October 2018 at TASC
Message from Co-Chair Gunay Evinch

The Tree of Life Shelters Us All

The massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh hurt deep in the hearts of my family, because our daily lives are so filled with good friends in the Jewish American community where we live. 

My wife, Senem, daughter Lara, and son Arda, and I represent a second-generation Turkish American family who is deeply dedicated to our homeland America and motherland Turkey. We are Muslims who have chosen a secular lifestyle. We have many Turkish friends like us, as well as Turkish friends who live pious lives. We stand in solidarity with diversity.

TASC Unveils Ataturk Portrait at the 
Washington Turkish House
On October 25, in celebration of the 95th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic, TASC unveiled a portrait of Ataturk. In 2017, TASC commissioned Turkish American artist, Mrs. Gulendam Ece Hurmeydan, to paint a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the military hero of Gallipoli, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic, and world statesman.

Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic, Ambassador to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mustafa Lakadamyali, and members of the Turkish American community and students of the TASC Turkish Language lessons joined the celebration at the Washington Turkish House.
TASC and Maryland Sister State Committee Celebrate Turkish Republic Day Turkish Embassy
On October 29, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and President Donald Trump offered congratulations on Turkish Republic Day at the Turkish Embassy Reception evening. Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith read Governor Hogan’s letter and presented a Maryland Governor’s Citation commending the 95th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic to more than 1000 guests at the Embassy.

Matthew Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary at U.S. Department of State - Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs read President Trump’s letter, conveying the President's "sincere congratulations." The President’s letter read in part, "As your nation celebrates the 95th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, the partnership between the United States and Turkey -- NATO allies since 1952 -- remains important. As you proudly commemorate this anniversary, the American people wish our Turkish friends all the best."
Secretary of State Wobensmith commended the good work of the Maryland Turkish Sister State Committee, which is headed by Chairman Ahmet Aydilek and Vice Chairwoman Vered Mullin. In September, the Maryland Turkish Sister State Committee and TASC, headed by Maryland residents, Co-Chair Günay Evinch, Secretary General Oya Bain and Programs Director Carri Connor, hosted Maryland private and public universities presidents and provosts in Turkey for meetings with the Boards of Directors of Aydin, Bahcesehir, Bogazici, Koc, Gebze Technical, Kocaeli, and Sabanci universities.
Muslim American Society of New York Recognizes TASC Commitment to Diversity
The Muslim American Society of New York (MAS) recognized TASC for public advocacy on diversity and Muslim American civic engagement. MAS-NY President Dr. Hussein Ahmed (left) presented the award to TASC Co-Chair, Dr. Halil Mutlu (right). MAS is a religious, charitable, social, cultural, and educational not-for-profit organization that focuses on the integration of Muslim Americans into American society based on individual achievement, community empowerment, family values, and civic responsibility. MAS has over chapters nationwide, including regional offices, and local schools and community centers that provide English language lessons, immigration compliance seminars, religious studies, cultural and sports exchanges. MAS New York offers the largest community center, which among many programs includes the religiously diverse NYPD Soccer Team, as well as Boy and Girl Scouts programs. MAS expressed deep appreciation to TASC for building bridges among America’s diverse communities.
TASC Co-Chair Evinch Speaks at
TCA Turkish Youth Congress
TASC Co-Chair Gunay Evinch addressed a select group of 20 Turkish American college students and young professionals at the Turkish Coalition of America 2018 Youth Congress. Evinch spoke of the importance of solidarity within Turkish American diversity, based on respect and hard work. He discussed modern "four dimensional” Turkish American public advocacy, including classical lobbying, campaign funding, defense of our civil rights in the courts, and cultural exchange. He discussed important results achieved in all four dimensions, and invited Turkish American youth to participate in TASCRoots advocacy in their local regions and states.

TASCRoots will be providing civic engagement seminars nationwide. Evinch thanked TCA President Lincoln McCurdy, Programs Director Nilsu Goren, and philanthropists Serpil and Yalcin Ayasli for supporting TCA and TASC programs.
Embassy Row Lecture Series:
Turkey's Humanitarian Operations
On October 18, Nick Burk and Tiffany Parker, Founders of Blue Ocean Analytics (BOA), presented a detailed analysis of Turkey’s domestic, regional and global humanitarian aid projects. BOA, funded by U.S. and private grants, used NASA data to explain that climate stressors, including melting polar ice caps, soaring temperatures, extreme precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, drying lakes and rivers, and erosion of agrarian lands, will escalate natural disasters and migration patterns in the Middle East, Eurasia, and Africa, a as well as South America. Burk explained that Turkey is a leader in humanitarian assistance globally, and that the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) and Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) (Turkish counterpart of FEMA) have active programs in Somalia, Myanmar, Syria, as well as South America. TRC and AFAD are currently undergoing “exponential training” in preparation for over 20 million Middle Eastern and African refugees entering Turkey and Europe by 2030. 
TASC Co-Chairs visit to AFAD in Ankara.
TASC Co-Chair Evinch stated that the global humanitarian crisis is actually the human face of the earth’s environmental crisis, and that countries like Turkey are facing this truth by working hard, planning ahead, and using scarce funds toward peaceful ends. TASC Co-Chairs Evinch and Halil Mutlu recently visited AFAD in Ankara to increase collaboration with FEMA.
TASC Welcomes New
Northern Cyprus Ambassador and Spouse
The Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) welcomed the new Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Ambassador Mustafa Lakadamyali and Ms. Milhan Lakadamyali at the Washington Turkish House. Ambassador Lakadamyali will serve as Washington Representative of his government and to the Turkish Cypriot community of the United States. According to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in Toumazou v. TRNC, the offices of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in Washington DC and New York serve a recognized governmental purpose of informing the US government regarding Turkish Cypriot Americans, the Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus, and efforts toward building a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation on the island where both communities have equal status. The Greek Cypriot government opposes this policy and favors treating Turkish Cypriots as a minority. 
New York: Nevin Bakir, TASC Executive Committee, Attends Independence Day Celebrations for Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikstan.
TASC Board Members Ayhan Ogmen, 
Nevin Bakir Welcome
New York Consul General Alper Aktas
Turkish Language Student Turns Chef!
TASC Turkish language student, Attorney Michael Valois’ next career may be Turkish Chef! Valois comes to Turkish classes with homemade Turkish dishes!

