TCA Facilitates Chukchansi Tribe Meetings in Washington

TCA helped to facilitate the first visit to Washington, DC of the newly elected Chukchansi Tribal Council and its Chairwoman Claudia Gonzales, February 1-3, 2016. The Chukchansi delegation travelled to the nation’s capital to pay courtesy calls to federal agencies and members of Congress and to discuss business opportunities between the Chukchansi Tribe and Turkish companies. On Capitol Hill, TCA facilitated an introduction to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI/1st) and Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV/2nd), who recently introduced a bill promoting a Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Turkey. After talking with the Chukchansi delegation, Rep. Mooney offered to look into amending the bill to benefit tribal nations.

TCA Participates in Annual ATAA Conference

On February 25, as part of the Assembly of Turkish American Association’s (ATAA) 36th Annual National Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, TCA hosted conference participants at its headquarters for a presentation on the Congressional Turkey Caucus and grassroots political activism. Two former members of Congress - Jim Moran (D-VA) and Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) - also spoke with attendees about activism, political engagement, and current U.S. politics. ATAA members then went to meet with their respective members of Congress on Capitol Hill. On February 27, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy moderated a panel discussion on grassroots organization, engagement of the Turkish American community, and activism in the United States.

TCA Announces Grants for Turkish American Organizations

On February 27, at ATAA’s Annual Gala and Awards Ceremony of its annual conference, TCA announced grant awards of $5,000 each for three outstanding component associations of ATAA: the American Turkish Association of Washington DC (ATA-DC), the American Turkish Association of North Carolina (ATA-NC), and the American Turkish Association of Southern California (ATASC). The awards were given to promote and recognize excellence in grassroots organization, engagement with the Turkish American community, and outreach to elected officials in the United States. Criteria included organization membership, promotion of Turkish culture and heritage in the community, advocacy, civic activism, and educational programs for young Turkish Americans.

Turkey Caucus Grows

The Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans reached 154 members with the addition of Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS/4th) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM/3rd). Currently, the Turkey Caucus is represented in 43 out of the 50 states and all six of the 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 Hosts Meet and Greet with Congressman Don Beyer

On February 28, TCA hosted a meet and greet for the Turkish American community and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA/8th). Congressman Beyer, who is a member of the Turkey Caucus, was able to meet with representatives from the Washington, DC metropolitan area and hear their perspectives on various issues facing the U.S. Congress.

TCA President Visits Florida and Canada

In February, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy traveled to Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Ottawa and Toronto, Canada, where he discussed U.S.-Turkey relations and grassroots organization and activism with the Turkish American and Turkish Canadian communities. In Florida, he met with representatives of the Florida Turkish American Association (FTAA), and in Canada he participated in two forums and briefed participants on TCA’s programs and activities. McCurdy also met with Turkish Ambassador to Canada, Selcuk Unal, and the Turkish Consul General in Toronto, Erdeniz Sen.

TCA Scholarship Program for Students of Minority and Heritage Communities

One student was selected as a recipient of the TCA Study Abroad Scholarship for Students of Minority and Heritage Communities in February, bringing the total number of scholarship recipients to 470 since the program began 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 student who received a scholarship in February attends San Francisco State University.

TCA Accepting Applications for the 2016 Turkey Study Tour Grant

TCA is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for the 2016 TCA Turkey Study Tour Grant. Established in 2011, the TCA Turkey Study Tour Grant supports educational travel programs to Turkey by American universities and educational institutions. It subsidizes participation costs for students and provides a general incentive to institutions to choose Turkey as a study tour destination. All applications must follow the proposed letter of intent format, which can be found on the TCA website. Only institutions planning an educational study tour program to Turkey between April 2016 and April 2017 may apply. All applications are due Wednesday, March 23, 2016.