Monday, November 11, 2019

National Press Club
Holeman Lounge
529 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20045

11:00am – 2:30pm


Ahmet Yayla
Former chief of Turkish National Police Counterterrorism Division

Theo Padnos
Award-winning journalist and author; former hostage kidnapped by Al Qaeda in Syria for two years in 2012

Adam Klasfeld
Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld; distinctive coverage of Turkish money laundering cases in New York

Michael Rubin
Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he researches Arab politics, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran, Iraq, the Kurds, terrorism, and Turkey.

A former Pentagon official, Dr. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, and both pre- and postwar Iraq, and he spent time with the Taliban before 9/11.

David Phillips
Director of Peace Building and Human Rights Program, Columbia University. Former US State Department advisor during the administration of President Clinton, Bush, and Obama

Special Video Report
Award-winning journalist and board member of TIJ, Lindsey Snell provides a video report from the ground in Qamishili, Syria after visiting a prison housing hundreds of ISIS fighters and witnessing the agony of civilians enduring the Turkish invasion

Event Description

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promised to end decades of economic mismanagement, repressive laws and corrupt politics in Turkey when he first established the Justice and Development Party in 2001.

Erdoğan became popular because he claimed to be an honest politician, assured more freedoms for the people of Turkey, and railed against dishonesty, corruption, and fraud.

Over two decades, as Erdoğan secured his political dynasty, he forgot and willfully abandoned the promises he made, steering Turkey from an open, democratic society toward an authoritarian regime, all the while crushing his opponents with an iron fist.

The Turkish president’s invasion of Northeast Syria signals a return of Turkish dominance in the region. For years, Erdoğan has nurtured, financed, and supported extremist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda inside Syria, and others all over the region.

Turkey has invaded Syria, while ethnically cleansing Kurds, and the U.S. has retreated to Iraq. Turkey is a NATO ally and a radical regime. Turkey is exercising its influence over migrants in Europe and gaining a closer relationship to Iran. Turkey suppresses human rights and free speech. Turkey agreed to purchase the S-400 air defense system from Russia knowing it cannot be integrated into the NATO air defense network.

These and many other issues complicate the United States relationship with Turkey. What should United States policy be toward Turkey these days? Should we push away and punish Turkey, likely driving them towards Russia, China and Iran?

With this in mind, we ask: What is a smart policy toward Turkey these days?

Event Program

11:00- 11:05am Mohamed Fahmy – CEO of TIJ Welcomes attendees
Moderated by Tal Heinrich
11:05 – 11:25 Mr. Ahmet Yayla presents an exclusive report highlighting Turkey’s intelligence and influence operations in the U.S. and the groups it sponsors
11:25 – 12:00pm Panel 1
Syria: The recent invasion and Erdogan’s ongoing support to Salafi Jihadist militants including ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliates.
Mr. Theo Padnos, Mr. David Phillips
Coffee Break
12:30pm Special One-on One Interview
Mrs. Tal Heinrich interviews Mr. Ahmet Yayla
1:00pm Lunch
1:45 – 2:30pm Panel 2
Erdoğan’s long arm in the U.S: Turkey’s intelligence aspirations in America and the groups it sponsors.
Mr. Michael Rubin, Mr. Alan Klasfeld

Veteran panelists will analyze President Erdoğan’s war against his own people inside Turkey, the YPG in Syria, and his collaboration and support of Salafi Jihadist terrorist groups in the region as Turkey’s proxies.

Experts will also examine Erdoğan’s long arm in the U.S., focusing on his influence and intelligence operations using different Turkish and American proxies.

This conference aims to hash out these issues with some of the most knowledgeable and smartest analysts, including both Turks and non-Turks, specialists and generalists.

Attendees can register on our Eventbrite page here to join us in person (spots are limited and are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.). If you can’t join us in person, watch online! Here is a link to the live stream page.

Share? Make sure you follow and retweet tweets with the #ErdoganEndGame hashtag on Twitter.

For security reasons, this is an invitation-only event, not open to the public, and your invitation is not transferable.

Registration and breakfast will take place between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The conference will begin promptly at 11:05 a.m.

Attendees are asked to bring their driver’s license or another form of photo identification to the conference registration table to confirm their identity.  If you do not have your I.D., we unfortunately will have to deny you entrance to the event.

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