January 2019 at TASC
Message from Programs Director Carri Connor:


My name is Carri Connor and I am proud to be TASC’s Programs Director. It’s been six months since I joined TASC, and it’s been amazing and gratifying to serve you.

TASC-DC Events
TASC Meets with Boston Consul General
Ceylan Ozen Erisan at the Washington Turkish House
Left to right: Emre Özkan (Counselor, Turkish Embassy), Sitki Kazanci (President of Turk Network DC), Nasuh Onal, (Sister State Committee Member), Carri Connor, (TASC Program Director), Ms. Ceylan Ozen Erisan, (Boston Consul General), Gunay Evinch Esq. (TASC Co-Chair), Cemal Yavuz, (Sister State Committee Member), David Saltzman Esq., Rumeysa Kalin Karabulut, Enis Pinar (TASC Media Watch Coordinator), Photo by Oya Bain TASC Secretary General
On January 10, TASC met with Consul General Ceylan Ozen Erisan. TASC informed Ms. Erisan about the Kocaeli-Maryland Sister State program and how to expand similar partnerships to other states in the US and provinces in Turkey. The Maryland Sister States program identifies Maryland with a country region and focuses on business, educational, tourism, and cultural exchanges. TASC offered its services in regards to Turkish American community activities around the Boston area and looks forward to expanding projects throughout this region.
TASC Meets with Students from
Bahcesehir University American Studies
Left to right: Oya Bain TASC Secretary General, Hisam Guney, Guney Yilmaz, Elif Tore Suluner, Aykut Tuna Babacan, Carri Connor TASC Programs Director, Gunay Evinch TASC Co-Chair, Sevinj Jafarova, Farah Diba Kartal, Irem Bilensoy
On January 16th, TASC hosted a group of BAU scholars and professionals at the Washington Turkish House for its annual visit.

BAU School of Politics takes its graduate students to an international field study each year in D.C. for a two week long program that is aimed at informing the participants about the United States political system and foreign policy priorities. The group consists of students who are doing their master’s degrees at BAU as well as professionals who are all interested in international relations and wide ranging global issues, particularly Turkey-U.S. relations.
TASC Co-Chair Dr. Halil Mutlu Attends 
Congressional Ceremony for Ms. Rashida Tlaib
On January 3, the swearing in ceremony was held on Capitol Hill. Congresswoman Tlaib will be representing Michigan District 13. She is one of the two first Muslim American women to ever be elected to Congress. TASC wishes her great success.

TASC Hosts Navy Admiral Deniz Kutluk
to Share His Story on
Being Targeted by the Gulen Cult in the
Balyoz and Ergenekon Prosecutions
On Wednesday, January 29, Admiral Kutluk spoke on his experience with the Balyoz and Ergenekon prosecutions, and how they have deeply impacted his life. Thank you to our guests who braved the bitter cold to learn from Admiral Kutluk.
TASC Stands With Southern California Turks, Targeted in Suspicious 
Flag Incident at Armenian Schools
"Apparently, an unidentified man hung Turkish flags at two Armenian schools, after midnight on January 29th. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has been investigating the matter since then, to find the perpetrator who erected those flags at Manoogian-Demirdjian School and Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School, both in Canoga Park..."

TASC Hosts Embassy Row Lecture Series:
Armenian Turkish Photographer Ara Guler: 
The Eye of Istanbul Documentary Screening
January 17 Screening
January 31 Screening
Over 75 people joined TASC over two nights to watch the screening of Ara Guler: The Eye of Istanbul. This documentary highlighted the life of Ara Guler, Turkey's most famous photographer.
TASC Hosts Executive Director of Turkish Green Crescent (Yeşilay) at Washington Turkish House
From left to right: Dr. Halil Mutlu, TASC Co-Chair, Mr. Osman Dursun, Executive Director of Yeşilay, Mr. Gunay Evinch, TASC Co-Chair, Rumeysa Kalin Karabulut, Foreign Attorney at Saltzman & Evinch PLLC.
On January 17, TASC leaders met with Executive Director of Yeşilay, Mr. Osman Dursun. Green Crescent is a non-profit organization that fights smoking, alcohol, and other addictions such as drug use, and provides services and protection methods to all citizens, especially the young, affected by harmful habits. Green Crescent was esablished in Istanbul in 1920.

