Evacuation flights from U.S. to Turkey

Turkish Airlines (THY) will organize flights from 3 cities of the USA for the citizens who could not return to Turkey because of the cancellation of flights within the scope of precautions for the new type of coronavirus ( COVID-19) pandemic. 

According to the written announcement made by the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C., Turkish Airlines will schedule flights on April 23 from Washington D.C. and Los Angeles and on April 24 from New York for the short-term visa owners who reside in the U.S. temporarily, students, tourists, workers and those who are present in the U.S. for job interviews to return to Turkey.

 The citizens who want to return to the country will provide their written approval to be quarantined for 14 days following their arrival in Turkey, either during the ticketing process or just before on boarding the plane. People showing COVID-19 symptoms on the day of the flight or have been diagnosed before will not be allowed on board. 

The ticket sales are available online. In the first two days of sales of relevant tickets, the tickets will be sold primarily to the citizens who have notified their names to the Washington Embassy and New York and Los Angeles Consulate Generals until April 14. In case there will be available seats following the first two days, citizens in other regions will be able to buy tickets for one of these three flights. 

What does the three-phase plan that Trump has announced to return to normalcy in the US include?

President Donald Trump has publicly announced a three-phase plan to restart economic activities in some states of the country within four weeks.

Saying that "each state is different," President Trump has remarked that economic activities can restart soon in some states while others need more time.

President Trump has called on State Governors to move "very, very quickly, depending on what they want to do."

In the states of the U.S., where there is a downward trend in the number of reported coronavirus cases for the last two weeks, a three-phase plan can be implemented so that the daily life returns to normal.

Also, before proceeding to the second and third phase, there must be a two-week decline in coronavirus cases. According to President Trump's statement, the three-phase plan consists of the following;

1st Phase: Schools will remain closed. Visits to senior living facilities will continue to be prohibited. Elective surgeries can resume in hospitals.

2nd Phase: Non-essential travel will also resume. However, working from home will continue to be encouraged for a while. Schools will reopen. Inpatient and outpatient treatments will resume in hospitals.

3rd Phase: Daily life will return to normal in new conditions. However, the public will be requested to follow the hygiene end social distancing rules. 

During his press briefing in the White House, President Trump stated, "We are opening up our country. The US wants to restart its economic activities."

President Trump also said, "Experts say the nationwide curve has flattened and the peak in new cases is behind us."

President Trump said he believes the new type of coronavirus outbreak in the country is over, and they expect that the loss of life due to the virus has decreased to 60 to 65 thousand. Emphasizing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, Trump said, "Maybe we have saved millions of lives thanks to the precautions we have taken. 

 President Trump: We passed the Peak.

"Until recently, 100,000 to 240,000 people were expected to die from the virus. However, we project less than 100.000 deaths now. We are entering a period of time when the coronavirus pandemic will take 60-65 thousand lives." Stating that some of the state governors also did a good job, Trump remarked, "I think the spread of the pandemic has stopped."

Highlights from Task Force:

"All 50 states and all territories are now under a federal disaster declaration for the first time in American history.We have a sufficient amount of testing to meet the requirements of a phase one re-opening if governors choose to do that," Vice President Mike Pence

"FDA has been very cautious about the antibody tests.Testing is a part of the exquisite monitoring that needs  to occur," Dr. Deborah Birx.

"We're well equipped to see when respiratory tract viral illness will come,CDC has embedded in health departments" across the country,"CDC Director Robert R. Redfield

"The thing that we're hearing is testing is everything and it isn't. The mitigation strategies that are an important part,What we really needed for for Phase One is to be able to identify, isolate [and] contact trace.A very important part of when you’re pulling back gradually and slowly on the mitigation, and you have people who might be infected, you want to know they’re infected, you want to put them in care.”

NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci-

Learn More on Opening Up America Presentation: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Guidelines-for-Opening-Up-America-Again.pdf

10 Takeaways from President Trump's Action Against Iran

I was at the White House during President Trump’s address to the nation last week after the retaliatory attacks by Iran on bases in Iraq housing U.S. soldiers. President Trump explained the reason why the U.S. military killed Soleimani and also shared the details of the new sanctions against Iran.

Let’s look at the takeaways from the President’s action against Iran.

Iran’s Missile Attacks and No Casualties

President Trump said, “There were no Americans harmed by the Iranian regime missiles attack. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.” He also explained that no American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that has worked very well. President Trump saluted the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi made a statement that Iran Administration has sent Iraq an official message that missile attacks “had begun or would begin shortly,” on unspecified U.S. military locations. It was believed that the Iraqi government officials gave a warning to the U.S. on “which bases would be targeted” after Iranian officials passed on the information.

U.S. Troops Staying In Iraq

Despite Iraq's Parliament voted U.S. troops out,United States has no plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. State Department Spokesperson, U.S. sees Iraq as a strategic partner not just on security but security, on financial, economic, and diplomatic partnerships. The U.S. wants to be a Friend to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq. U.S. troops are located at nine different bases and number 5200 soldiers. They, including contractors and subcontractors, remained in Iraq to help local forces contain ISIS and stop Iran’s influence in the region.

