Eric Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign accepted donations from three members of a foundation incorporated by Bilal Erdogan, a son of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and whose board members include Erdogan’s daughter, Esra Albayrak. The campaign is at the center of an FBI probe looking into whether it conspired with the Turkish government to accept illegal foreign contributions.
Adams on Wednesday acknowledged meeting Erdogan while he served as Brooklyn Borough President in response to questions from THE CITY. Under Erdogan, the U.S. State Department has repeatedly cited Turkey for widespread human rights violations including reports of arbitrary killings, torture, and the detention of political opponents, journalists and activists.
Campaign records show that between 2018 and 2021 the Adams campaign received $6,000 from three U.S. citizens who are board members of the charity, the Turken Foundation, which registered as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice last year. Turkish opposition leaders have alleged that the foundation is a vehicle for the Erdogan family to stash away millions outside the country. (The Adams campaign returned $1,000 to one of the individuals for exceeding a $2,100 contribution limit.)