Adams visits Turkey on peace mission
Says U.S. should accept Syrian refugees
Borough President Eric L. Adams visited Turkey on a six-day mission aimed at spreading a message of trans-Atlantic solidarity.
Adams met with the mayors of the Beşiktaş and Üsküdar districts of Istanbul, which have signed sister city agreements with Brooklyn. The discussions included efforts on educational collaboration and the fight against radicalization, and the idea of growing relationships between young people of different cultures through digital platforms.
Adams also visited the Nizip refugee camp near the Syrian border to donate clothes to children and families and deliver holiday greetings created by students at P.S. 133 in Park Slope.
Adams arrived in Turkey on Dec. 8.
The borough president told the New York Daily News in an interview that the U.S. should welcome Syrian refugees. “If we allow them in and allow them to learn our standard of living, instead of hating Americans they will embrace Americans,” the Daily News quoted Adams as saying.
During his visit to Turkey, Adams emphasized the need to strengthen the resolve of Brooklynites and their allies around the world in combating terrorism through international cooperation.
“Brooklynites, strengthened by our diversity and committed to a safer world for raising healthy children and families, stand with our friends in Turkey, Syria and all those who are threatened by the cowardice of terrorism,” Adams said. “As our sister cities face terror, as thousands of youth are refugees fighting for their right to live without fear, Brooklyn is there to provide whatever support we can.”
Another highlight of the trip was when Adams delivered the keynote address at the World Tourism Forum at the 2015 Mediterranean meeting in Antalya. His speech focused on meeting the challenges of terrorism while growing the tourism industry and balancing the concerns of local communities.
His comments included a discussion of his ongoing efforts to strengthen security at soft targets in Brooklyn. Adams emphasized the need for businesses to invest in counterterrorism training and partner closely with law enforcement. He also said it is important for visitors to be educated through tourism agencies on local safety protocols.
“We will not run and hide like some would hope, or close our borders like other fear mongers might suggest. We will be a city with open arms and vigilant eyes. Visitor activity presents an opportunity for real economic impact and cultural exchange through tourism, as well as an obligation to keep everyone who comes into Brooklyn and New York City, in addition to the millions that live and work there every day, safe and secure,” Adams said.
The borough president’s itinerary also included visits with the director general for consular affairs of the foreign ministry of Turkey as well as the mayors of Antalya, Turkey’s largest city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea; Çankaya, the central metropolitan district of the Turkish capital of Ankara; and Gaziantep, a city in the southeastern Anatolian region.
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