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McMaster Deepens America’s Isolation

On Tuesday evening, U.S. National Security Adviser Gen. H. R. McMaster spoke at Policy Exchange in Washington, recalled that "radical Islamist ideology is a grave threat to all civilized people" and singled out Turkey and Qatar as its main supporters today. The allegation sparked an outrage on Turkish Twitter and among senior officials in the Turkish capital of Ankara. To be clear, Mr. McMaster's remarks had nothing to do with "radical Islamist ideology" at all. Here's what makes the United States unhappy right now: First, the Astana process, which Turkey launched in cooperation with Russia and Iran, has rendered the U.S.-backed Geneva talks obsolete. At the same time, Turkey decided to purchase the S-400 air defense system from Russia instead of buying Patriot missiles from the United States. Finally, the Turks have been critical of Washington's plans to form a united front against Iran in the Middle East – featuring Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and others.

FETO Spends 'Vast Amount' to Attack Turkey from US

Fetullah Gulen, the U.S.-based leader of the terrorist organization behind last year’s defeated coup, pays at least half a million dollars a month for lobbying activities in Washington, according the partner-lawyer of an international law firm. “Gulen has spent a vast amount of money on donations to officials. He spends anywhere from half a million to a million dollars a month just on lobbying in Washington,” said Robert Amsterdam, an international lawyer in Amsterdam & Partners LLP, a law firm with offices in London and Washington DC. Amsterdam & Partners LLP was retained by Turkey to pursue a global investigation into the suspicious activities of Gulen, the mastermind of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Turkish Security HQ Summons FBI Representative

By Sibel Ugurlu, ANKARA - AA-  Turkey-based FBI agent was summoned to General Directorate of Security in Ankara, a security official said on Wednesday. The FBI agent was summoned after Huseyin Korkmaz, a fugitive and former Turkish police supervisor, testified in a U.S. case against Halkbank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla. Korkmaz was arrested for his links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and released in February 2016. He fled to the U.S. in August with the documents related to FETO's judicial coup attempt of Dec. 17-25, 2013 in his possession.

US ‘Committed to Its Strategic Partnership with Turkey’

By Michael Hernandez - WASHINGTON -AA -  The U.S. said Wednesday it is "committed to its strategic partnership with Turkey to bring stability to the region and defeat terrorism in all its forms" amid a row sparked by comments from a senior Trump administration official. "We appreciate Turkey’s efforts to increase its border security, stem the flow of foreign fighters through its territory and fight on the ground to clear ISIS from key towns in Syria," a National Security Council spokesman told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or Daesh.

Turkish Think Tank Hosts Discussion in US on Syria

A panel of experts in Washington held discussions Tuesday on a political solution to Syria’s ongoing civil war. Hosted by Washington-based think tank SETA DC, the discussion was titled “The Geneva Process: Toward a Political Solution in Syria”. Mona Yacoubian, a senior advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Andrew Tabler, Martin J. Gross Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hassan Hassan, a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, and Kadir Ustun, executive director at SETA DC, took part in the panel. The discussion was moderated by Kilic Kanat, a research director at SETA DC. Participants agreed that actual developments in the field in Syria as well as peace talks in Astana and Geneva would directly affect a political process in the country.

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As Chobani Expands Footprint in Twin Falls, City Reflects on Anti-refugee Backlash

By Patrick Sisson - Curbed.com - For Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of the Greek yogurt-making giant Chobani, Twin Falls, Idaho, helped his company expand in ways he could barely imagine when he arrived in the United States in 1994 as a Turkish college student who didn’t speak English. The small city of 48,000 in the Magic Valley, an agricultural center in the southern part of the state, home to the company’s 1 million-square-foot factory, will soon be the centerpiece of a new chapter for Chobani, one of the last decade’s most successful new food brands.

The American Turkish Society Announces its Sixth Class of "Young Society Leaders"

NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Turkish Society is pleased to announce the sixth class of "Young Society Leaders," a group of 25 accomplished professionals with a demonstrated record of leadership ability and commitment to serve the U.S.-Turkish community at large. "We welcome the new class of Young Society Leaders and are extremely pleased to have an opportunity to recognize and work with these outstanding young leaders who will help form the dialogue and ties between our two countries," said Larry Kaye, Vice Chairman of The American Turkish Society who is overseeing the Young Society Leaders program.

What Is Atilla Case In the US About?

The US case against the Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab turned against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former deputy CEO of Turkey's Halkbank, after Zarrab pleaded guilty and made an agreement with the New York prosecutor’s office. A US prosecutor ordered the arrest of an Iranian-Turkish businessman in March 2016 for breaching US sanctions on Iran. After two months, those sanctions were lifted. Preet Bharara announced in a social media post, “Reza Zarrab to soon face American justice in a Manhattan courtroom.” Zarrab has been under arrest for more than 22 months, and has been accused of money laundering, and fraud against the US and its banking system. However, before the first day of his trial, his role was changed from a defendant to a witness.  

Zarrab Spoke of the Need 'To Lie to Get Out of Prison' - Defence Lawyers

Reza Zarrab's has proclaimed his willingness to lie in exchange for leniency, according to a letter submitted in court by the lawyers for Halkbank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who is charged with scheming to violate US sanctions against Iran. In a September 2016 recording, Zarrab is quoted as saying that there was a perceived need when incarcerated in the US to lie "in order to get out or to get a reduced sentence" and that "you need to admit to crimes you haven't committed" to get out of prison, the lawyers said.

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Zarrab Acts As Witness During Atilla Trial, Cooperates with US Prosecutors

Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab on Wednesday accepted all charges that he was accused of and agreed to cooperate with US prosecutors against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy general manager of Turkey's Halkbank. The businessman was detained last year on charges of violating sanctions against Iran while Atilla was arrested in the US earlier this year on similar charges of sanctions violations. US prosecutors have charged nine people in the case, although only Zarrab and Atilla have been arrested by US authorities. The hearing began on Tuesday after US District Judge Richard Berman rejected a request by Atilla’s lawyers for a two-week delay.

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