|2016 TCA Washington Summer Interns|
In summer 2016, 14 young Turkish Americans from across the country completed internships in Washington, DC as a part of the 2016 TCA Washington Summer Internship Program. The program provides an opportunity for Turkish American college students and recent graduates to work in the nation’s capital. It aims to foster young Turkish Americans’ interest in public affairs and service as well as enhance their knowledge of American political life. Interns worked with members of the U.S. Congress and select governmental and non-governmental organizations. A total of 14 Turkish Americans and two friends of Turkey interned through TCA this summer.
Since the program’s inception in 2007, TCA has provided a total of 162 internship opportunities to Turkish Americans and friends of Turkey.
The 2016 TCA interns worked in the offices of Representatives Robert Aderholt (R-AL/4th), Barbara Comstock (R-VA/10th), Henry Cuellar (D-TX/28th), Alan Grayson (D-FL/9th), Frank Guinta (R-NH/1st), Alcee Hastings (D-FL/20th), and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL/16th), as well as at the following organizations: the American Turkish Council (ATC), the Atlantic Council, the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS), the Turkish Heritage Organization (THO), and the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA).
As a part of the Washington Summer Intern Program, TCA hosted the annual Summer Intern Orientation Session at its Washington, DC office on July 22. Interns gathered for a day of professional development and briefings about TCA, the Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF), the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund (TALDF), The Turkish American community, and political activism and engagement in the U.S.
|2016 Washington Summer Interns|
|Zeynep Ella Abat Originally from outside of Chicago, Ella is a rising sophomore at DePaul university where she studies business and computer science. She is on the crew team and she enjoys swimming and snowboarding. This summer she interned with the office of Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL/16th)|
|Gulnaz Allaniyazova Gulnaz was born and raised in Uzbekistan, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Economics at Karakalpak State University. In December 2014 she moved to the U.S. to pursue her MBA at the University of the District of Columbia. She also has a keen interest in International Relations and would like to focus on International Business in her future career. Currently Gulnaz is an intern at the Turkish Coalition of America.|
|Selin Altintas Selin is a rising sophomore at The George Washington University in the Elliott School of International Affairs, majoring in International Politics. An aspiring lawyer, she is involved in the Turkish American Student Association, the International Affairs Society, and a club volleyball team. Although she was born and raised in Maryland, her frequent visits to Turkey have fostered a strong pride for her Turkish identity. She interned at the Turkish Coalition of America office this summer.|
|Erin Cetindag Erin is from Springfield, Illinois, and is a rising sophomore at American University studying International Relations. She is very interested in International Development and hopes to work with education sector in the future. In her free time she loves playing tennis and used to teach it every summer. This summer she interned at the Turkish Heritage Organization (THO), where she enjoyed learning how the organization works on a day-to-day basis.|
|Deniz Citak Deniz Citak grew up in Pennsylvania and is an incoming senior at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service focusing on Middle Eastern and Western European Studies. At Georgetown, Deniz writes for The Caravel, an international relations student publication, and is involved in the Turkish Students Association. He is considering careers in government, diplomacy, journalism, and consulting. This summer, he interned at the Atlantic Council.|
|Deniz Demirci Deniz was born in Flint, Michigan and now lives in Connecticut. She attended high school at Choate Rosemary Hall and is now a rising sophomore at Boston College where she is majoring in Political Science with an Arabic Studies minor. Deniz is a staff writer for the Arts page of the Boston College newspaper, The Heights, and also works for the Boston College radio station, WZBC FM. This summer, she interned at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).|
|Melody Ege Melody grew up in the small town of Ashburn, Virginia. She spent her summers in Turkey and still travels to Izmir, Bodrum, and Istanbul quite often. She is also a rising Junior at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) studying Political Science and Psychology, and in the future would like to become a United States senator. This summer, she interned with the office of Congressman Barbara Comstock (R-VA/10th) and with the Turkish Coalition of America.|
|Ismail Ercan Ismail is a rising sophomore at Vanderbilt University. He is a Political Science and Music major, and is hoping to minor in Spanish as well. He has previously interned at the Miami Herald where he worked as a community reporter. At Vanderbilt, he has played violin for the Vanderbilt University Orchestra, has played on the club tennis team, and had a weekly show on the campus radio station. He is planning on attending law school and is strongly considering a career in public policy or political journalism. In his free time he enjoys writing and performing violin duet pop covers in his group Four Strings Attached. This summer he interned with the office of Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL/9th).|
|Victor Hibbeln Victor is a rising Senior at Michigan State University, and will graduate in 2017 with a degree in International Relations. Originally from Rochester, Michigan, he has studied abroad in Salvador, Brazil; Brussels, Belgium; and Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey. He is also currently taking Turkish language courses. In the future, he would like to work for the U.S. government with a focus on U.S.-Turkey relations. This summer, he interned with the Turkish Coalition of America.|
|Adam Karayel Adam was raised in Istanbul, Turkey, and previously studied Engineering at Istanbul University. Currently he is pursuing a Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Florida. His bi-cultural background and focus on U.S.-Turkey relations has led him to a number of volunteer opportunities and community roles. This summer he interned with the office of Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL/20th).|
|Madina Khurishanova Madina is Ahiska Turkish. She was born in Russia and immigrated to the U.S. in 2006. Currently she is a rising sophomore at George Mason University majoring in Health Administration and is planning to attend medical school. At George Mason, she is working on social justice and human rights advocacy. This summer, she interned at the Turkish Heritage Organization (THO).|
|Ali Nielsen Ali grew up in California and Iowa. He is currently studying International and Comparative Politics at the American University of Paris in France. After graduation, he would like to be involved in international politics and diplomacy. This summer he interned at the Turkish Coalition of America.|
|Yusuf Ozen Originally from Rochester, New York, Yusuf is an incoming upcoming Junior at the Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in International and Global Studies. After graduation he plans to continue onto graduate school and eventually would like to pursue public office. His hobbies include watching documentaries, reading, traveling and cooking. This summer he interned with the offices of Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH/1st) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX/28th).|
|Anne Layton Oztekin Originally from just outside of Burmingham, Alabama, Anne Layton is a rising Sophomore at the University of Maryland majoring in Arabic Studies and Linguistics. She is currently learning Turkish in school, and hopes to one day utilize her Turkish skills in her career. This summer she interned with the office of Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL/4th) and with the Turkish Coalition of America.|
|Theresa Reichstadt Originally from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, Theresa is a rising Sophomore at the University of Tampa studying Economics. She is the Career Services Chair of the Delta Zeta Sorority and also participates in the Adam Smith Society and Investment Club. She enjoys running and doing anything outdoors, as well as painting and photography. She would like to work on economic policy between the U.S. and Turkey after finishing school. This summer she interned at the American Turkish Council (ATC).|
|Zeynep Yekeler Zeynep is from Istanbul, Turkey. She received her B.A. in Economics from Tufts University and recently graduated from Georgetown University with a Masters in Public Policy. This summer, she interned with the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and following her internship she hopes to pursue her PhD in Political Science.|