TURKOFAMERICA Is at White House Now

Long time Turk of America Journalist Ali Çınar is accredited by the White House. He started to attend White House press conferences and events related with Turkey-US Relations as well as Foreign Policy.

Secretary Blinken: “It’s a new day for America and the world.”

The new US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in his first press conference after taking office, has remarked that "the free press is the cornerstone of democracy." Secretary Blinken announced that daily press briefings would resume starting from next week.He added” We'll strengthen this indispensable institution, lead with the power of our example, and put a premium on diplomacy with our allies and partners to meet today's challenges. I’m excited about all that’s ahead.”

In the Q&A section of the press conference, the first phone call between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the demonstrations which took place after Russia's opposition leader Alexey Navalny was taken into custody on his return from Germany, where he was treated after being poisoned, came into question. Secretary  Blinken said: "It is shocking that the Russian government is so scared of just one man."

He added   "We have already expressed our concerns regarding Navalny and the human rights issues in Russia. It is striking to me that the Russian government is so concerned and even scared of just one man. We investigate all the steps taken by Russia that cause concern on our side. Navalny's voice is the voice of many Russian citizens. His voice should be heard and not be silenced. We are worried about Navalny's safety."

Arms sale deal with UAE is temporarily suspended.

The Biden administration has also temporarily suspended some of the arms sale deals initiated during Trump's presidency. These include a $3 billion F-35 sales deal with the United Arab Emirates commenced during Trump's presidency, in return for a normalization agreement with Israel.

Democrats in Congress strongly opposed the sale of weapons to Arab countries in this regard. However, the attempt in the Senate to block the sale of weapons was fruitless.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that "it is a common development for the new management to review any weapons sales to see whether they are compatible with our strategic interests."

China has also come up.

When asked during the conference whether he shared this view, Antony Blinken said, "My assessment will be in this direction. Steps such as the forced retention of men, women, and children in concentration camps and being trained to adhere to Chinese Communist Party ideology, point towards genocide".

The fate of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that if Iran starts to fulfill its obligations under the agreement, the US will also fulfill its obligations, and this will be used as a platform to create a longer-term commitment with the partners of the USA, but that the USA currently is far from this point.

Normalization between Israel and Arab countries

Secretary Blinken reiterated his support for the Abraham Agreements, signed for the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries such as Bahrain and UAE.

"It is a positive development that Israel normalizes its relations with its neighbors," said Blinken.

Secretary of State, Antony Blinken held a phone conversation with the following countries foreign ministers:Mexico,Canada, Japan, South Korea,Germany,India,Iraq,France,Philippines, Australia ,Jordan, UK, Thailand,Italy and Israel

Secretary Blinken has also spoken with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg  and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Joseph Borell

We have experienced 'firsts' in US history!

The inauguration ceremony, for which the world has been holding its breath, ended in an exceptionally colorful and uneventful manner. The ceremony attended by close to one thousand people, from former presidents to celebrities, took place in a warm atmosphere despite the cold weather. Representing the previous administration, former Vice President Mike Pence attended the ceremony and was warmly greeted by her successor, Kamala Harris, and President Joe Biden. Harris and her husband did not neglect to have a photograph taken with the Pence couple at the end of the ceremony, and they also saw them off in person.

Although Donald Trump wished Biden success without mentioning his name, it has also been said that he left the new President a letter. However, the content of this letter is not clear for now. As Trump did, Biden also did not refer to Trump by his name and rather referred to him as the "former administrations" in his post-oath speech, while at the same time giving a message of "unity" on numerous occasions.

The security impact ensured by 25,000 National Guards in the Capital was felt. Military trucks and SUV-type vehicles that we are used to seeing in the Middle East had proverbially become the decor of the central streets of the city. While there were no serious or big incidents in the city, the celebrations of Biden supporters stood out.

However, measures taken to ensure security have harassed the residents of Washington. I had to pass through 3 separate security points to enter the White House while getting frisked and ID checked. My body temperature was also measured as part of the Covid-19 measures taken due to the ceremony.

 The characteristics of the new administration


Let us now talk about the "firsts" of the Biden administration:

Joe Biden is the second Catholic President in US history, after John F. Kennedy;

Kamala Harris is the first female vice-president in US history;

Trump is the first US president to boycott his successor's inauguration, after Andrew Johnson's boycott in 1869;

This was the first time where there were such a small attendance and such extraordinary security measures at an inauguration ceremony;

For the first time in history, US Army investigated the personal histories of 25,000 US National Guards to prevent an inside threat.

