The Turks Who Won and Lost in the US Midterm Elections

Along with the US Congressional midterm elections, elections were held within the administrations in the states. Although it was talked about that the Republican senatorial candidate Mehmet Öz from Pennsylvania lost the election, many Turks entered the elections in the local governments.

Seven Turks entered the by-elections, and only two Turks won the elections.

Ali Paksoy from the Republican Party was elected as a district judge in North Carolina, while Onur Arugaslan was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Mattawan Education Council in Michigan.

Veysel Dokur, the Florida state senatorial candidate from the Democratic Party; Erim Sarinoğlu, the candidate for judge in the state of Tennessee; Ajlan Kurdoğlu, the Arizona state parliamentary candidate from the Democratic Party; and Tayfun Selen, the Republican Party's parliamentary candidate from New Jersey, all lost the election.

Lauren Arıkan, married to Turkish Yusuf Arıkan of Maryland, was reelected as Maryland state deputy. The number of Turkish friendship group members in the US Congress is eighty-eight.

The following are the Turks who previously served in US local governments by election or appointment:

John Alpay, Budget and Finance Committee, California

Kemal Bozkurt, education, Massachusetts

Esin Busche, accommodation, Illinois

Hacıbey Çatalbaşoğlu, education, Connecticut

Jay 'Ceyhun' Karahan, judge, Texas

Ali Paksoy, judge, North Carolina

Aysha Sawa, registrar, Milwaukee

Tayfun Selen, mayor, New Jersey

Malik Tunador, city councilman, Pennsylvania

Dr. Erdem Ural, education, Massachusetts

Sel Yackley, education, Illinois

Mehmet 'Matt' Yar, education, New Jersey

Hüseyin Bayram, deputy mayor, New Jersey

Derya Taşkın, deputy mayor, New Jersey

Halil Süleyman Özerden, judge, Mississippi

Some members of Congress have Turkish ties.

Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen's grandfather was Turkish-born. North Carolina's Congressman Virginia Foxx's son-in-law is Turkish, and her two grandchildren are Turkish American.

Turkey Caucus Co-Chairs Statement on Turkey Republic Day

Congressmen Steve Cohen (TN-09), Joe Wilson (SC-02), Gerry Connolly (VA-11) and Steve Chabot (OH-01) released the following statement:

"Congratulations to the People of Turkey and Turkish Americans on this 99th commemoration of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

As co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on US-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, we recognize the vast reforms that were undertaken by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his vision for a reformed, modernized, and democratic Turkish Republic. Today, Turkish Americans represent a vital thread of the American fabric, and with rich culture and history, they serve as the best ambassadors for strong relations between our two countries.

As Turkey celebrates its 70th anniversary of NATO accession we would like to highlight its contributions to regional security including diplomatic efforts in mitigating the challenges arising from the war in Ukraine. Turkey has been a crucial partner to fully implement the Montreux Convention which prevented the Black Sea from becoming part of the war zone and brokered the grain export deal to help feed the world. We look forward to working with Turkey to ensure its concerns are heard by all allies as it votes to ratify Sweden and Finland as new members of the transatlantic alliance.

We congratulate the Turkish people and Turkish Americans on Republic Day 2022 and look forward to strengthening US-Turkey relations."

Currently,there are 88 members in the Turkish Caucus.

U.S. Senator Shaheen: "Turkey Remains a Valuable Ally"

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member, Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen, spoke to Bloomberg HT journalist Ali Çınar. Senator Shaheen said that as a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, she would look deeper into Turkey's F-16 request.

"We should sell them the F-16 jets and modernize those jets as well. It's not in our interest not to do that, and there's no quid pro quo with that, and it's just that we should sell. But I need congressional approval to be able to do that, and I think we can get that," President Biden said at a news conference after the NATO leaders' summit in Madrid.

President Biden's comments gave the strongest signal of the administration's support for the proposed sale of new F-16s to Turkey.

Senator Shaheen, who makes critical statements about Turkey, spoke to Ciner Media USA Representative Ali Çınar about the new sales of 40 F-16s and nearly 80 F-16 modernization kits for Turkey. Here is Senator Shaheneen's statement:

“Turkey remains a valuable ally and a critical regional security partner for the United States and NATO. I remain committed to maintaining the already robust bilateral security relationship between our two countries. The F16 upgrade package submitted by the Biden administration - like any foreign arms sale - will ultimately have to go through a comprehensive review by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to ensure that the deal will benefit our joint security interests. As a member of that committee, I will work with the committee and ask questions of the administration to thoroughly review their request.” - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Members of the House of Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Gus Bilirakis, and Chris Pappas announced their disappointment with the apparent plan to modernize Turkey's F-16s.

Key Republican Senator Lindsay Graham backed the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. Upgrading its "aviation capability will benefit Turkey, the U.S., NATO, and regional security," said Lindsey Graham on Wednesday.

While Turkish Parliament Members are preparing to visit Washington D.C. for meetings with their U.S. Counterparts regarding the F-16 request, the U.S. Congress will be closed from August 8 to September 5. In addition, Congressional midterm elections will be held on November 8 for the 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 seats in the Senate.

Call on Congress to Split COVID and Ukraine Supplemental Funding

President Joe Biden stated that he was willing to have Congress pass two separate bills to secure funds to 33 billion dollars aid Ukraine and 10 billion dollars COVID-19.

President Biden called on Congress to prioritize aid for Ukraine first, then focus on securing extra funds to combat COVID-19.

The  Democrats in the US Congress unanimously support prioritizing the Ukraine aid bill. The House of Representatives can pass the bill—higher than the $33 billion requested by President Biden—as early as next week. Senate leaders also signaled that they were ready to take swift action.

On April 28, Biden asked Congress to pass a $33 billion aid package that included more than $20 billion of military aid for Ukraine. This proposition significantly increases the US funds allocated for the war against Russia.

The new plan includes an additional $3.4 billion in military aid and $3.4 billion in humanitarian assistance.

Both Democrats and Republicans support providing more aid to Ukraine and promise to take swift action to approve the emergency funds. But the Ukraine aid bill was prolonged due to the discussions regarding the addition of COVID-19 aid  and resources to enforce tighter migration controls to the package.

'Funds to support Ukraine with weapons will run out in two weeks.'

The Department of Defense issued a statement saying that the US would soon run out of funds and could only provide weapons to Kyiv for two weeks.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was pleased with the decoupling of the Ukraine aid from the COVID-19 funding. McConnell advocated for the separation of the two bills in his speeches in the Senate.

But confident Democrats wanted COVID-19 funding and Ukraine aid to be included in the same package.

Dick Durbin—the number two Democrat in the Senate—stated that 'It would have been so much better for us to protect the United States as well as worked to protect Ukraine.'

President Biden also called for swift action on COVID-19 funding. Biden said, 'Without timely COVID-19 funding, more Americans will die needlessly.'

According to Ali Cinar,President Biden hosted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues in the White House Situation Room on Tuesday afternoon.The House  will vote on 40 billion dollar Ukraine supplemental aid  tonight.

The $40B Ukraine supplemental includes $19.8B for DoD, ~$3.4B more than Biden sought. That includes: -$8.7B to replenish stocks -$6B for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative -$3.9B for EUCOM support -$600M for Defense Production Act -$550M for critical munitions and exports'

Subscribe to this RSS feed