Special Representative to Muslim Communities Shaarik Zafar, visited Ankara on December 14, 2015. He held range of meetings with both government interlocutors and members of Turkey’s vibrant civil society. Among other things, Special Representative Zafar discussed anti-Muslim sentiment, ways to better combat extremism, and explored ways the United States and Turkey can work together on these issues. He also met with representatives of several Alevi organizations to learn more about recent developments within their community.
Special Representative Zafar took time to visit Tevfik İleri İmam Hatip School students in Ankara. Tevfik İleri İmam Hatip students asked questions about the lives of American Muslims in the U.S., how extremism damages Muslim communities around the world and what students themselves can do to tackle this tough issue. Special Representative Zafar talked about his first-hand experiences as a Muslim in the U.S. and touched on the importance of the religious freedom the U.S. provides for all people, regardless of their religious background.