Washington, DC, March 31, 2010 – On Sunday, March 28, three members of Congress, their spouses and several senior Congressional staffers arrived in Turkey. Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), the Chair of the Congressional Turkish Caucus, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), and Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), and members of staff from Congressional leadership offices will participate in this trip to Turkey.
Over the duration of the trip, the members of Congress will meet with senior government officials as well as civic and business leaders. Additionally, members will be participating in the opening gala for the Jazz Department at Hacettepe University, which will be the only institution in Turkey dedicated to the study of Jazz. The university will begin its first Jazz courses in September 2010. The student body will include 10 of the most talented young Jazz musicians in Turkey.
“The event at Hacettepe is poignant illustration that the cultural ties that bind the US and Turkey far outweigh our differences,” said G. Lincoln McCurdy, President of the Turkish Coalition of America. “We hope this visit is able to send a message to the US State Department and the Administration that the US-Turkey relationship must be a priority in our nation’s foreign policy. We encourage the Administration to continue their diplomatic efforts to resolve the differences between the two nations.”