“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.
“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.
Normally, the Oklahoma City Thunder would be trying to find a replacement for Kevin Durant, or figure out how to get past the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs or Houston Rockets. They probably didn’t expect they’d have to struggle to keep their center Enes Kanter from being jailed and possibly executed in Turkey by an increasingly authoritarian leader.
Mr. Erdogan, the Turkish president who was the target of a failed coup last July, has since carried out a wave of arbitrary punishments and imprisonments of thousands of journalists, academics, bureaucrats, lawyers and human rights defenders he suspects of affiliation with Mr. Gulen and his movement. This cruel frenzy is just the latest step in Mr. Erdogan’s march toward authoritarianism.
It’s an old story with dictators. If unopposed, they become ever more brazen in their aggression. Case in point: Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. On May 16, during a state visit to Washington, Erdoğan’s bodyguards beat up peaceful protesters, many of them American citizens, in front of the Turkish embassy. At least 11 protesters were injured.