For the first time in history, all businesses in the Capital were closed.

For the first time in history, two hundred thousand USA flags were placed in front of the Capitol building.

For the first time in history, five hundred thousand US Dollars' worth of cleaning was carried in the White House,

For the first time in history, a President (Trump) was impeached twice by the House of Representatives.

President-Elect Biden: A First-Class Economic Team

At Biden-Harris  transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, President-Elect Joe Biden  introduced his new economic team as he called  "a 'First-Class' team who will bring America out of the financial crisis.

In his speech, Biden renewed his call to Congress to immediately pass the coronavirus economic aid package and stated that any potential aid package to be passed before January, when he takes over the Presidency, would only be the beginning. Biden added that his team had started working on the Coronavirus aid package and that the package would be announced immediately after he takes office.

"No one is more qualified than Yellen."

Biden officially announced Janet Yellen, the former President of the Federal Reserve (FED), as his nominee as the Secretary of Treasury. Yellen will be the first woman to take this role if she is approved by the Senate. Biden said, "No one is more qualified to deal with this crisis than Yellen."

Biden announced that he would be appointing Neera Tanden, the President of the Center for American Progress, a center for political and public research, as the head of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Tanden will be the first American woman of South Asian descent to take this role. 

When talking about Tanden, Biden said, "She understands the struggles that Americans are facing."

Biden picks Wally Adeyemo as Deputy Secretary of Treasury. Adeyemo will be the African American who has been given the highest role at the Treasury to date.

Biden has announced Cecilia Rouse, the Dean of the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs, as the Economic Advisor to the White House. Rouse will be the fourth woman, but the first black American, to take this role.

Biden also officially announced that Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey would be among the names on the economic council.

Biden said that he hoped his candidates would be approved swiftly by the Senate.

Yellen calls for swift action.

On the other hand, Yellen, who has been announced as the Secretary of Treasury by Biden, said, "We are experiencing a historic crisis due to the pandemic and the economic consequences it has brought with it." She underlined that the pandemic had affected the poorest in a disproportional manner and essential to take urgent action. She stated that it was of critical importance that economic recovery includes everyone.

Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, has proposed that the new economic aid package be merged with the budget proposal.

McConnell, who announced to the press after having discussions with Republican senators, stated that he had held talks with the White House and shared the summary of a proposal, which would be acceptable to President Donald Trump, with Republican senators.

However, according to a Republican source from the Senate, the said proposal is very close to one that McConnell has been talking about for months and rejected by the Democrats. According to a document obtained by Reuters, the said plan foresees the setting aside of 332.7 billion dollars for small businesses, in the form of loans or grants.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, had met on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

 

  • Published in Economy

New York Will Begin Phased Reopening Of Public Schools On December 7th

Public schools will begin to open on December 7 in New York, the biggest city in the U.S.

The Primary schools will open first, but NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that children whose parents had consented to the test would go to school. The schools in New York had closed around two weeks ago, following the increase in cases throughout the city.

Mayor De Blasio said that this was a new approach and that they had a lot of evidence as to how schools could be safe.

Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, said that they would support de Blasio's approach as long as mandatory testing was in place.Approximately 1.1 million students are being taught in public schools in the city of New York.

Some New Yorkers had criticized the fact that gyms remained open while schools were closed. Kindergardens will also open together with primary schools on December 7. The education of special needs children, on the other hand, will begin on December 10. Secondary schools and high schools will open at a later date.

Mayor De Blasio said that students would need to sign a document stating that they would take coronavirus tests in order to be able to attend when schools opened. These tests will be done every week, but it will only be possible to test 1/5th of the students in one week.

In his press conference, Mayor De Blasio said that the governor had the authority to overrule the decision of the city depending on the number of cases. During this new period, the results of the tests at the schools will be monitored, and a class or the whole school will have the possibility of being closed down based on the number of cases.

More than 4 million new cases were reported in the U.S. during November. More than 35,000 people lost their lives during this month.

Despite the increase in the number of cases in New York, it is one of the states with the lowest number of positive test results. The positive test results are currently at 3%.

Secretary Pompeo: It's clear that the 5G tide has turned."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues to highlight the importance of America's progress in developing a coalition of countries committed to building a secure global 5G network.

