“President Erdogan’s suggestion that the U.S. should make a hostage-style prisoner swap for an innocent American imprisoned in Turkey is appalling and will not be taken seriously,” Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said. Brunson’s is not the first case that has resulted in a Western country accusing Erdogan of hostage diplomacy.
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer joined the Turkish Cultural Center and Embrace Relief in a relief effort to provide aid to the underserved and those struck by disaster. 1,500 pounds of meat were donated to the Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Manhattan.
Volunteers at the Turkish Cultural Center of Albany offered Turkish language and cooking classes, invited the public to Ramadan friendship dinners and sought to build a bridge between East and West by leading a dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims. They were research scientists, professors, graduate students, state employees and restaurant owners.
Recently a messenger came to Colorado with dark warnings from a troubled land: Abdulhamit Bilici, the former editor-in-chief of Zaman, Turkey’s go-to newspaper before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s brutal crackdown. You don’t often meet people like Abdulhamit Bilici in the United States. You almost can’t believe that someone with his backstory sits before you.
For a year, Calgary imam Davud Hanci has spent most of his days in solitary confinement in Turkey, accused of being a terrorist linked to failed 2016 coup attempt. “They’re just holding him there and they don’t want to release him because they don’t have any real evidence,” said Malik Muradov, executive director of Calgary’s Intercultural Dialogue Institute and a friend of Hanci.
Human rights advocate Renée Vaugeois wrote a letter asking Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen to expedite the Edmonton man’s residency application. She thinks that this is a targeted war on a specific group of people in Turkey and to her that speaks to genocide.
“If they ask me what my final wish is,” Gulen added, “I would say the person who caused all this suffering and oppressed thousands of innocents, I want to spit in his face.” When asked if he was referring to Erdogan, he replied: “It can’t be anyone else. He is the oppressor.”
The practice of fasting in religions other than Islam was explored June 17 during a Ramadan Iftar held at the township Community/Senior Center in the Municipal Complex. Speakers representing Judaism and Christianity spoke about fasting in their faith traditions during the event, which was sponsored by the Peace Islands Institute.