TASC offers Beginner and Intermediate Turkish language classes at the Washington Turkish House. Classes are free to the public and reach full capacity quickly. Accredited Turkish language instructor, Esra Atam, believes that language can be learned best as a holistic experience that integrates all the senses through visual arts, music, and cuisine. Spring registration will be announced soon!
TASCRoots Hosts Turkish 95th Anniversary Celebrations Across the Nation!
Massachusetts!
West Springfield, Massachusetts
TASC Board Member Tuncay Bayrak, and leaders of the Turkish American Society of Western Massachusetts and Ahiska Turkish American Community Center of West Springfield hosted West Springfield Mayor William Richest to raise the Turkish flag at the municipal building and celebrate the founding of Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923 and remember the founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Mayor Reichelt delivered a brief speech on the importance of diversity. After singing the American and Turkish national anthems, the Turkish flag was raised, joined by cheering by the local Turkish American community.
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Lawrence, Massachusetts celebrated its 6th Annual Turkish Flag Raising Ceremony, organized by Kemal Bozkurt. Many U.S. and Turkish officials attended the celebration, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, and new Boston Consul General Ceylan Erisen. The youngest elected Turkish official in the US history, Hacibey Catalbasoglu was also among the guests. Catalbasoglu is elected to the New Haven, CT Board of Alders. TASC supported this important flag raising event with a generous dinner after the ceremony.
New York!
TASC Board Member Nevin Bakir, TASC Advisor Ibrahim Kurtulus and FTAA President Tohan Hazinedar co-hosted a Turkish Flag Raising Ceremony on Wall Street, followed by a reception at the Turkish Consulate in New York. UN Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu, New York Consul General Alper Aktas, ranking officers of the Turkish Air Force and Naval Forces also attended.
Los Angeles!
On the occasion of the 95th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic, TASC Co-Chair Halil Mutlu met with Turkish Americans in southern California, and lead a flag raising ceremony in Los Angeles. Dr. Mutlu thanked all local Turkish American organizations for working in solidarity for the Turkish American cause. He thanked the Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California, ATASC-San Diego, Los Angeles Turkish American Association (LATAA), Orange County Turkish American Organization (OCTAO), Ventura (VATAN), and Society of Turkish Americans (TURCA) for joining TASCRoots in successfully opposing anti-Turkey Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions California Assembly Bill 1597 and the parole of an Armenian Justice Commandos terrorist who assassinated Turkish Consul General Kemal Arikan in 1982. Dr. Mutlu expressed that through solidarity and respect for one another, a hardworking community as the Turks of California can accomplish great achievements for their community, state, their homeland America, and their motherland Turkey.

Watch the event video here and an article about the event here.
October Press Releases
October 4: TASC Condemns Today's PKK Violence
Seven Turkish troopers were killed and two wounded.
 
The United States Department of State immediately condemned the attack: “PKK terrorists should end their acts. We stand with Turkey in the fight against terrorism.”

October 13: TASC Commends Andrew Brunson's Release
TASC commends the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary in Turkey, welcomes the conclusion of this matter, and expresses hope that the resolution of this case will contribute to the much needed improvement of relations between the United States and the Republic of Turkey.

October 27: TASC Condemns Terrorist Attack at Pittsburgh Synagogue
The Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) condemns today’s terrorist attack that massacred at least eight worshippers and wounded six, including four law enforcement officers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This was an act of hatred against people of Jewish heritage and the broader community of immigrants, as posted by the gunman on social media against the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society that helps refugees worldwide and immigrants in the United States.

October 29: TASC Congratulates New Istanbul International Airport
Commends Architectural Digest Article
TASC congratulates the people of Turkey on the inauguration of Istanbul International Airport. Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul will now host the world’s largest airport which will serve over 200 million passengers every year. Located on the Black Sea coast of the European side of the Istanbul metropolis, Istanbul International Airport is just 20 miles north of the city of Istanbul and serves as the hub for Turkish Airlines, one of the leading passenger airlines in the world. Direct and easy access to the magnificent city will be available on a short 20-minute rail transit.
Upcoming Events
November 27: Embassy Row Lecture Series; "Archaeological Expedition to Sinop, Turkey: Exploring the Origins of Trade at the Nexus of Eurasian Civilizations" by Dr. Owen Doonan, California State University Northridge

December: Macedonian Christmas Celebration. More information to come.
Upcoming Spring Embassy Row Lecture Series Speaker Dr. Brendon J. Cannon shares his most recent article on Turkey's base in Somalia.
Produced by Carri Connor, TASC Programs Director