"It's clear that the 5G tide has turned…More than 25 EU and NATO countries are members of our clean network, pledging to use only trusted vendors, and there's more to follow. We issued a joint statement with the EU on the synergies between the clean network and the EU 5G clean toolbox. Since the adoption of the toolbox meets the criteria of being a part of the clean network, the two work well together."

Secretary Pompeo said :"We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network." The Clean network has six parameters: Clean Carrier, Clean Apps, Clean Store, Clean Cloud, Clean Cable, Clean Path.

State Department Officials continue  to visit  European countries, including EU and NATO headquarters, to discuss the growing momentum toward clean 5G infrastructure and the goal of building a Transatlantic Clean Network.

According to Pompeo, more than 40 countries and 50 telcos have joined the U.S. in the "clean network" initiative launched this summer. 

U.S. Has six programs: 

  • Clean Carrier: Make sure Chinese telecom carriers don't have access to U.S. networks.
  • Clean Store: Remove Chinese apps from U.S. mobile app stores.
  • Clean Apps: Chinese smartphone makers will not be able to pre-install any U.S. companies' apps.
  • Clean Cloud: American citizens' and businesses' data is not allowed to be stored on cloud services provided by Chinese internet companies.
  • Clean Cable: Ensure that China does not intercept communication through undersea cables.
  • Clean Path: 5G Clean Path is an end-to-end communication path that does not use any transmission, control, computing, or storage equipment from untrusted IT vendors, such as Huawei and ZTE, required to comply with directives of the Chinese Communist Party.

U.K ,Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, and Latvia are some of the countries who chose to allow only trusted vendors in their 5G Networks.

Secretary Pompeo on Turkey

"They make it more difficult. The fact that you have a significant amount of data in Turkey now, in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, means that we have to be even more careful. We have to ensure that our networks are secure — that is, our defense networks, our security networks; it's not only military and security networks that will be impacted by increasing activity inside of Turkey or any other country from Chinese networks. We're going to make sure and protect American data."

Huwaei In Turkey:

Huawei has been active in Turkey over 17 years and employs 1,300 staff members in Turkey. There are over 400 engineers working in Turkey focusing on 5G and artificial intelligence and other areas.

"China has invested $3 billion in Turkey between 2016 and 2019 and intends to double that by the end of next year," Stanford University's Ayca Alemdaroglu and the University of Chicago's Sultan Tepe observed in a recent Foreign Policy magazine analysis

Recommended: https://www.nato.int/docu/review/articles/2020/09/30/nato-and-the-5g-challenge/index.html

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.

Turkish-American Doctors are fighting coronavirus outbreak in NYC

Dr. Dogan: It is crucial to perform wide-spread testing.

I had chance to talk with a successful doctor working at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Özgen Dogan who is among the notable people in the Turkish-American society. Dr. Dogan said that situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was dire in New York and that they were literally working in a battlefield. 

Dr. Dogan emphasized the importance of conducting extensive tests as a solution, saying, “I also have infected colleagues in my close circle.” Stating that they could get some results in the fight against the virus with the local and anticipatory measures and networking, Dr. Dogan said the quarantine in the region of New Rochelle was a success. Dr. Dogan stated that Hydrox or plasma therapies were the treatments where the benefits were not yet proven, and tests showing immunity or infection development should be widely conducted while life returns to normal.

 It is noteworthy that Dr. Dogan states that healthcare professionals who have tested negative so far should be tested daily; she constantly indicates the importance of tests in the fight against COVID-19. Remarking there was a large number of coronavirus cases among African Americans due to their living conditions and lack of adequate treatment opportunities, 

Dr. Dogan stated that Apple and Google had an agreement to develop a joint application for the detection of coronavirus infections in the field of technology, which was a major development.

Dr. Kıyıcı: We are seeing the benefits of staying home.

In my interview with Dr. Nejat Kıyıcı, who served as president of the Turkish-American Medical Association and works at Montefiore Hospital, he stated they had many COVID-19 patients at the hospital and staying home was quite beneficial. 

He said the number of infected was at least thrice the number announced, and people were still unable to get tests. Stating that the number of cases and deaths would reach a peak in New York that week, Dr. Kıyıcı added there would be a further drop in the numbers if people stayed home for 3–4 weeks more. 

While stating the normalization process should not occur before June, Dr. Kıyıcı also emphasized that cases might increase if all areas reopened. He also said that even though the hospitals in New York were well prepared, nationwide measures were taken too late.

  • Published in Health
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