Newly-elected New York City mayor Eric Adams declared himself as a “Friend of the Turkish people” in his first international interview after his elevation to the city’s highest office on November 19.
In his talk with interviewers from the national Turkish press agency Anadolu, the Democratic mayor elect of the city praised the Turkish American community in New York, saying they were “great contributors to our economy.”
He then stated “I’m a friend of the Turkish people here and abroad. I have a large Turkish population that lives in Brooklyn, probably one of the largest in our country.
“We are going to put together delegations that would involve business leaders to look at how to do business here in New York and how we can do business in Turkey,” Adams added.
Eric Adams has traveled to Turkey six times, wants to further business and cultural relations
Saying that he has traveled to Turkey no less than six times in the past, Adams told interviewers that he will be encouraging young Americans to visit the country, adding “as we bring young Turkish students here to New York to enjoy the rich culture here as well.”
Adams then stated that he is looking forward to traveling more in the future himself.
He then praised the Turkish people, saying they “have had an excellent ability to maintain the history as well as an extremely modern city” in Istanbul (Constantinople.)
“And it’s that combination that draws you into understanding how Turkey has played a major role in shaping mankind and continues to do so in shaping the future,” the Democratic mayor-elect added.
The remarks and praise for a nation that invaded the island nation of Cyprus in 1974, destroying much of its Greek and Christian heritage, will doubtless rankle the feelings of Greek-Americans, many of whom live in the New York area and supported the Democratic mayoral candidate, who ran against Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa.
New York Mayor was once a police officer
Adams’ opponent was the founder of the Guardian Angels anti-crime group. Silwa had started the group in the 1970’s at the age of 24 during what was the most notoriously dangerous era in the city’s history, when crime was pervasive on public transit and Times Square was a completely unrecognizable den of crime.
But Silwa, who has been prone to media stunts and instability since then, also lacked formal experience as an elected official. Adams, on the other hand, spent years as a police officer in New York after having his own experiences with police brutality and petty crime as a youth on the streets of the city.
His early life inspired him to become a police officer himself, and change policing from the inside. Adams was later elected president of the borough of Brooklyn.
“I grew up poor in Brooklyn and Queens. I wore a bulletproof vest to keep my neighbors safe. I served my community as a state senator and Brooklyn borough president,” Adams said in a statement shared on Twitter. “And I’m honored to be the Democratic nominee to be the mayor of the city I’ve always called home.”