Within the framework of “Turkey Talks” panel series, the Republic of Turkey Directorate of Communications held a panel entitled "Turkey-US Relations: Strengthening Old Partnership and Searching New Areas" at the US Congress.
Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar, Senior Advisor to the President Prof. Gülnur Aybet, Member of the Presidential Security and Foreign Policies Board Prof. Mehmet Akif Kireçci and attorney Robert Amsterdam participated in the panel as speakers.
Representatives of American politics, academia, think tanks, media and non-governmental organizations showed interest to the panel.
The senior partner of the independent law firm Amsterdam & Partners which carry out activities to explore FETÖ’s activities in the world, Robert Amsterdam, attended the panel in which US-Turkish relations were discussed at the US Congress and said: "The Gülen group is the largest terrorist organization openly operating. This organization manipulates its employees by the order of the administrative board and conducts extensive corruption activities within the US."
Turkish-US relations were taken up in the panel organized by the Directorate of Communications at the US Congress in Washington.
Amsterdam talked about FETÖ's activities in the US and the attitude of the US.
FETO criticism against US politicians
Expressing that they had looked into FETO thoroughly and met with teachers who had worked for the schools of the organization, Amsterdam noted that the pressure put on teachers by the organization and the unlawfulness of the organization were ignored by US officials.
Amsterdam told the following:
"I can comfortably tell you that the Gülen group is the largest terrorist organization openly operating. This organization manipulates its employees by the order of the administrative board and conducts extensive corruption activities within the US. Nevertheless, the US provides a fund of 750 million dollars for this organization through charter schools. US politicians continue to receive donations deliberately and willingly from Gülen organization, which takes its toll on the US law, conducting extensive corruption activities and providing anti-Semitic teachings. While we [US] transfer 750 million dollars annually to FETO terror group, no one in this hall has the right to question the steps taken by Turkey to protect its own security. This organization continues to commit these crimes and to open new schools whereas US politicians ignore all of these because they receive donations. Although FETO is an organization attaching importance to confidentiality, the FBI could reveal all its corruptions and crimes in a couple of months, yet it does not press the issue.”
"I was more hopeful last year"
Prof. Aybet emphasized that the bilateral relations were generally based on security, but recently there had been an intention to advance relations in other areas.
Aybet indicated that another important aspect of bilateral relations was the public opinion when the relations between the countries were up-and-down and said: “I had some meetings at the US Congress on March 28 last year. When I came back here again, I got the impression that I was more hopeful last year.”
Indicating that the US administration was confused about the future of Syria, Aybet told: “However, last year I had at least a vision of the US policy on Syria. Where are now, one year later? I don't even see a fake target or strategy sparkle right now. I think this is quite disappointing on the ground.”
Joint patrols in Syria
Underlining the importance of joint patrols in northeast Syria, Aybet said: "There is an impression that Turkey does not value its relations with the U.S. This is not true.”
“I am also disappointed that this year, nobody is talking about ensuring stability in Syria once the conflict ends. Everybody was talking about it last year.” Aybet noted.
Aybet indicated that Turkey’s priority in Syria was to clean its border from PKK/YPG and enable the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country.
Call to the US for “energy cooperation”
Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Bayraktar said political and military topics topped the agenda of US-Turkey relations and added that the energy cooperation would give an added impetus to bilateral relations.
Pointing to Turkey’s requirements in the energy sector, Bayraktar underlined the importance of energy cooperation between Washington and Ankara.
Bayraktar also touched upon Turkey’s comprehensive oil and gas exploration activities in Eastern Mediterranean and assured that exploration activities would continue without pausing.
"Turkey is an island of stability"
Also making a speech, Kireçci pointed to the major problems faced by the countries surrounding Turkey, and added: “In this chaotic geography, Turkey is an island of stability.”
Noting that the problems, terrorist attacks and attempts to topple the government including the coup attempt of July 15 failed to bring Turkey down, Kireçci said: “Despite all of these, Turkey still has a reliable and functioning government.”