Federal agents executed warrants on November 2 on the New Jersey homes of Rana Abbasova, director of protocol in Adams’ Office for International Affairs, and Cenk Öcal, an ex-Turkish Airlines executive who was on his transition team.
Abbasova, 41, was Adam’s longtime liaison to the Turkish community when he served as Brooklyn borough president, The New York Times reports.
Meanwhile Öcal was the general manager of the New York office of Turkish Airline until early 2022.
The mayor’s office had described Abbasova as an aide who ‘acted improperly‘ after the FBI took Adams’ electronics as part of the agency’s probe into an alleged campaign kickback scheme.
Boyd Johnson, the lawyer for the Adams’ campaign, said the employee, now known to be Abbasova, had been reported to investigators. He did not identify the person or give details of the alleged improper conduct.
Federal agents executed warrants on November 2 on the New Jersey home of Rana Abbasova, director of protocol in the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs
Cenk Öcal was the general manager of the New York office of Turkish Airline until early 2022
The mayor’s office had described Abbasova as an aide who ‘acted improperly ‘
The lawyer said at the time: ‘After learning of the federal investigation, it was discovered that an individual had recently acted improperly… In the spirit of transparency and cooperation, this behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators.’
Abbasova’s alleged ‘improper’ behavior is thought to be related to a FBI investigation into whether Adams’ campaign conspired with a Brooklyn construction company and the Turkish government to funnel foreign money into the campaign’s coffers.
Sources claimed on Wednesday that Abbasova had lied to federal investigators, the New York Post reported.
Investigators looking into potential campaign finance violations by New York’s mayor have been focusing on a series of text messages discussing a new Turkish consulate in the city.
Reyhan Ozgur, the Turkish consul in New York City, asked Adams for his help in obtaining the necessary permits for his new consulate, opposite the United Nations
Daniel Nigro, the fire commissioner of New York City, was contacted by Eric Adams and asked for help
The New York Post reported that agents are particularly interested in a conversation Adams had in September 2021 – before he was mayor – about work on the Turkish consulate in Manhattan.
Reyhan Ozgur, the Turkish consul, told Adams in a text that the new consulate had received the permits needed from the Buildings Department to open, but did not have the Fire Department certificate.
It still had to secure a ‘temporary certificate of occupancy’ from the Fire Department, Ozgur said, and asked Adams if he knew Daniel Nigro, the fire chief, and could help.
Adams contacted Nigro and asked him to look into the matter – but did not order him to do anything. Nigro then texted Adams and said the approval was being prepared, and would be ready within days.
Abbasova’s biography on the City Hall page describes her role as fostering ‘closer relationships between the City of New York and the broader diplomatic community’.
She also ‘manages engagements with foreign dignitaries’.
But a source alleges that earlier this year she took on a new role in the mayor’s unit of events planning, working as a ‘body person’ who traveled with the mayor.
They said: ‘Rana was a quiet, unassuming person.’
Agents searched the home of Brianna Suggs , a campaign consultant who has helped Adams raise $2.5million for his 2025 election
Agents in FBI vests were among those who removed boxes from the home
It comes after the FBI seized the mayor’s electronic devices last week – after a raid on the home of his top fundraiser and longtime confidante Brianna Suggs, 25, as part of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme.
FBI agents seized New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ cellphones and an iPad after stopping him in the middle of the street.
After news of his devices being seized broke, Adams told CNN ‘he has nothing to hide.’
He said: ‘As a former member of law enforcement, I expect all members of my staff to follow the law and fully cooperate with any sort of investigation — and I will continue to do exactly that.’
The New York Times reported that FBI officials approached the Democrat on Monday night on the street and asked for this security team to step away. The agents then climbed into Adams’ SUV and took his devices – at least two cellphones and an iPad.
The devices were returned to Adams within a couple of days. The FBI can make copies of the data of seized devices if they have a search warrant.
Adams has said he would be ‘shocked and hurt’ if officials found his campaign had done anything illegal.
After the FBI seized his phones and iPad last week, the first-term Democrat reiterated Tuesday that he was cooperating with what he called a ‘review’ and said he wouldn’t speculate on its outcome.
Insisting that he didn’t want to impede the investigation, he and his chief City Hall lawyer declined to say whether other administration or campaign figures’ electronics were turned over, whether the FBI had asked to interview the mayor, or who or what another Adams attorney meant in saying last week that ‘an individual had recently acted improperly.’
The federal investigation burst into public view on Nov. 2 when agents searched the home of Adams’ chief fundraiser during his 2021 mayoral campaign, Briana Suggs. The development prompted Adams to bail out of a scheduled White House meeting and fly home from Washington, later explaining he wanted to be among his staffers because ‘a leader needs to be here during those difficult times.’
Four days later after the search at Suggs’ home, FBI agents stopped Adams as he was leaving a public event, asked his police security detail to step away and took his electronic devices.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, which is overseeing the probe, is declining to comment. A spokesperson for Suggs has also declined to comment. Neither she nor Adams has been accused of wrongdoing.