The Iraqi Parliament asked the U.S. for a pullout plan. After Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani, the future of the U.S. presence in the Middle East is not bright.

Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Esper made clear statements that U.S. military presence will continue in Iraq.

Is the U.S. ready to embrace peace with all who seek it?

President Trump called to the people and leaders of Iran: “We want you to have a future and a great future—one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The U.S. is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”

It was seen as a positive message to reduce tension. At the same time, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Kelly Craft sent a letter to the UN Security Council, offering to prepare to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran to prevent further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime. 

Global Actors Urged to Pull Out of a Nuclear Agreement

President Trump made a new proposal and stated that the U.S. is “ready for a new and better” nuclear agreement with Iran. He also blamed President Obama for the 2015 Iran deal, which sought to limit Iran’s capability to establish a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of financial sanctions.

President Trump also said: “As long as I am President of the U.S., Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” He added: “Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the UK, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality.”

NATO’s Presence in the Middle East

President Trump asked NATO Secretary-General about giving more contributions in Iraq. He also suggested that NATO establish a NATO-ME (Middle East) Unit in the region. 

A small NATO training division in Iraq suspended its activities during Iran’s missile attack. Secretary-General has also condemned the Iranian missile attacks on the U.S. and the coalition forces in Iraq. NATO called on Iran to refrain from further violence.

The Secretary-General will be meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Mr. Abdul Karim Hashim Aboualgus, at the NATO Headquarters on January 14th.

The U.S. introduced new sanctions on Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced new sanctions on Iran's metal exports and eight senior Iranian officials at the exclusive White House Press Briefing.

Trump Administration is evident in the continuation of sanctions against Iran. "Today's sanctions are part of our commitment to stop the Iranian regime's global terrorist activities," said Secretary Pompeo.

Unexpected Demonstrations in Iran

Protests and teargas as public anger grow over Ukranian aircraft downing. Iran is facing a new crisis over the Iranian military's shooting down of a commercial airliner with 176 people on board.

Thousands of Iranians chanted during demonstrations against President Rouhani and Ali Khamenei in protest against unemployment, poverty, and the high cost of living in the past months.

Ukranian Plane Crash in Iran

Iranian ballistic missiles shot down the Ukranian plane after Iran launched strikes on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. First, Iranian officials have rejected allegations that they tried to orchestrate a cover-up; however, Iran has admitted it unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, blaming human error and the U.S.

There are also questions as to why Iran let a commercial flight take off during the airstrikes.

Two official statements came from Canada and Ukraine. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “We will not rest until there are justice and accountability,” and Ukraine President called for the perpetrators to be held accountable.

War Powers Resolution-Democrats

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to limit Trump’s military action against Iran without Congressional approval and rebuked the president over his use of military power in the Middle East.

The vote was 224-194, and 8 Democrats voted against the resolution.Senator Tim Kaine proposed a similar resolution that is expected to be discussed this week.

Pompeo and Cavusoglu speak during the tensions.

Secretary Pompeo has spoken with his Turkish counterpart a few times during the about the tensions between the U.S. and Turkey. Turkish officials emphasized the need to work with other countries to solve the problem or de-escalate tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

President Erdogan also shared his concerns about the crisis and highlighted, “Nobody has the right to throw the entire region, especially in Iraq, into a ring of fire for the sake of his or her interests.”

As a result, the United States and Iran crisis has calmed down; however, many things won't be the same as how they were before.

Trump administration will continue pressure on Iran with the military presence in Iraq and Syria as well as economic sanctions. The question is how and till when Iran will resist the significant demand from U.S. and NATO Allies. 

Iran's reputation is getting worse after shooting down the commercial plane, killing 176 innocent people.

There is one reality that Iranian General Soleimani was a terrorist and responsible for killing U.S. troops and innocent people in Syria. Soleimani was reportedly by Turkish and many ethnic media outlets that he was a point person for Iran's backing of Syrian President Assad and helped shape the Syrian military strategies in a terrible civil war that began with pro-democracy protests in 2011.

Although Democrats remain unconvinced, Soleimani threat was imminent, even many Syrian and Turkish people believe that he was a significant threat to the region.

2020 is a presidential election year; however, the foreign policy should be a significant focus for Trump administration this year.

Let's see how the future will look with NATO's further involvement in Iraq.

US Cotton Sales Rise at Cotton USA Conference, Turkey

Cotton USA, which promotes US cotton fibre and manufactured cotton products worldwide, announced that US cotton sales were boosted at the recent Cotton USA quality conference, held from September 13 to 15, 2017, in Belek, Turkey. It helped strengthen the business relationships between the 127 attendees from Turkish textile mills and US cotton merchants. The 41 participating mills represented 74 per cent of 2016/17 US exports to Turkey, an estimated 1.1 million bales of US cotton. US exporters and textile mills reported sales of 113,528 bales of US cotton during the Cotton USA quality conference, valued at approximately $38.1 million. As a result of attending the event, textile mill buyers said they would likely purchase an additional 365,700 bales of US cotton during the next year, an estimated $122.9 million increase in sales.

  • Published in Reports
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