Congressman Pete Sessions Named New Turkey Caucus Co-Chair

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX/32nd) has been named the new Republican Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans. Rep. Sessions will take over for Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY/1st), who retired in August. TCA looks forward to working closely with Rep. Sessions in his new role and continuing the close bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Turkey.

Turkey Caucus Grows

The Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans reached 156 members with the addition of Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA/14th) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA/50th). 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 Meets with Union of Turkish Bar Associations Delegation in Washington

On September 20-21, 2016, TCA met with a delegation from the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) led by TBB President Metin Feyzioglu. TCA hosted a reception on Capitol Hill for the delegation, which was attended by Representatives and Turkey Caucus members Frank Guinta (R-NH/1st), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ/3rd), and Steve Chabot (R-OH/1st). The delegation also attended a breakfast at TCA headquarters in Washington, where TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy briefed the delegation on the political scene in Washington and the upcoming elections in November, and the importance of U.S.-Turkey relations.

TCA Hosts Turkish Parliamentary Delegation in Washington

On September 6, TCA hosted a parliamentary delegation from Turkey at its headquarters in Washington. The delegation was led by Deputy Ravza Kavakci Kan. Other members of the delegation included Deputies Ali Sarikaya, Chairman of US-Turkey Friendship Group in Turkey’s Parliament; Ahmet Berat Conkar; Prof. Dr. Emine Nur Gunay; and Sena Nur Celik. The delegation came to Washington to meet with members of Congress, exchange ideas with U.S. based NGOs, and strengthen the friendship between the U.S. and Turkey. Members of the delegation made their first stop at TCA, where they discussed the importance of maintaining strong U.S.-Turkey relations, the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, TCA programs and activities, and the U.S. political scene and upcoming elections.

Upcoming TCA Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress

Preparations are in full swing for TCA's Third Annual Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress in Washington, DC, November 3-6, 2016. In September, TCA 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.

TCA Syrian Refugee Campaign Update

Since the launch of TCA’s Syrian Refugee Campaign in June 2016, TCA has distributed humanitarian grants to several organizations working directly on the ground with Syrian refugees in Turkey. These organizations include Refugee Volunteers of Izmir (ReVi)butun, Butun Cocuklar Bizim (All Children are Ours), and Sureli Destek (Periodic Support). ReVi has used the grants towards teacher salaries, school materials, and rent towards schools it has opened in the Kadifekale and Basmane distircts of Izmir. Working together, Butun Cocuklar Bizim and Sureli Destek have distributed food, supplies, diapers, and school bags to Syrian families living in the Fatih, Okmeydani, and Kucukcekmece districts of Istanbul. To donate to TCA’s Campaign to Raise $100,000 for Syrian Refugees in Turkey, please click here. TCA will match every dollar contributed up to $100,000 as part of this campaign.

TCA Sponsors Turkish Heritage Month

TCA sponsored the 5th Annual Turkish Heritage Month in Washington, DC, which is organized by the American Turkish Association of Washington DC (ATA-DC). Turkish Heritage Month, which takes place every September, is comprised of a variety events showcasing Turkish culture, traditional arts, cuisine, and movies. These events include workshops, movie screenings and Turkish Restaurant Week as well as the 14th annual Turkish Festival. TCA presented information about its activities and programs at the award-winning festival.

TCA President Meets with Foreign Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy attended a Brookings Institution roundtable with the Foreign Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu. McCurdy also attended a dinner in the Foreign Minister’s honor hosted by the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC).

TCA President Attends Congressional Study Group Roundtables

TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy attended a roundtable forum on Turkey with Kemal Kirisci of the Brookings Institution and Jim Zanotti of the Congressional Library Research Service (CRS). The roundtable was sponsored by the Congressional Study Group on Turkey (CSGT) of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Turkey (USAFMC). McCurdy also attended a roundtable on the 2016 elections with the Democratic Co-Chairs of The Congressional Study Groups (Europe, Germany, Japan, and Turkey) of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (CSGT/USAFMC) on Capitol Hill. The Democratic co-chairs are Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA/11th), Ted Deutch (D-FL/21st), Diana DeGette (D-CO/1st), and Peter Welch (D-VT/AL) participated in the roundtable.