Politics 11:04 01/06/2022 Region

Erdogan hires his cousin as lobbyist to obtain votes of Turkish Americans

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been President since 2014, is planning to run for reelection in 2023. He previously served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014. Before that, he was elected Mayor of Istanbul in 1994 as a candidate from the Islamist Welfare Party. However, he was forced out of office in 1998, banned from holding political office, and imprisoned for four months after reciting a poem which was viewed as an incitement to violence, religious or racial hatred. Here is an ominous line from that poem: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” In 2001, he co-founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Hence, Erdogan has been a continuous presence at the highest echelons of Turkish government for almost 30 years.

Pres. Erdogan has now enlisted the help of his U.S.-based cousin, Dr. Halil Mutlu, a citizen of Turkey, to obtain the votes of Turkish citizens living in the United States during the 2023 presidential election, to boost his slim chances for reelection.

According to the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filings of the U.S. Department of Justice, Dr. Mutlu registered as a political lobbyist on May 11, 2022, on behalf of the Turkish ruling party (AKP) in the United States, as its sole representative. Dr. Mutlu is a resident of Windsor, Connecticut. The AKP representation office, officially registered as a U.S. corporation on May 2, 2022, is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The FARA registration, signed by Mutlu, states that the “AK Party representation to the United States represents the Justice and Development Party of Turkey in the United States. Its responsibilities include organizing political, social and cultural activities among the Turkish citizens in the United States. It also aims to contribute to furthering the cooperation and historical friendship between the United States and Turkey….” The FARA registration form reveals the true aim of this elaborate lobbying scheme: “It will also prepare and disseminate AK Party material in the United States for the political support of the Turkish citizens during elections.”

The FARA registration indicates that the U.S. office of AKP represents the AKP’s principal office located at Pres. Erdogan’s presidential palace in Cankaya, Ankara, Turkey. It is stated that AKP’s U.S. office “does not have a budget established or a specified sum of money allocated” to finance its activities. Dr. Mutlu is said to work without any pay.

The completed FARA registration application also states that AKP’s U.S. office will disseminate information through magazines, newspapers, advertising campaigns, press releases, pamphlets, other publications, lectures, speeches, radio and TV broadcasts, motion picture films, letters, telegrams, email, websites, and social media.

The U.S. office of the AKP stated that it will publicize the above mentioned information to public officials, civic groups, associations, legislators, libraries, government agencies, educational groups, newspapers, and nationality groups.

It is not credible that Dr. Mutlu will be able to carry out such an enormous amount of work “on a part time basis,” without any staff and without pay. I hope the U.S. Justice Department will keep a close eye on the trail of funds used for such massive expenditures.

The Turkish government has permitted its citizens who live outside the country to vote in domestic elections ever since 2014. The vote of Turkish citizens in the Diaspora is important because around 1.5 million or over 50% of Turks residing abroad voted in the 2018 presidential election, including 811,000 in Germany, 186,000 in France, 145,000 in the Netherlands, 60,000 in Austria, and 46,000 in the United States. Erdogan received close to 60% of all votes cast abroad.

The U.S.-based AL-MONITOR news website, reported that “Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has explosively claimed that millions of dollars have been siphoned off to allow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to flee the country if he loses the upcoming election…. Kilicdaroglu said the equivalent of $61 million was being transferred ‘all of a sudden,’ to the United States through education foundations close to the President.” The New York-based Turken Foundation’s 2017 tax return shows that its assets were over $43 million. Erdogan’s two children, son Bilal and daughter Esra, served on the Foundation’s board. In 2014, Halil Mutlu was appointed chairman of the Turken Foundation. He was also a board member of the Washington-based Turkish American National Steering Committee, until his wife, Lynn Mutlu, replaced him on the board.

It remains to be seen if Dr. Mutlu will be able to persuade a large number of Turkish Americans to vote for Erdogan in next year’s election. More importantly, should Erdogan not be reelected and stays in Turkey, what legal troubles await him for violating a myriad of Turkish laws for several decades.