Rumeysa Kalin Karabulut discussed how Yeşilay can help counter addiction in Turkish American communities throughout the U.S. Through the help of Mrs. Karabulut, TASC is working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between TASC and Yeşilay to develop programs to support families and adolescents to counter the negative effects of addiction in families.
The Washington Turkish House Welcomes
Permanent Exhibition of
Anatolian Artisans Handicrafts
Anatolian Artisans is a non-profit organization  that empowers low-income artisans of Turkey by celebrating the connection between culture and development. AA provides sustainable economic benefits to low-income artisans through product development, marketing and training. They also raise awareness about arts and culture of Turkey abroad by organizing exhibitions, festivals, fairs, conferences and seminars.
All items will be available for purchase during all events held at the Washington Turkish House. TASC is proud to offer more opportunities to support Turkish artisans.
TASC Turkish Language Lessons 
Spring Semester Begins
Beginner 1 students at the first lesson of the semester.
TASC Spring Turkish language lessons began on January 14. Levels include Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 2. Over 150 students registered. We look forward to a great semester ahead!
TASC-New York Events
TASCRoots Programs in Full Force in
New York Metro Area
January 13, New Jersey
February 2, Long Island, New York
Dr. Halil Mutlu, Co-Chair of TASC, and Mr. Ayhan Ogmen, Executive Committee Member of TASC, spoke on the American healthcare system as well as the American legal system.
TASC Advisory Member Ibrahim Kurtulus 
Leads New York Advocacy,
Diplomatic and Congressional Support
Left to right: Ali Cinar, President of Turkish Heritage Organization, Michael McMahon, District Attorney of Staten Island, Ibrahim Kurtulus, TASC Executive Committee Member
Ibrahim Kurtulus and Ali Cinar, President of the Turkish Heritage Organization, met with former Congressman and current District Attorney to Staten Island Michael McMahon. Kurtulus and Cinar shared their goals about their community and plans for bettering the lives of Staten Island citizens and Turkish Americans across the New York Region.
Ibrahim Kurtulus had the opportunity to continue building relationships with the American-Georgian community. TASC's message to the Georgian Community is that the Turkish people will never accept a resolution where the national security or territorial integrity of the Republic of Georgia is denied. We stand with the citizens of Georgia.

He also had a chance to talk to the former president of the Republic of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, and express our solidarity to the Republic of Georgia and its people.
Ibrahim Kurtulus met with H.E. Sidibe Fatoumata Kaba, Permanent Representative for the Republic of Guyana to the United Nations. Kurtulus expressed TASC's and the Turkish American community's support for the Ambassador, and hopes to work with her in the future in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Ibrahim Kurtulus was honored to be invited to the swearing-in ceremony of Charles Falls, the first African-American Muslim to be nominated to the Staten Island Assembly.

We look forward to working with him on several projects in the future.
TASC Advisory Committee Member Ibrahim Kurtulus Meets School Administrators to Address 
Hateful Homework Assignment on Ottoman History
On January 28, Ibrahim Kurtulus visited Brentwood High School to meet with High School Principal and History department head to express Turkish American concerns about the unprofessional manner in which a Social Studies teacher handled the teaching of War World I about Ottoman Empire. The homework assignment referred to the so called "Armenian genocide." The school administration was very open and addressed our concerns to our satisfaction. Thank you Ibrahim for your vigilance.
TASC Attends New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's State of the City Address
The New York City Mayor's Office has been a key strategic partnership for TASC. We hope to increase programming in the Greater New York region, including more TASCRoots talks throughout 2019.
TASC-NY Hosts Food Trucks in Brooklyn to
Help Feed Those in Need
On January 18, TASC partnered with ICNA-Relief to sponsor a food truck in Brooklyn to distribute a hot meal to those in need.
TASC-NY Donates Free Medical Exams 
to Those in Need in Brooklyn
A volunteer staff of medical practitioners gave free medical exams in the Eyup Sultan Mosque in Brooklyn. TASC partnered with ICNA-Relief and Hasene International to promote annual doctor visits in the Muslim and Turkish American community.
TASC-NY New York Hosts Free Art Classes
On January 24, TASC-NY offered the opportunity for Turkish Americans and others to learn from artist and expert Mr. Melixah at the Mimar Sinan Cultural Center in Sunnyside, New York.
TASC Media Watch
TASC Advisory Committee Member Enis Pinar leads 
TASC Media Watch which includes selected published, unpublished, and censored letters to the editor. It is our goal to correct biased reporting regarding issues of
importance to Turkish Americans.
TASC responds to Senator Marco Rubio's meeting with NBA player and Gulenist Supporter Enes Kanter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"Senator Marco Rubio needs to ask Enes Kanter why he sat mute when more than 700 Turkish NATO officers were falsely charged and detained for years by Gulenist prosecutors and judges in the “Ergenekon" and “Balyoz” alleged coup plot. In 2016, Turkey appropriately annulled the cases, apologized, and is indemnifying these fine men and women. Truth is that Kanter neither stands for human rights nor represents Turkish Americans. Kanter can choose to blindly follow self-declared Imam Fethullah Gulen, but Senator Rubio need not follow this crooked path. We stand with the people of Turkey. We stand with justice."
Member of the TASC Board of Advisors Enis Pinar’s comment was posted on Foreign Policy, in response to an article,  "The United States Can’t Rely on Turkey to Defeat ISIS"

"Normally I would comment on the message rather than worrying about the messenger, however the history behind at least one of the two authors of this article is worth commenting on as a factor in evaluating its claim that the U.S. can't rely on Turkey to defeat ISIS..."

