Sea are a regular part of the US schedule now. U.S. will be able to report themselves what they see happening and be able to counter Russian disinformation narratives, In the next 3-5 months we expect a US ambassador on the ground in Kyiv and a special negotiator from the US appointed to replace a Volker

We’re at a critical point this week with Russia’s bulldup. If nothing escalates in the next 2 weeks, we go back to the status quo. Putin is trying to gain leverage in international negotiations: Nordstream, sanctions relief, Ukraine getting closer to NATO

Ayla Bakkalli, Representative of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar and Advisor, Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations on Indigenous Matters Member of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars,

Ukraine’s historical nemesis Russian Federation has resurrected its familiar post-soviet aggression once again with the increase of military build up on its border. What are the grounds for this unprovoked action as Russia is flooding Crimea trains full of tanks and military build up in Eastern Ukraine and the increase in the militarization of the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine has prompted Ukrainian to meet up with the meet up 

Sec of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian FM Dmityr Kuleba, US Chiefs of Staff Mark Millie speaking with his Ukrainian counterpart Mr. Ruslan Khomchak . I believe Mr. Mark Millley also speak with first deputy Minister of Defense of Russia, Valery Gersimov and , between US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Head of the President of Ukraine’s office , Andrew Ermak.Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby brought it up the topic on the military build up with its NATO allies. 

General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO was the feature speaker alongside with the Defense Attache of Ukraine, Major Volodymyr Havrylov  at a virtual panel hosted by Manor College several weeks ago on March 18, discussed the systematic aggression of Ukrainian sovereign lands.  

A human face to the militarization with the continual persecution of Ukraine’s indigenous people the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian activists have become the occupiers target. Again, Russia continues its hybrid occupation with a hybrid deportation strategy. To date, based on Ukrainian statistics 50,000 have left Crimea to the Crimean mainland.

They are imprisoned on the basis: freedom of religion,freedom of speech ,freedom of association and freedom of conscience .

Crimean Tatars remain locked down fearful that their father, brother, son, husband will be the next target.  Most of the people who are imprisoned for political reasons in Crimea are innocent Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian activists.  International community should rethink:  

  • I suppose it is high time to reassess that the Normandy format is not working and a new form of diplomacy which will develop organically given the continual changes on the ground in occupied Ukrainian territories. 
  • Time has made the decision on behalf of Ukraine a need for national security strategy involving use of its national power and at the same time Ukraine is committed to resolving this issue through peaceful and diplomatic means given the risk 
  • It is important for the international community to hear the many voices in occupied lands of Ukraine and take seriously that Ukraine’s civil society is at the front lines both nationally and internationally. 

Secretary of State Blinken: Open the borders

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke at the United Nations Security Council and called for the opening of the Turkey-Syria border gates that are currently closed.

Secretary Blinken, who has made critical statements by emphasizing the change in the US administration's approach regarding Syria in the United Nations Security Council, stated that it is mandatory to find a way to help people and said, "This is our responsibility."

Stating that the United Nations Security Council is working on many complex issues, Secretary Blinken pointed out that what is happening in Syria is not one of those "complex issues" and is based on fundamental humanitarian foundations."

Secretary Blinken:"This is a Disaster!"

Blinken urged the authorities to reopen the Öncüpinar/Bab al-Salam border crossing between Turkey and Syria, which couldn't be opened due to the vetoes of China and Russia in 2020 and the Al-Ya'rubiyah border crossing between Iraq and Syria, and said, "There is no good reason the crossing remains closed today. Members of this council have a job to do: Reauthorize all three border crossings for humanitarian assistance."

Mark Lowcock, Secretary-General of United Nations Humanitarian Affairs, reminded that millions of Syrians need humanitarian aid and said, "It has been ten years of despair and disaster for Syrians.".

Secretary Blinken held a meeting with UNGA President Bozkir 


Secretary of State Blinken also had a meeting with Volkan Bozkır, the 75th President of the UN General Assembly. During the press briefing of the meeting, which was held virtually due to COVID-19, Bozkır emphasized the importance of the U.S. for the United Nations and expressed his contentment regarding the new US administration's global policy changes and also the fact that they are working more closely with international organizations.

On the other hand, Secretary Blinken stated that the world's ongoing problems would not be able to be solved by a single country, and the United Nations is one of the best institutions for cooperation and producing solutions.
 
Secretary Blinken's Full Speech at UNSC:

President Biden's $2.3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

President Biden announced the first stage of the plan at an event held at a union training center in Pittsburgh. President Biden defined the massive program that will restructure the American infrastructure over the next eight years as a "once-in-a-generation investment."

