Eric Adams: The mayor of New York, in the spotlight for alleged donations from Turkey to his campaign in 2021 | International

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Eric Adams, mayor of New York, on December 20, 2022 at a public event.Ted Shaffrey (AP)

Shortly after Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Upper House, was accused of receiving money from Egypt, the mayor of New York, also a Democrat Eric Adams, is tarnished by the alleged links of his campaign with donations from Turkey. The federal investigation into the origin of modest contributions from an unknown Turkish university in Washington to Adams' capital has fallen like a bomb on the eve of the local elections, which will be held this Tuesday, and clouds the councilor's expectations to be re-elected in 2025. An FBI raid on the residence of one of Adams' top fundraisers, Brianna Suggs, 25, uncovered Pandora's box last Thursday.

Evidence establishes that less than two months before the 2021 municipal elections, Adams' campaign received five donations of $2,000 each from people listed as employees of Bay Atlantic University, a small Turkish-owned institution based in Washington. . These contributions are being analyzed within the framework of the federal investigation. The campaign returned all donations within weeks because, according to a spokesperson for the mayor, “it had more money than it could spend.”

In addition to Suggs' house in Brooklyn, who despite his youth has collaborated with the mayor since he presided over that borough, the federal investigation also points to KSK Construction, a construction company owned by a citizen of Turkish origin who also did more than a dozen donations to the mayor's 2021 campaign. KSK, which specializes in residential buildings and hotels, has a discreet headquarters in Brooklyn and its facade, at least last week, did not show any signs of activity, despite the fact that, according to municipal records, it has 33 active employees on construction sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.

According to the documentation to which the digital newspaper has had access The Cityone of the numerous, and excellent, media on-line local information, years before KSK's involvement in the alleged plot surrounding the mayor became public, the company's CEO, Erden Arkan, ran another company called Kiska Construction. The company was linked to two consecutive corruption scandals linked to bribes to municipal workers on large public works projects in 2007 and 2008.

At issue is whether the Adams campaign conspired with the university and the construction company to illegally funnel foreign money into campaign coffers. According to federal law, it is illegal for any federal or local campaign to accept money from foreign citizens because otherwise those involved, as Menendez's indictment recalls, are accused of being “foreign agents.” According to a federal order obtained by the newspaper The New York Timesinvestigators are studying possible collusion between the campaign and the Turkish government, among other illegal activities. The raid comes months after Manhattan prosecutors charged six people with allegedly coordinating illegal donations to the mayor's 2021 campaign.

Adams, who visited the university's headquarters in Turkey in 2015, responded in a statement released Friday that he is “outraged and furious if anyone attempted to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and mislead us.” The councilor claims to have no knowledge of improper fundraising activities or the involvement of foreign money. It is not the first scandal that threatens him, but it is the most serious; So much so that on Thursday it forced him to cancel on the fly a visit scheduled for months to the White House and return to the city on the run. His re-election, in 2025, seems more doubtful today, despite the fact that a Democratic mayor in New York is almost impossible to beat. His fundraising machinery is working at full capacity, deterring any potential competitors, but Adams's marked differences with the left wing of his party, which may deepen in this case, plus the two criminal investigations, federal and local, into his fundraising machinery, have given wings to his political enemies, who especially criticize his management of the migration crisis.

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