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"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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Cuts to Social Work and Education Budgets in New York

New York Mayor Eric Adams announced a draft budget of $100 billion for 2024, which includes cuts to social services, education and public libraries, and kindergarten for children under 3, which is free of charge.

Adams' announcement to impose budget restrictions caused controversy in the city and city council, particularly the cuts to social services and education budgets.

Mayor Adams had previously announced budget cuts to programs relied on by New Yorkers due to the economic crisis caused by the influx of tens of thousands of asylum seekers sent to the city by bus from other states.

'New Yorkers will suffer greatly from the budget constraint in libraries.'

The draft budget announced by Mayor Adams recommended cutting the budget for public libraries by $13 million this fiscal year and by more than $20 million next year.

Mayor Adams announced reduced working hours and the termination or closure of some programs in about 200 public libraries due to budgetary constraints. It was stated that the cuts proposed by Mayor Adams for libraries would greatly harm New Yorkers.

The proposed budget cuts for libraries, essential for people without internet access at home or for after-school tutoring and English language training, drew backlash.

Anthony W. Marx, President of the New York Public Library, said that worrying about where and what to cut kept him up at night.

A group of 13 members of the New York City Council stated that the mayor's latest budget adjustments would lead to instability in the city and said, 'The proposed restrictions are extremely cruel and dangerous.'

'New York has reached a breaking point.'

Mayor Adams, on the other hand, seemed determined. He stated the budget cuts were due to the influx of over 40,000 refugees. He said, 'New York has now come to a breaking point. We foresee that we can no longer continue to host incoming refugees on our own. The load on our infrastructure is huge. We filed an urgent request for help in New York this weekend. In this request, we urgently asked them to allocate funds to provide shelter for 500 asylum seekers.'

It is stated that New York City Mayor Adams met with the mayor of El Paso on Saturday and toured areas where refugees are known to cross the border.

El Paso is the city on the American-Mexico border where refugees have flocked the most recently.

Nearly 1K New York City vehicles becoming all-electric!

NYC Mayor Adams Announces Nearly 1,000 new Electric Vehicles to Replace Fossil Fuel-Powered City Fleet Vehicles, Deployment of new EV Charging Infrastructure.

NYC Mayor Adams,  New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock, and New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez  announced 10.1 million dollars in federal grants to replace nearly 925 fossil fuel-powered fleet vehicles with electric vehicles  and install 315 new EV chargers across the New York City.

The $10.1 million in funding will help procure 382 Chevrolet Bolts, 360 Ford E-Transit vans, and 150 Ford F-150 E-Lightning pick-up trucks. Additionally, 25 plug-in hybrid street sweepers will be earmarked for DSNY, an important step in electrifying the city’s specialized equipment fleet.

Mayor Adams said: “When New Yorkers see cars, trucks, and vans with the ‘NYC’ logo on the side, they can rest assured that those vehicles are contributing to a greener city,” said Mayor Adams. “We are already ahead of schedule in transitioning city vehicles away from fossil fuels, and this new grant will allow us to take nearly 1,000 fossil-fuel vehicles off our roads, helping us reduce carbon emissions, make our air cleaner, and save on fuel costs.”

“We are laying the groundwork for an all-electric fleet of the future that will support critical citywide operations while benefiting the environment,” said DCAS Commissioner Pinnock. 

“New York City must lead by example, and we are grateful for these critical partnerships with the federal government to help us reach our climate and air quality goals,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Executive Director Kizzy Charles-Guzman. “This investment in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure will improve the health of New Yorkers and create a more sustainable New York.”

As of September 2022, DCAS reached its 2025 goal of transitioning 4,000 vehicles in the city fleet to electric vehicles — three years ahead of schedule. Currently, the electric fleet includes a wide range of vehicle types and categories from over 200 Ford Mustang Mach Es — most of which are for law enforcement purposes — to nearly 850 GM Bolts. DCAS expects to operate over 5,000 EVs by June 2023. 

*NYC Mayor Press Release*

 

President Biden's Accomplishments

According to the Real Clear Politics polling averages, 43% of Americans approve of President Biden's job. President Biden had a good year in 2022; however, he will face a new reality next month when Republicans take over the House majority.

President Biden recently tweeted, saying, "Millions of new jobs.More access to affordable health care. Historic investments in climate, infrastructure, veterans' benefits, and gun reform. I'm proud of what we've delivered for the American people this year." 