According to the details announced by the White House, within the scope of this plan, hundreds of billions of dollars are allocated for the modernization and construction of roads, bridges, public transportation systems, schools, and other infrastructure fields.

The plan can both fix some of the damage caused to the economy by the Coronavirus epidemic and benefit primarily low-income employees.
It is stated that President Joe Biden's choice of Pittsburgh to announce the infrastructure plan has economic and political repercussions. 

It is stated that the infrastructure projects will be financed by the higher taxes that will be obtained from the companies and establishments. It is indicated that this situation may cause repercussions in the business circles and disrupt the attempts of the Biden administration to work with the Republican Congress members.

 President Joe Biden said, "91 companies on the Fortune 500 list, including Amazon, do not pay a single solitary penny in federal income tax." During his speech in which he unveiled the infrastructure plan, he said, "Wall Street didn't build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class."

President Biden hopes that the infrastructure plan will be passed by Congress by the summer, which means he will rely on the fact that Democrats narrowly control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
 
Package Details:
 
$621 billion for transportation infrastructure and resilience:
$580 billion for manufacturing; research and development; and job training:
$400 billion for the care economy:
$313 billion for schools and housing:
$111 billion for clean water:$100 billion for digital infrastructure
 
 
 
 

Is there any Positive EU-Turkey Agenda?

Last week, European Union leaders offered new incentives to Turkey to improve cooperation on migration and trade despite democratic backsliding in the country and lingering concerns about its energy ambitions in the Mediterranean Sea.

European Commission’s Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council’s Charles Michel are expected to discuss new steps to revive EU-Turkey ties, by relaunching high-level political dialogue, starting negotiations on the modernization of the 25-year-old Customs Union, and by renewing the 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal.

Turk of America Senior Diplomat Correspondent Ali Cinar asked two Distinguished Experts regarding the recent developments between Turkey-EU

George Tzogopoulos,CIFE

Following months of tensions , Greece and Turkey have relaunched exploratory talks. This cannot guarantee a solution to the problem of maritime zones, but is an encouraging development. In parallel with this the UN has scheduled a new meeting on the Cyprus question. The EU remains hopeful that progress will continue and has thus proposed a positive agenda to possibly shape its relations with Turkey. The next three months (until the June EU council) will define whether the new approach will work. Also, the EU is continuing its work on the so-called multilateral conference for the Eastern Mediterranean but needs to clarify the agenda as well as to elaborate on desired results of such a conference


Laura Batalla Adam, Secretary General EU-Turkey Forum:

Diplomacy should always be prioritized over imposing sanctions. The use of sanctions is not likely to achieve a behavior change from Turkey and will only make dialogue more difficult. The outcome of the Council meeting is positive news for EU-Turkey relations. It offers renewed avenues for cooperation on longstanding demands by Turkey, like the modernization of the Customs Union or the reestablishment of high-level dialogue with the EU on areas of common interest. However, the activation of this positive agenda is dependent on a continued easing of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is encouraged to continue its constructive dialogue to find solutions to the disputes.
On the domestic front, the EU has expressed its concerns over the recent actions undermining democracy and rule of law in the country. A further backsliding in these areas can also derail plans to reenergize the relationship.

Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and Secretary Blinken Met in Brussels

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had their first face-to-face meeting of 50-minutes in NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs on March 23 and 24. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that "I met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
in Brussels today. I look forward to continuing cooperation with our NATO Ally, Turkey, in the fight against terrorism. I've voiced our support for exploratory talks with Greece and emphasized the importance of democracy and human rights."

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, "We discussed all dimensions of our bilateral relations with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a constructive meeting. We had a comprehensive exchange of opinions on the matters of Afghanistan, Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean, Iraq, Libya, and the fight against terrorism."

Minister Çavuşoğlu stated that the procedures for the purchase of the S400s by Turkey had been finalized. There would be no way back on this, but it also emphasized that another bilateral discussion would be held with the US party to resolve the issue. On the other hand, in the statement made by the Office of the US Secretary of State, it was announced that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had had further discussions with Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, concerning Ankara not keeping the Russian S-400 defense system. 
 
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu announced that his colleagues will work on a broader meeting to be held either in Ankara or Washington D.C by taking into account the conditions of the pandemic. Minister Çavuşoğlu said that the Turkish side pointed out that the United States' joint statement was not implemented following the Peace Spring operation in Syria. The rising attacks of the YPG-PKK were reminded one more time to Blinken. Stating they had some subjects in common with the U.S.A, Minister Çavuşoğlu said they dealt with all the aspects of the political solution in Syria and what both sides could do on Iraq and Libya issues in cooperation with NATO.

President Spokesman İbrahim Kalın and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone yesterday, the meeting between President Erdogan and US President Joe Biden has not set yet.
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