NYC Mayor Had Unreported Meeting With Pro-Erdogan Group Amid FBI Investigation

February 26, 2024

New York City mayor Eric Adams (D.) had an unreported meeting with a pro-Erdogan Turkish group last year, while his campaign was under an investigation by the FBI over whether it received money from the Turkish government.

The Turkish American National Steering Committee was one organizer of an Oct. 9 event that participants described as a fundraiser for Adams's 2025 reelection campaign, according to a Monday report from the New York Daily News. Adams and one of his aides attended the event. As the Washington Free Beacon has reported, the Turkish-American advocacy groups has ties to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Members of Erdogan's family founded the group, and it has faced accusations of boosting American candidates who might favor Erdogan.

New York City laws require candidates to report any "intermediaries" who host fundraisers for them in which donors make gifts over $500, but the campaign did not do so, according to the Daily News. Nor has the campaign filed other paperwork regarding the event.

A lawyer for the campaign told the Daily News that the event did occur but would not say whether it considered the meeting a fundraiser or why it did not report intermediaries.

The October event took place amid the FBI's investigation into whether the Turkish government illegally gave funds to Adams's 2021 mayoral campaign. A month after the meeting took place, the bureau seized Adams's phones as part of the probe, which has been ongoing at least since spring 2023. Adams has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case.

Adams at the end of 2023 dismissed a question on whether he would step aside from his position if authorities indict him.

"I think it's ridiculous for somebody to say, 'if there's an indictment,'" Adams said in an interview with a local TV station. "People are throwing these words out there. Let the process carry out. That is what's great about our country: There is a due process system in place. I am going to serve as the mayor of this city and navigate us through this."