16 May 2013
The father of a victim of the deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 is accompanying Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdođan on his US visit that kicked off on May 15. Ahmet Dođan, whose son Furkan was among the nine killed during the operation, told Anatolia news agency that he was hoping to meet President Barack Obama and give him information about the ongoing trials of the Israeli soldiers that participated in the raid.
Dođan said that he had written a letter to Obama requesting a meeting but Erdođan had asked him to join the delegation.
“I met with [Erdođan] in Ankara before his departure to Washington. He said that he could give the letter to the U.S. President but that it would be better if I gave it him in person. So he asked me to join the delegation,” Dođan said, adding that he wanted to talk about the progress of the trials in the United States. “I intend to give him information on the latest developments regarding the trials and talk about Furkan’s situation if I can meet him in person,” he said.
Erdođan lays the foundation of a cultural center
Meanwhile Erdođan has laid the foundation for a Turkish-American cultural center in Maryland during his first public event in the US. Erdođan said that the project would be an important center reflecting the “alliance of civilizations.” “In a period marked by Islamophobia, this center will express the brotherhood showing how wrong [Islamophobia] is,” he said.