Source Panorama.am
Share |

Related news

Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

12:51
New Converse Bank Promotion – win a trip to the Maldives, iPhone 14 vouchers and deposit certificates
Converse Bank launches a new promotion for Mastercard holders, which gives the participants the opportunity to win a trip for two to the...
17:00
Rain, thunderstorms expected in parts of Armenia
Rain and thunderstorms are expected in some parts of Armenia from 6 to 8 August, the Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center reports, adding...
16:45
Chinese military ignores US attempts to establish contacts amid Taiwan crisis
The US military command has made multiple attempts to establish contacts with Chinese colleagues amid the escalation of tensions around Taiwan...
16:35
Symphonic Yerevan Festival to open with bassoon and piano music
The opening concert of the Symphonic Yerevan International Music Festival will take place in the Arno Babajanyan Concert Hall on August 12. The...
16:28
World premiere of Mansurian's 'Hymn – The Good Captain' held in Brno
Within the framework of the Mendel Festival held in Brno, the Czech Republic, on July 22, at the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, the...
15:55
Mahindra Scorpio-N sets new sales record
The Mahindra Scorpio-N proved to be quite a hit in its home market in India, as the first 25,000 units were sold out in less than a minute,...
15:45
Manvel Paramazyan to top new bloc's electoral list in upcoming Kajaran elections
The incumbent mayor of Kajaran, a town in Armenia's Syunik Province, will top the electoral list of a newly formed alliance in the municipal...
15:12
Expert: Surrender of Berdzor, nearby villages brings enemy one step closer to our homes
Iran expert Vardan Voskanyan claims the surrender of Artsakh’s Berdzor (Lachin) town and the nearby villages of Aghavno and Sus to...
14:34
Twelve dead, 31 injured in Croatia bus crash
Twelve people have been killed after a bus carrying Polish tourists veered off a road in Croatia on Saturday, BBC News reported. All 31...
14:11
Chess Olympiad: Armenia keeps the lead after draw with US
Armenia defended its lead in the open section of the Chess Olympiad after drawing the favourites from the United States in round 7, ChessBase...
13:36
Rep. Schiff calls for immediate action to hold Aliyev regime accountable for attack against Artsakh
U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, condemns Azerbaijan's latest aggression against Artsakh and...
13:15
French mayor wants Mont Blanc climbers to pay €15,000 rescue and funeral deposit
Climbers attempting to reach the summit of Mont Blanc from a popular path in France will have to pay a €15,000 (£12,640) deposit to...
13:06
Artificial parity brings false legitimization of use of force in Artsakh, official says
Artsakh’s State Minister Artak Beglaryan calls out international institutions for again keeping artificial parity between the Azerbaijani...
12:45
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson split after 9 months together
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson have reportedly gone their separate ways, Vogue says. According to People, the pair split up after...
12:33
Sen. Menendez condemns Azerbaijan’s latest attacks against Artsakh
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has condemned Azerbaijan's latest attacks against Artsakh...
12:05
Azerbaijan violated ceasefire in some sections, Artsakh says
The situation on the contact line between Artsakh and Azerbaijan was relatively stable overnight and as of Saturday morning despite some...
11:55
UEFA punishes Turkish club for Putin chants
Fenerbahce have been handed a one-game partial stadium closure, suspended for two years, after their fans chanted Russian President Vladimir...
11:35
Armenia conveyed concerns over peacekeeping mission to Russian leadership in 2021 – Foreign Ministry
Armenia conveyed its concerns over the Russian peacekeeping activities in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to the Russian leadership back in February...
11:15
Armenian Church commemorates 200 pontiffs of Ecumenical Council of Ephesus
The Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates 200 pontiffs participating in the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus on Saturday, August 6, Qahana.am...
11:06
Charles Michel holds phone calls with Pashinyan, Aliyev
President of the European Council Charles Michel has held phone calls with Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, he said in a tweet on Friday....
17:00
Warner Bros. announces release date for ‘Joker 2’
The Joker is set to return to the local multiplex on Oct. 4, 2024, The Hollywood Reporter says. The Joker 2 sequel likely to star...
16:45
Former MP: Armenian government meetings are held exclusively for Azerbaijan
Former MP Sofia Hovsepyan has reacted to Nikol Pashinyan’s statements at a cabinet meeting on Thursday. “Have you noticed that...
16:26
Brian May shares 'Bohemian Rhapsody' performed by Armenian children
Queen guitarist Brian May, a co-founder of the STARMUS festival, has shared on his Instagram page the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”...
15:58
Kevin Spacey ordered to pay $30 million to ‘House of Cards’ makers
 A judge on Thursday ruled that Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the makers of “House of Cards” nearly $31...
15:46
Ombudsperson: Azeri official confirms Artsakh Armenians' right to life is not guaranteed
Azerbaijani lawmaker Gudrat Hasanguliyev has confessed about Azerbaijan’s state policy aimed at the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian...
15:18
RPA: 'By surrendering Artsakh, we won't live' approach a guarantee for Armenian people's security
The Executive Body of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) on Friday released a statement on the latest Azerbaijani attack on Artsakh, again...
14:15
Senator Reed: Azerbaijan's actions do nothing to further lasting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan’s actions do nothing to further a lasting and durable peace in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), Senator Jack Reed said in a tweet on...
13:57
'We have no right to leave our soldiers alone', says opposition MP
MP Tigran Abrahamyan of the opposition Pativ Unem faction has hailed Armenian soldiers for successfully performing their combat tasks in a...
13:35
Artsakh denies Azerbaijani claims of ceasefire violation
The Artsakh Defense Ministry has refuted Azerbaijan’s claims that the Artsakh military allegedly violated the ceasefire nine times by...
13:07
Aliyev has deceived Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday discussed the recent escalation of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) in a phone call with...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}