Upcoming TCA Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress

Preparations are in full swing for TCA's Second Annual Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress in Washington, DC, November 5-8, 2015. TCA has received a record number of applications, and acceptances will be out soon. The Youth Leadership Congress is open to undergraduate/graduate students and recent graduates of Turkish American heritage who wish to become active in American civic and political life, contribute to U.S.-Turkey relations and the Turkish American community, and are committed to advancing the TCA mission.

Turkey Caucus Gains Two New Members

The Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans reached 147 members by the end of September with the addition of Congressman Keith Rothfus (R-PA/12th) and Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN/6th). Currently, the Turkey Caucus is represented in 41 of the 50 U.S. states and 4 of the 6 U.S. Territories. The Turkey Caucus is a bi-partisan platform for members of Congress to focus on U.S.-Turkey relations and issues that concern Turkish Americans.

TCA Event Kicks Off Turkish Heritage Month on Capitol Hill

TCA sponsored a reception on Capitol Hill on September 9 to mark the beginning of the Fourth Annual Turkish Heritage Month in Washington, DC, organized by the American Turkish Association of Washington, DC (ATA-DC). Throughout the month, ATA-DC organized a variety of events showcasing the rich cultural history of Turkey, authentic Turkish cuisine, and Turkish fine arts. Several members of Congress attended the reception, including Turkey Caucus co-chairs Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC/5th) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY/1st) as well as Turkey Caucus members Reps. Alex Mooney (R-WV/2nd), Joe Wilson (R-SC/2nd), and Steve Chabot (R-OH/1st).

TCA and Turkish American Community Meetings with Members of Congress

In August and September, TCA participated in several meetings with members of Congress and the Turkish American community. In early August, Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MA/4th) met with TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy and Turkish American community members in Maryland and discussed Turkish American issues, U.S.-Turkey relations, and the domestic political environment in the U.S. On August 15, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy attended a coffee hour at the Beverly Hills Hotel with Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY/1st), Congressman George Holding (R-NC/13th), and Turkish Americans in southern California. TCA and members of the Turkish American community also met with Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN/9th). Congressmen Whitfield and Cohen are co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, and Congresswoman Edwards and Congressman Holding are members.

TCA President Attends B20 Summit

On September 3-5, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy attended the B20 Conference in Ankara, which was sponsored by The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). The Business 20 or B20 is a G20 outreach group that represents the international business community. Turkey will be the host of the G20 Summit in Antalya in November 2015, and China will be next year’s host. The B20 event’s keynote speakers included President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Deputy Prime Minister Cevdet Yilmaz, Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde, and Chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent, among others.

While in Turkey, McCurdy also met with the U.S. Embassy, Turkish government representatives, NGO leadership, academics, media representatives, and businesspeople.

TCA Media Outreach

TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy and staff hosted a meeting at TCA headquarters with Michelle Upton, Vice President and Managing Editor at Al-Monitor, and Julian Pecquet, Congressional Correspondent. During the meeting, the group discussed recent media trends in Turkey-related reporting and how to ensure balanced and informed coverage of Turkish issues. In September, TCA was also in contact with the Washington Post in regards to recent coverage of Turkey and the region.

TCA President Participates in Dinner for Prime Minister Davutoglu

On September 25, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy participated in a gala dinner with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his delegation hosted by the Turken Foundation. The event took place at the New York Public Library and members of Congress were also in attendance.

TCA Visits Capitol Hill with TOBB President

TCA facilitated meetings with members of Congress for The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarciklioglu in late September. TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy accompanied Hisarciklioglu to Capitol Hill for sessions with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL/27th), Majority Whip Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA/1st), and Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH/1st), all members of the Turkey Caucus. During the meetings, Hisarciklioglu briefed the members of Congress on TOBB’s B20 initiatives as well as Israeli-Palestinian and Turkish Cypriot-Greek Cypriot commercial cooperation.

TCA Scholarship Program for Students of Minority and Heritage Communities

In August and September, 6 students were selected as recipients of the TCA Study Abroad Scholarship for Students of Minority and Heritage Communities, bringing the total number of scholarship recipients to 452 since the programs inception in 2008. The program benefits American students of African, Armenian, Bosnian, Filipino, Hispanic, Macedonian, and Native American heritage. Scholarships are awarded to eligible undergraduate and graduate students who have been accepted to a university study abroad or language program in Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), or Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The students who received scholarships in August attend schools across the U.S., including SUNY Cobleskill, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and Syracuse University.

TCA Presents about Study Abroad Scholarships in Michigan and Ohio

In September, TCA Project Coordinator Liz Clark travelled to Michigan and Ohio to introduce the TCA Minority Scholarship Program to several universities. She visited the University of Michigan-Dearborn Education Abroad Fair in Dearborn, MI and met with the Bowling Green State University's Study Abroad office in Bowling Green, OH.