Member of the TASC Board of Advisors Enis Pinar responds to Wall Street Journal Article,  "Turkey seeks so much U.S. military support to adopt fight in Syria that it will require more American force, not less"

“I am fully for withdrawing our forces from both Syria and for ending our 17-year war in Afghanistan ASAP. We should not waste the life of a single more American soldier in either theatre.

However, what I don't understand is why we should not provide air cover for Turkey, a 66-year NATO ally, when it takes over the fight against ISIS just as we have done for the Kurds..."

Member of the TASC Board of Advisors Enis Pinar responds to New York Times Article, "ISIS Attack in Syria Kills 4 Americans"

I don't care much for Trump, but I do care about our sons and daughters who should no longer be asked to risk their lives in places like Syria and Afghanistan after 17 years of fighting with no end in sight..."

TASC Media Watch has expanded to European news sources that may reflect inaccurate statements on Turkey. A Turkish-French citizen, Mr. Bill Beckham, responds to French newspaper "Le Point" and their January 12 article, "Syria: Turkish Raids on Olive Groves."

"The "journalist" Jérémy André introduces his article by telling “Turkey would have won the gold medal for having named the military operation of Afrine "olive branch", if baptizing a military operation was a contest of cynicism”. Jérémy André, who does not seem to practice his profession with loyalty, has tried to start with humor his article that will prove to be a plea to slander Turkey."

Read Mr. Beckham's full response here.
Congressional Outreach

In January, TASC Programs Director Carri Connor visited the Foreign Affairs Officers of legislators who met with Enes Kanter, an NBA player who lobbies for the Fethullah Gulen Cult against Turkey. The legislators were: Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator James Lankford, Rep. Pete King, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and Rep. Elliot Engel.

In February, Connor will lead TASC meetings with 98 freshman Congress members to ask them to join the Congressional Turkey Caucus and support Turkish Americans in their respective constituencies. TASC commends the Turkish Coalition of America who has been a leader in the effort to build a strong Turkey Caucus. The Turkey Caucus currently has 109 members and is one of the most populated and interesting Congressional groups on the Hill. 

TASC Co-Chair Gunay Evinch, who joins Connor in Hill meetings stated, "The Turkish Caucus is about the long game in US - Turkish relations; legislators who are interested in Turkey and Turkish issues, no matter what their positions may be, should be on the Caucus so their decisions and actions are better informed."
January Press Releases
January 7: TASC Congratulates Mr. Tayfun Selen, Newly Elected Mayor of
Chatham Township, New Jersey

The Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) congratulates Tayfun Selen, the first Turkish American mayor.

Mr. Tayfun Selen immigrated to the United States 22 years ago. As he was sworn in as Mayor of Chatham Township, New Jersey, he expressed his passion for the American Dream.
January 8: TASC Mourns the Loss of
Ambassador Alan Wood Lukens, 1924-2019
TASC expresses its deepest condolences for the loss of Ambassador Alan Wood Lukens, who passed away on January 5, 2019. He was the former President of American Friends of Turkey (AFOT), based in Washington DC.
January 21: TASC Celebrates
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
African American leaders and musicians pose before the bust of Atatürk at the Turkish Embassy, 1950s (Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress)
Monday, January 21, 2019 commemorates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year marks the 51st anniversary of his tragic assassination by white supremacists. TASC pledges to continue Martin Luther King's struggle for justice, equality and freedom.

Turkish Americans proudly served the cause of equality and justice, standing against segregation. The Turkish Embassy was one of few places in Washington DC where all Americans, regardless of their race, ethnicity or religion, could meet in peace and be treated with dignity.

Read the full tribute here.
January 23: TASC Commends Financial Times Article: "Five Reasons to Live in Istanbul"
Financial Times author Jessie Williams writes, "The city’s layers of history have created an architecture and a street life to feast on."

Read the original article here.
January 28: TASC Mourns the Loss of Sukru Server Aya, Prolific Writer on the Armenian Controversy
TASC remembers Sukru Server Aya, who dedicated his wealth and 50 years of his life to humanitarian causes, including seeking truth and reconciliation on the Armenian controversy. Mr. Aya passed away on Saturday, January 26, 2019, in Istanbul. TASC offers its deepest condolences to the Aya family and friends, and the Turkish American community.

Read our tribute here.
Upcoming Events
TASCRoots programs continue in New York, Massachusetts regions

Ebru Art Workshop: February 17! Register here.

2023 is the 100th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic!

Support the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) on #GivingTuesday, by giving $20.23 weekly or monthly, or with an annual donation of $2023. A modest sacrifice to honor the forefathers and mothers of the Turkish Republic, your gift will help TASC empower the Turkish American community through civic engagement education and training, and project a unified voice on issues important to Turkish Americans.
Checks payable to: 
Turkish American National Steering Committee
The Washington Turkish House
1526 18th Street NW
Washington DC 20036
Produced by Carri Connor, TASC Programs Director

Interested in participating as a speaker in our Embassy Row Lecture Series,
or have program ideas for TASC?

Email me at cconnor@ourtasc.org
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