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Politicians (129)

"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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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 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
 
 
 
 

US Election Seen from Turkey: Turkish People Have "A Very Negative Perception of Joe Biden"

İpek Yezdani is an international freelance journalist based in Turkey. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.Carlos Santamaria: In your opinion, what are two or three issues that people in Turkey are concerned about regarding the upcoming US election?

IY: There are several very important critical issues for Turkey-US relations. One of them is, of course, Syria. During the Obama administration, there was huge support for the Kurdish YPG forces in Syria. During the Trump administration, this support has continued for a while. The Turkish government considers the YPG as a terrorist organization, but on the other hand, Turkey is an ally, a NATO ally, maybe one of the strongest US allies in the Middle East. We has been fighting against this terrorist organization for decades, so this is a very important issue for Turkey.

THE NUMBER OF POLICE OFFICERS IN NEW YORK DOUBLES

New York, one of the favorite and important U.S. cities, struggles with the pandemic along with protests, violent crimes, especially shootings, following George Floyd's death. Due to a 23% increase in the crime rate in New York, there is uneasiness in the city.

Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio has stated at the press conference that they will double the number of police forces against increased acts of violence in the city.

Mayor De Blasio indicated that the increase in shooting events in recent days was caused by Coronavirus pandemic which devastated the city economy. He said: "We have had very bad days recently. Unfortunately, we are facing things we have seen and struggled with before and we will fight them once again. The epidemic changed every aspect of life. We don't do the usual things we did before. There is now a great deal of burden on the New York Police Department (NYPD) than ever before.”

Mayor Blasio had cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department's (NYPD) annual budget of $6 billion, and his decision had led to controversy. Mayor Blasio had also stated that the $1 billion budget cut would be invested in youth programs and social services.

 

NYPD Commissioner Shea Meets New Volunteers

NYPD Commissioner met the new volunteers at the Police Plaza.The Commissioner said: "Our peer-support team plays a crucial role in the well-being of our individual members, and of our department as a whole. This morning, I had the chance to speak to some of our newest volunteers. To them, and to every peer-support member, I say: THANK YOU for all that you do."

Turkish Americans in the 2020 Elections!

In April, Aycha Sirvanci Sawa achieved a stunning election win to become the City Comptroller of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What's Next for Turkish Americans in the 2020 Election Year?  The next-go-around for Turkish Americans at the ballot box is this July. Two Turkish American lawyers are running in elections in the states of New Jersey and Louisiana. The outcome of these polls could be historically significant for the Turkish American community.

In Letter to Trump, Turkey's Erdogan Urges Better Understanding

Erdogan told Trump that Turkey would continue to 'demonstrate solidarity in every way possible' with the US [File: Peter Nicholls/Pool/Reuters]Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to stand in solidarity with the United States in its struggle against the coronavirus pandemic as it recovers from the outbreak. In a letter sent to President Donald Trump, Erdogan also said he was following "with appreciation" the US president's efforts to control the outbreak. The letter was sent on Tuesday along with a planeload of personal protective equipment that Turkey donated to the US. It was made public on Wednesday. "I hope that this humble assistance will assist your fight against this pandemic and contribute to the speedy recuperation of your citizens who contracted this virus," Erdogan wrote. 

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U.S. Officials: We fully support Turkey

Successive messages of support came from the U.S. to Turkey after the treacherous attacks on Idlib by the Assad regime. Kelly Craft, the Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, said, “We support Turkey’s right to retaliate against the illegitimate attacks that resulted in soldiers’ deaths.”

At the emergency meeting organized by the UNSecurity Council, Craft spoke about growing tension in Idlib.

Evaluating the attack against Turkish soldiers in Idlib yesterday, which resulted in 33 martyrs, Kelly Craft stated, “The US strongly condemns the attack on Turkish troops yesterday. These attacks are completely illegitimate, meaningless, and barbaric.”

Craft, who also sent condolences to the families and relatives of the soldiers who were killed in the attack, said, “The US will not hesitate to continue its commitment to its NATO ally Turkey. We support Turkey’s right to retaliate against these illegitimate attacks on the observation posts that resulted in soldiers’ deaths.”

“HOW MANY MORE BABIES MUST FREEZE TO DEATH?”

Kelly Craft called for an urgent, permanent, and verifiable ceasefire in Northwest Syria, stating, “We call on Russia to urgently ground their warplanes. We also invite Syrian forces and their supporter Russia to retreat to the ceasefire borders set in 2018.”

Pointing to the humanitarian situation in Syria, Craft said, “I’m going to ask you again, are we going to sit back and watch? Are we going to remain silent? Or will we deliver? How many more babies have to freeze to death before we raise our voices and say, “Enough!”

“THE ASSAD REGIME, RUSSIA, AND IRAN MUST END THEIR ATTACKS”

Secretary Pompeo issued a written statement about the attack on Turkish soldiers by the Russian-backed Assad regime in Idlib.

Stressing that he is on Turkey’s side, Pompeo described the attacks as “despicable and shameless” and said, “We send our condolences to the Turkish state for the soldiers who lost their lives. The US condemns this attack as strongly as possible.”

"THE ATTACKS MUST END"

Pompeo also called on the Assad regime and its supporters to stop their attacks on Idlib, stating, “these actions by the Assad regime, Russia, the Iranian regime, and Hezbollah directly prevent a ceasefire in Northern Syria. The attacks must end, humanitarian access must be granted, and a political solution must be developed in accordance with UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2254.”

Pompeo also noted that the US is in touch with Turkey for preventing and alleviating the human suffering caused by “the regime and the Russian brutality,” and that they are evaluating possible ways to support Turkey.

Pompeo said that they would do their best to proclaim a truce across Syria, including in Idlib, as well as do their best to prevent the reintegration of the Assad regime into the international community until the regime fully complies with the UNSCR decision.

A SOLIDARITY STATEMENT FROM THE US TO TURKEY REGARDING THE IDLIB ISSUE

The US Department of State has announced that it has evaluated the fastest way to help Turkey regarding the current situation in Idlib.

The spokesperson of the State Department stated that intelligence sharing is currently active between the US and Turkey. It was also stated that they are discussing the fastest way to help Turkey in Idlib.

On the other hand, the spokesperson also noted that the attacks carried out in Idlib was a product of the close relationship between the regime and Russia. It was also noted that the regime couldn’t carry out any airstrikes without the support and approval of Russia.

President Erdogan’s Four Hour Meeting with President Trump at White House

By Ali Cinar -  President Trump welcomed President Erdogan at the White House over four hours for bilateral discussions on a range of important issues despite concerns from Congress over Turkey's military operation into northern Syria. Trump's face-to-face meeting with Erdogan  was a very significant step in resolving disagreements. Both leaders seemed in reducing tensions and finding a way forward which benefits both sides. There are many areas of interest and benefit to both nations, from the economy to education, energy, and technology, and the previously discussed trade goal of $100 billion was part of their conversation when the two leaders met.

State Department Opposes House's Sanctions on Turkey, Genocide Resolution

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — The Trump administration opposes Turkey sanctions adopted by the House last week as well as a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide, arguing that the two initiatives risk further straining relations with a key NATO ally, a senior State Department official said. The administration is concerned that the sanctions — passed 403-16 in the House last week in response to the Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria — will tie its hands and cut off options to resolve U.S. concerns about Turkey’s actions, said the official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. The official wouldn’t say whether President Donald Trump intends to veto the bill.

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