Jewish Groups Urge Bush to Support Turkey

WASHINGTON–The Assembly of Turkish American Associations reported that nine prominent Jewish organizations in the United States wrote a letter to President George W. Bush–urging him to support Turkey–and in light of the Sept. 11 aftermath–consider increasing US Assistance to that country. Below is the text of the letter to President Bush.

Dear Mr. President:

As Jewish organizations representing the strong consensus of local Jewish communities and national leadership across the United States–we are writing to reiterate our support for the Republic of Turkey and its people.

Once again–Turkey – a secular nation with an overwhelmingly Muslim majority – stands resolutely in solidarity with the United States in a common defense of freedom. As in every major international crisis of the past fifty years–Turkey has made a principled decision in support of American interests – acknowledging that our two nations do indeed share a strategic partnership.

After the United States was attacked on September 11–2001–Turkey was one of the strongest and most immediate advocates for invoking Article V of the NATO Treaty. Additionally–Turkey’s extensive relationship with Israel on social–economic–and military issues has wavered not one bit.

Still–this critical ally is in need of additional economic assistance. As scholar Bulent Aliriza of the Center for Strategic and International Studies pointed out recently–"Turkish policymakers and citizens continue to be preoccupied by the daily effects of the country’s continuing economic crisis–which has devastated the industrial sector–lowered living standards–raised unemployment–and jeopardized Turkey’s international financial solvency." It cannot be stressed enough that Turkey’s economic crisis has only been exacerbated since September 11–with the nation’s tourism industry having become the latest casualty.

Accordingly–we urge your consideration of additional American support to Turkey. Whether such assistance consisted of debt forgiveness–trade concessions–and/or further International Monetary Fund relief–we believe such consideration is timely and appropriate.

Thank you for your kind attention and for your outstanding leadership in the war against terrorism.

Sincerely,

American Jewish Committee; American Jewish Congress; Anti-Defamation League; B’nai B’rith International; Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Hadassah – The Women’s Zionist Organization of America; Jewish Council for Public Affairs; Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs; Orthodox Union

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