SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno met Monday with an important Turkish diplomat. The mayor greeted Consul General Ömür Budak at City Hall Monday afternoon.
The two men met in the mayor’s office to discuss the needs and issues of the Turkish community in Western Massachusetts. Budak told 22News about 35-hundred people of Turkish descent currently live in the western part of the state. He also spoke about the Syrian refugee crisis in his country.
“Half a million of the Syrian kids in Turkey are missing out on schooling right now, so we’re trying to provide healthcare and free education to these people,” Budak said.
Budak told 22News that he hopes President Trump’s visit to the Middle East will help improve the relationship between nations, so they can work together on issues like the refugee crisis and combating terrorism.
As Consul General, Budak represents the interests of Turkish citizens in the United States, and also works to promote friendship between the United States and Turkey. This is different from the diplomatic task of the Turkish ambassador to the United States, who represents the interests of the Turkish government in Washington.