* As members of the Maryland Turkish Community, we are deeply saddened with the death of George Floyd and extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. We pray that God will give his loved ones and friends strength. 

Our community members are outraged and our hearts are broken because of this tragic event. We are shocked and sincerely grieve the death of George Floyd as we have for Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Freddie Gray, and the many others before. It is saddening to see countless innocent lives murdered due to the prejudiced behaviors present in our society. We can’t breathe!

** We believe that each and every one of us is a child created by God and given a life to be used to the fullest extent. Cutting one’s life short is a crime that is equivalent to destroying the entire humanity. Likewise, saving an individual soul is also an equivalent of saving the entire humanity. As lifelong supporters of freedom and justice for all, we pray and hope that necessary steps will be taken by law enforcement entities and the community at large to protect the rights of citizens while preventing the use of unjust disproportionate force against civilians.

*** While the death of George Floyd is a crime against humanity, so are the acts of looting, ransacking personal and corporate property, and causing harm to individuals using this tragic death as a pretext! It is also unjust and unfair to assume every police officer as one of those responsible for Mr. Floyd’s death. Keeping social order and posing no harm to others are essentials of living together in harmony.

Our support is with those making a difference in the peaceful protests throughout the country and globally. We believe that along with working towards building understanding and empathy, we must also take action to assist in preventing any further acts of discrimination in the future. We must do our part in making change to fight against prejudiced behavior that impacts our black peers. We pray that we will be able to convert these difficult days into opportunities of understanding one another and the building of a stronger social fabric.