On March 25, 2015, TCA hosted the first ever business forum on the American political system in Washington, D.C. for executives of Turkish-owned companies in the U.S., major Turkish American businesses, and interested American companies. Over 30 representatives from companies and business associations took part in the program, which provided an opportunity for participants to learn how to effectively communicate their business issues and interests to elected officials.
In the morning, Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic hosted TCA forum participants and Turkish parliamentarians for a roundtable discussion with Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, H.E. Cemil Cicek. Afterwards at TCA headquarters, Dr. Kemal Kirisci of the Brookings Institution gave the luncheon keynote speech about the economic aspects of U.S.-Turkey relations and the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for Turkey. In the afternoon, forum participants had briefings about the 114th Congress, the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, the legal perspectives on corporate political activism, and the activities of Turkish American grassroots organizations. They also heard a presentation from Coca-Cola about how to be good corporate citizens in their communities and the importance of being engaged in the political process.
Later that afternoon, the group met with eight members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, including Co-Chairs of the Turkey Caucus. Members of Congress briefed participants on the impact of legislation on their businesses and the importance of maintaining a good dialogue with their elected officials. Topics included Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), industry issues, and issues of concern to the Turkish American community.
The day’s activities ended with the group attending the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress 18th Annual Statesmanship Awards Dinner of which TCA was a major sponsor.
Above: One of the Capitol Hill meetings; Left: Roundtable discussion with the Turkish Ambassador and the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament; Right: Briefing at TCA