President Biden turned in the best mid-term performance of any president since John F. Kennedy. (except for George W Bush after the 9/11 attack)

Here are some of President Biden's Accomplishments
-Inflation Reduction Act
-Bipartisan Infrastructure bill
-American Rescue Plan
-Respect for Marriage Act
-Chips and Science Act
-Bipartisan Safer Communities act
-Tackling inflation and lowering costs, especially gas prices, have been down by 1.35/gallon since June, and inflation is moderating.
President Biden is overseeing a historic manufacturing boom in the United States – with more than 750,000 manufacturing jobs having been created since he took office.

He had solid results in Foreign Policy
-He sends B-52 to Australia to counter China. 
-He launched a full-court press against China's domestic semiconductor industry. He signed the most bipartisan gun legislation in decades.
-He secured the extradition of the terrorist charged with the bombing of Pan AM flight 103, which killed 193 Americans.
-He kept Irans IRGC on the U.S. list of foreign terror organizations 
-He won support from Finland and Sweden to join NATO
-He declared the U.S. would defend Taiwan
-He killed Al Qaeda Leader Al Zawarihi
-He provided Full Support to Ukraine. 

President Biden's meeting with Ukrainian President Zelensky was a huge success. President Biden gave a security guarantee to Zelensky to come to Washington, DC; having Zelensky at the White House for over three hours and organizing a joint conference was a solid message to Putin. 

Current Polls (Real Clear Politics)
Biden's average approval rate, in general, is 41.4 % approve,%52.2 disapprove. 
Biden's average approval rate on the economy is 39.3% approve, and 57% disapprove.
Biden's average approval rate on foreign policy is 41.5% approve,51.5% disapprove.
Biden's average approval rate on immigration is 36.8% approve,58.4% disapprove

2024 Presidential Election
Democratic Party is awaiting a formal announcement from President Biden about whether he is running for re-election in 2024 as President Biden is weighing a final decision on whether to run for a second term. Close Friends of President Biden indicates that he is getting ready to run. President Biden said on 60 minutes, "Look, my intention, as I said, to begin with, is that I would run again. But it's just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen". President Biden said in November that he intends to run for re-election and would likely make a final decision by early next year after declaring the results of Tuesday's midterm elections good for democracy.

First Christian Syrian Born Mayor in the U.S.  

 

Montvale, NJ — population 7,844, 36 miles from New York City’s Manhattan - was incorporated as a borough on August 31, 1894. When he was sworn-in as a mayor on January 4th, 2016, Michael Ghassali made history as the first Christian-born Syrian to become a mayor in the Eastern United States. His mother from Harput, Elazığ in Armenian descent and his father was born in Mardin, a city in southeastern Turkey. He was working as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the nonprofit Feed the Children, one of the leading anti-hunger organizations. First, he ran for the city council, later ran for mayor. In the 2016 election, he got 70 percent of the votes and for his second term no one challenged him. He ran for Congress in 2020 election but after COVID he pulled off from the race. Now his Republican party colloquies encourages him to run for as Bergen County Executive. Michael Ghassali answered our questions:  

Taiwan Will Be the Main Agenda at the Biden–Xi Meeting

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet at 5:30 am EST. President Biden said this was his first face-to-face meeting with his Chinese counterpart since he took office at the White House. He said, 'I know him well; he knows me. We need to define our red lines and the most important things to us.'

Before going to Indonesia, President Biden said he would talk with Xi about the Taiwan crisis, unfair trade competition, and China's relations with other countries, especially Russia. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced that global and regional issues would be discussed at the meeting. He added that the intention is to be open and to work together in areas where common interests overlap.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan also stated that President Biden sees the U.S. and China in serious competition but that this rivalry should not turn into a conflict and should be managed responsibly.

While President Biden is expected to bring China's human rights violations to the agenda at the meeting, it is also expected that the U.S. will warn against the violation of Russian sanctions by China.

After the Taiwan crisis and the Biden administration's move to block the export of advanced computer chips to China, the world is eagerly awaiting the results of this meeting of the two leaders. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated, 'We will do whatever it takes to protect the Americans from the Chinese threat.' In a statement at his party's congress last month, Xi promised that China would act more aggressively to become self-sufficient in semiconductor production and other technologies.

G20 Summit Begins Tomorrow

Indonesia will host the G20 summit on November 15 and 16 in Bali. Different sessions will be held on the themes of global health architecture, digital-based economic transformation, and sustainable energy change. While President Biden is expected to have a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, it needs to be clarified whether a Biden–Erdogan meeting will take place.''

