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A New Beginning

By Cemil Ozyurt - The coronavirus outbreak has altered life in the United States in many ways. The differential impact of COVID-19 was felt by low-income, immigrant, and other marginalized groups. As the coronavirus sweeps through the country, Pew Research Center has been surveying Americans to explore its impact on their lives. Job and wage losses due to COVID-19 have hit Hispanic adults the hardest. Most black and Hispanic Americans do not have financial reserves to cover expenses in case of an emergency. The COVID-19 economic downturn has made it harder for some Americans to pay their monthly bills. It was a tough period of time for us as well.

The Future of U.S.-Turkey Relations and Prospects in 2021

By Ali Cinar - For decades, US-Turkey relations have been carried on with a strength that has kept their vital strategic assets intact. The importance of Turkey’s geopolitical and strategic position and what it represents for the security of the West and the Atlantic Alliance has allowed the partnership to remain critically important. Turkey-US relations have passed harsh testing times before, from the Cold War to the Korean War and the Gulf War in 1990-1991. The strategic barrier between the East and the West that Turkey represented for the Atlantic alliance during the Cold War shaped Turkey’s Atlantic-centric foreign policy, formulations, and world view. Turkey has remained, for decades, as the crucial flank actor of the alliance and defended European security as the vital bastion.

March unemployment rate hits 4.4 % in the U.S

The Employment figures in the U.S. were announced. During the month of March, non-farm employment decreased by 701,000 people, the unemployment rate increased to 4.4%, and the hourly rate rose by 3.1% per annum, with an incremental increase of 0.4% per month.

The data shows that while the coronavirus epidemic has led to an increase in the unemployment rate, there has yet to be any impact on hourly earnings.

The economy in the country is almost at the point of standstill, with the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China and moved its epicenter to Europe, continuing to increase its impact in the US. While the service sector remains the worst-affected, and production has been suspended during this period, the number of applications for unemployment benefits has hit a record—reaching ten million.

In the United States of America, apart from the number of people who have been tested positive for COVID-19, the number of people applying for unemployment benefit has hit a historical high. Only last week, 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits.

Following the dismissal of 3.3 million people last week, around ten million people were left with no source of income due to the pandemic. The report prepared by the Ministry of Labor revealed that the economy was dragged into a serious recession with the shutting of businesses worldwide, while unemployment rates increased exponentially.

“It’s only the beginning.”

The high number of layoffs causes many economists to paint a pessimistic picture. It is stated that the current ten million job layoffs may increase as much as another ten million by the end of April. This number is twice as high as the dismissal number (of 8.7 million people) during the Great Depression.

The Chair of the FED: A recession is expected.

Jerome Powell, Chair of the US Federal Reserve, warned that the US could enter a recession. Powell said that the full recovery of the economy was directly linked to limiting the spread of the virus.

International economics specialist James Knightley of Dutch ING Group said that although it was known that tens of thousands of workplaces had been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was shocking that there had been more than 3 million applications for unemployment pay.

“New monetary aid packages could be needed.”

The US Senate already approved the government’s $2 trillion aid package.Speaker of House,Nancy Pelosi stated that more economic relief packages would be needed in the near future.

Within the scope of this fund, three thousand dollars of support per family is planned, while businesses get 500 billion dollars of support.

Visa Announcement Concerning Worldwide Healthcare Professionals from the U.S.

The U.S. recently became the number one country, surpassing China and Italy, in regard to the total number of infected cases. Therefore, the statement has been published and invited health professionals to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate for obtaining visas, “as long as they possess the necessary and valid documentation.”

The statement in question has been published on the website of the U.S. Department of State, under the visas section. It was noted in the statement that “Medical professionals with approved I-129, I-140 (or similar) petitions or with valid certifications to participate exchange programs (such as DS-2019), particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of coronavirus“ are encouraged to visit the website of the closest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment.

The Association of American Medical Colleges  estimated that in a decade from now the United States would likely face a shortage of about 105,000 doctors. About a fourth of all US health care workers, and a third of doctors, are foreign born.

Details: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-h2-visas.html

Secretary Pompeo: Our team won't stop until we get all #AmericansHome who wish to return.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also made an announcement about bringing U.S. citizens home: “Our team is out there taking care of Americans, keeping our own team safe, and we’ve now brought over 10,000 #AmericansHome from places where they were stranded through no fault of their own.”

The hardest decline of the last 33 years in the US travel industry

The hardest decline of the last 33 years in the US travel industry
Travel industry forms in the US have experienced the hardest depreciation of the last 33 years. The travel industry and tourism companies suffered sharp declines following President Trump’s announcement last Thursday that European flights were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak for 30 days.

According to the news created by the statistical database Statista on Yahoo Finance data, the travel industry has experienced the most severe decline since 1987. Industries such as airlines, cruise, and online reservation platforms have been badly affected.

The Cruise Companies have losses of over 30%
The top three US cruise companies suffered more than 30% loss in stock market shares. Airlines and online booking companies have also suffered double-digit losses. Cruise companies like Norwegian Cruise Line suffered 35.8% losses in shares. Royal Caribbean experienced a loss of 31.8%, and Carnival suffered a loss of 31.2%.

Status of the Airline Companies

While United Airlines suffered 24.9% losses, Delta Air Lines suffered 21% and American Airlines 17.34%. Online reservation platforms ,such as Expedia (15.2%) and Booking Holdings (11.2%), have also suffered losses in the stock market.

Coronavirus Precautions from Turkish Airlines

Announcement from THY: “As Turkish Airlines, our top priority is the safety and health of our passengers and teams. From the first days of COVID-19 news reports, Turkish Airlines has followed the developments closely, evaluated possible scenarios at the highest level, and took all additional necessary measures. All the cabins in our international flights, the interiors of our passenger buses, our passenger lounges, and ticketing areas are going through a detailed cleaning process. This process includes a disinfectant steaming treatment, which has been proven effective against viruses, including the new coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Additionally, Turkish Airlines has announced that ticket changes will be made free of charge for passengers who have canceled flights departing from Germany, France, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.”

 

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.

Challenges on Turkey-U.S. Relationship

By Ali Cinar - Lately, the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey has taken a severe downfall. During the General Assembly of the United Nations, President Trump met with six world leaders while President Erdogan met with 14. However, other than a brief conversation at the United Nations corridor, the two leaders did not hold a formal meeting. Though there was much hope an improvement of relations would come with the presidency of Donald Trump, it has not occurred. Past disagreement between Turkey’s leadership and President Obama over the so-called Parallel State Structure in Turkey, an arm of the FETO as well as the Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK) seems to have spilled over into the administration of Donald Trump.

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