Democrats Retain Control of the Senate

In the U.S. midterm-election, the Democrats retained a majority in the Senate. The winner of the Nevada election was Democrat Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. This brought the Democrats to 50 seats in the Senate. This figure is enough for Democrats to maintain control in the Senate. In a head-to-head race to vote, Cortez Masto eventually outmaneuvered his Republican rival, Adam Laxalt, and was re-elected to the Senate. With this development, Democrats no longer have to wait for the results of the Senate runoff on December 6 in Georgia.

President Joe Biden expressed his satisfaction with the development and noted that it is time for Republicans to consider who they are. President Biden said he was not surprised at the turnout and was very pleased. The US President also stated that he believes the result is indicative of the quality of the Democratic candidates.

Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the results showed the American people rejected the Republican Party's rhetoric of violence.

Schumer also noted that the results showed the country's faith in democracy. In the 100-member Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris is the deciding factor in 50-50 votes for bills.

Republicans can also seize control of the lower house of Congress, the House of Representatives.

President Biden:  "It was an evening when the Democrats came out strong. For months, we have heard from the press and the opposition that the Democrats will emerge disappointed in the election. They were talking about the giant red wave. That didn't happen," he said. "It was a good day for Democracy and a good day for America," added Biden.

Trump to announce his presidential candidacy for the 2024 election

Meanwhile, while the counting continues for the Senate and the House of Representatives, it has been reported that former US President Donald Trump will soon announce his candidacy for the 2024 elections.

Trump's longtime adviser, Jason Miller, said on Friday that Donald Trump will announce next week that he will try his luck once again for the presidency in 2024.

 

The White House: U.S. will respond if Russia targets satellites

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby stated that the U.S. would respond if Russia targeted commercial satellites.

John Kirby had two press conferences, one at the White House and the other at the National Press Club, briefing American and foreign press correspondents regarding Biden-Harris foreign policy priorities.

Kirby was asked about the statements of Konstantin Vorontsov, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, during the U.N. General Assembly, saying the commercial satellites of the U.S. could be 'legitimate targets' for Russia if the U.S. insisted on assisting Ukraine.

Kirby said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's waging war in Ukraine is 'provocative and dangerous' and stated, 'We will continue to support Ukraine openly and honestly. Nothing will change our attitude. I will just tell you this: Any attacks on U.S. infrastructure will be responded to.'

Kirby rejected the allegations of Republicans against Biden's blank check to Ukraine and said, 'We did not provide a blank check. We assisted as required.'

Kirby; Putin is  the leader of a modern nuclear power

John Kirby said that President  Biden has been very clear that there will be severe consequences should they do that, and it wouldn’t – it wouldn’t just be from the United States. He added that it would be from so much of the rest of the international community.

"We have to – we don’t consider that bluster. He’s the leader of a modern nuclear power, and we find it irresponsible and reckless to be using the kinds of language he is when he’s talking about the potential use of nuclear weapons. So again, I’m not going to telegraph here publicly what options the President might consider. I’ll – I think it’s best left in his own words, which is that there would be severe." he said at the press briefing

US and Allies continue to support Ukraine

"We continue to work closely with allies and partners throughout the continent with respect to what Russia’s doing in Ukraine, which is obviously devastating to the country of Ukraine, the people of Ukraine, particularly in recent days and weeks here where they have deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure and innocent Ukrainian civilians. And so we are working closely with allies and partners to make sure that we are helping Ukraine get the security assistance they need to defend themselves, and so that when – if and when this comes to a negotiated settlement, Mr. Zelenskyy can succeed at the table as well." John Kirby said.

The U.S. and its Allies say Russia is wasting the U.N. Security Council's time.

U.S. and its Allies stated that Russia wasting the U.N. Security Council's time and spreading a conspiracy by reiterating the claims that the U.S. and Ukraine have a 'military biological program.'

Barbara Woodward, the U.K. Ambassador to U.N., in her statement to the Council, asks, 'How much more of Russia's nonsense do we have to endure?'

Russia pressed complaints at least two times at the Security Council regarding Ukraine's biological weapons program. The U.S. and Ukraine responded that they had no biological weapons program.

Russia, having pressed for a formal investigation, drafted a Security Council resolution to form a commission of 15 members. Although allowed under the 1975 Biological Weapons Convention, this right has never been exercised.

The U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stated that Russia's allegations were 'pure fabrication brought forth without a shred of evidence.'

The U.N. disarmament authorities have said for a long time that the U.N. is not aware of any biological weapons program in Ukraine. Russia invaded its neighbor Ukraine on February 24, and today, President Vladimir Putin shows no regret after eight months of the war.

Two Foreign Policy Experts explain the meaning of President Biden's the Middle East Trip

Journalist Ali Cinar interviewed Prof.Herbert Reginbogin and Prof.Mark Meirowitz about ongoing President Biden's Israel and Saudi Arabia trip. 

Prof.Herbert Reginbogin, Catholic University of America

What is your expectation from President Biden's visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia? We have not seen a clear road map Middle East policy for the Biden Administration? What are the challenges? What can Biden Admin do in the Middle East?

I expect that the changes in European security by Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompted the meeting in Madrid last month by the U.S. and its NATO allies to demonstrate their unity and resolve to collectively defend NATO's territorial integrity against potential Russian incursion and solidarity for Ukraine, will continue in President Biden's bidding in the Middle East next week for a robust regional security architecture. While trying to sidestep the criticism from meeting with Saudi and Israeli figures considering the killing of journalists Jamal Khashoggi and Shireen Abu Aqleh, he is expected to lay out a more precise roadmap for the Middle East by making severe attempts to highlight strategic shifts to prioritize the playbook of promoting "regional integration" between Israel and its Arab neighbors as well as advocating human rights versus economic interests in his travel to the West Bank while meeting Palestinian leader Abbas.  He is expected to voice strong support for a two-state solution, with equal measures for security, freedom, and opportunity for the Palestinian people, which is an essential precondition for Saudi Arabia to join the Abraham Accords as well as the voices among the progressives in the Democratic Party about the unjust treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government.

Biden will likely pursue an active role in carrying out policies he believes are of a moral obligation/national interest to the U.S. government, overriding personal moral issues/human rights by emphasizing the context of his visit in terms of the long strategical partnership both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have shared and that his meeting is focused on achieving stability and peace in the Middle East by bolstering the regional security framework embraced by the Abraham Accords. In 2020 Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, together with four Arab counties (U.A.E., Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan), achieved a breakthrough in officially recognizing Israel. The impact has been greater integration displayed by increased trade and one-on-one contact among their citizens in developing an ecumenical dialogue of shared religious principles, as in the case of the U.A.E., Israel, and others. Biden is expected to continue using this framework to achieve a more extensive network for peace and security as he seeks assistance from the Saudis and other Gulf oil-producing countries to lower skyrocketing fuel prices to lessen global reliance on Russian energy exports while addressing U.S. arms exports and economic trade agreements to foster more significant security preparation for a conflict with  Iranian if the JCPOA should fail and respectively is alive to deal with the issues it fails to address such as supporting Iranian proxies on the Arabic Peninsula and building conventional missiles to be potentially used against Israel and neighboring Arab countries. 

All these issues will be weathered by the humanitarian needs in the region with halting the war in Yemen and Syria and the question of whether Biden can adequately address these controversial issues to attain a policy victory ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.

How would Turkey and the U.S. work in the Middle East, especially in Syria?

With U.S. President Joe Biden traveling to the Middle East since he took office eighteen months ago, his visit comes in the midst uniting the Middle East by neutralizing the Palestinian, Yemen, and Syrian conflicts in the region. In terms of the Syrian conflict, the U.S. supports the PYG/PYD as their allies against the Syrian government while Turkey perceives them as an offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization. To stabilize a working relationship among all three, the objective should be a humanitarian project to rid northern Syria of any forces intent to attack or destabilize Turkey by protecting civilian population when making a sweep of the area.  The three Turkey, U.S. and the YPG should be on the same page that their foe is the Syrian government, and all effort should be directed for this purpose otherwise there is legitimacy in Turkey’s accusation. According to reports that underground tunnels exist in northern Syria that lead to the border of Turkey and if these reports can be substantiated they should be jointly destroyed and investigated as to who is involved. Biden’s trip to the Middle East means that working relationships about coordinating military and diplomatic resources can be a watershed in rebuilding the image of Turkey both in the region and the U.S. but it will take a leap of trust and goodwill.  This can be managed if both presidents are committed to manage and control the situation personally. 

Prof. Mark Meirowitz,SUNY Maritime College

What is your expectation from President Biden's visit to Israel? 

The purpose of Biden's visit is  to reinforce the United States’ iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity. That is all fine and good. There are not likely to be any breakthroughs because of the recent collapse of Israel's coalition government, which The Economist called the "coalition of contradictions". The caretaker government under Yair Lapid now is very weak leading up the the elections. Biden is not likely to upset the apple cart by making any earth-shaking announcements concerning the Palestinians, with whom he is planning to meet during his trip.  It has already been announced that the US will not reopen the US Consulate in Jerusalem (which President Trump had closed), but that the Palestinian Affairs Unit which previously reported to the US Ambassador in Israel will now be reconstituted as the Office of Palestinian Affairs and report directly up to the State Department in Washington. Nothing more should be expected at this time. Biden will be cafreful not to make statements or take actions that might interfere with the fragile Israeli political situation. 
Do you think that there would be a peace between Israel and Palestine during Biden admin? What would be best way to move forward?

The way forward will be paved by the Abraham Accords, with lip service to the issue of a peace settlement with the Palestinian Authority and the usual references to a "two-State solution". For Israel and the other participants in the Abraham Accords, the major and existential issue is the threat from Iran, not the Palestinian issue. Given the chaos in Israeli politics which is not likely to subside any time soon, and the continuing threat that Iran will go nuclear, there is virtually zero chance of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority during the Biden administration. 
 
-Israeli elections.What would be your thoughts on the upcoming election?Having frequent elections in Israel good or bad?Why? 

Five elections in just four years' time is very problematic and is indicative of extreme instability. Israel is completely polarized. The recent coalition government which included an Arab party as coalition member has fallen and now there is a good chance than Netanyahu will be able to pull together the nationalist and right-wing parties to form a new coalition, but whether that coalition be able to achieve a majority and form a new government is unknown and uncertain. Israel is on a seesaw between opposite and incompatible political poles and there is no way in sight to bring these political players together in any form of compromise. 

Former U.S. Military Attaché Richard Outzen: "Turkey will launch an operation in Syria"

Non-Resident Fellow at Atlantic Council in Turkey, Richard Outzen spoke about recent developments between Turkey and U.S. to Bloomberg HT Journalist Ali Cinar.

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, June 28, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Former Pentagon Official Outzen stated that he had been concerned about the US' remarks regarding protecting stability in the region. He emphasized that there was no stability whatsoever. Outzen said, 'I see that we're no closer to reaching a final solution in Syria. Like the US, we prioritize our own interests.'

He also stated, 'US soldiers continue to operate on the east side of the Euphrates, and they continue to conduct anti-DEASH operations, albeit on a small scale. Of course, the US works with PKK off-shoot YPG in the region, and this is something that Turkey objects to.'

Atlantic Council Non Resident Fellow Outzen warned that 'a Turkish operation on the eastern bank of the Euphrates will be dangerous for the US as well.' He said that the US 'might have told Turkey that a small military operation might be acceptable.' 'The US won't give a major reaction to a small operation targeting Tal Rifat and Menbij,' he said.Outzen emphasized that the US, Turkey, and European Allies must continue to implement sanctions and 'prevent a new refugee wave and increase the pressure on Assad.'

Outzen: "The United States must follow a balanced policy with Turkey and Greece."

Former Pentagon Official Outzen said that there was an idea that the closer the US was to an ally, the more stable they would become. He underlined that Greece has specific hypotheses that cross the line. Outzen said that Greece definitely couldn't be an alternative to Turkey, reminding that Turkey was much bigger than Greece in a geographic and strategic location.

'If the US wants stability, then it must follow a balanced policy between Turkey and Greece, and it must mediate,' said Outzen, adding that in both countries, US ambassadors would share US policies with the public in a positive light.

Former Pentagon Official Outzen also said that Turkey's' concerns about Sweden and Finland's NATO bids were justifiable. Stating that Turkey manufactures about 70 percent of its own needs in the defense industry, Outzen said it is challenging to sell sizeable military ammunition to Turkey in this environment.Lastly, Outzen stated that there is still a problem in the US Congress, but the situation is not entirely hopeless.

Colonel Rich Outzen (Ret.) is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Turkey and a geopolitical analyst and consultant currently serving private sector clients as Dragoman LLC. His military service has also included tours in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff, and service as military attaché in Afghanistan and Israel.

Ali Cinar is a journalist based in Washington, DC. He represents Ciner Media US Group(Haberturk TV and Bloomberg HT). Ali Cinar was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was the youngest Turkish American to receive this award in over 30 years. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication at Liberty University,

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