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TCA President Receives Library of Congress Literacy Award on behalf of ACEV

On August 30, at the 14th Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., the Turkish NGO Anne Cocuk Egitim Vakfi (ACEV) - Mother Child Education Foundation, received the International Prize, one of three prizes presented by the 2014 Library of Congress Literacy Awards. As an award winner, ACEV receives a grant of $50,000 to expand its literacy programs.  TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy received the award on behalf of ACEV from the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.  ACEV has tackled issues of low literacy, women’s status in society and girls’ school attendance in Turkey and other countries. 

TCA Grant to American Friends of Turkey

The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) has awarded a 20,000 USD grant to American Friends of Turkey (AFOT) fulfilling its commitment to match donations to AFOT to support the institutional development of the organization and advance AFOT programs. AFOT was founded in 1982 by Americans who had lived in Turkey on professional assignments, and wished to share accurate information about Turkey with their fellow Americans. Since then, AFOT has sought through various means to build bridges between the U.S. and Turkish peoples.

The matching grant commitment followed a multi-year grant, totaling 100,000 USD, by TCA to AFOT, which among other items, provided funding to institute a nationwide speaker program.

TCA Event Kicks-off Turkish Heritage Month on Capitol Hill

TCA sponsored a reception on Capitol Hill on September 9th to mark the beginning of the 3rd Annual Turkish Heritage Month in Washington D.C., organized by the American Turkish Association of Washington D.C. (ATA-DC). Throughout the month, ATA-DC will organize a variety of events showcasing the rich cultural history of Turkey, authentic Turkish cuisine and fine arts. The event was attended by Turkey Caucus co-chair Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Caucus member Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), congressional staff members and representatives of Turkish American community.

TCA - Bosnia Relief Fund, Sept 17

On September 17, TCA presented a donation of 100,000 USD to the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) to aid flood relief and demining programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The TCA grant to the Marshall Legacy Institute's Bosnia programs will be fully matched by the U.S. Department of State. The grant award was marked with ceremonies at the U.S. Congress, the State Department and at the Embassy of BiH. These ceremonies were attended by MLI President Perry Baltimore, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Congressman Michael Turner (R-OH), and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN). The State Department ceremony was attended by Colonel Stanley Brown, Director of the Office of Weapon's Removal and Abatement at the U.S. Department of State and H.E. Ambassador Jadranka Negodic of BiH.

The TCA grant aims to help BiH recover from the recent devastating floods that not only caused substantial damage throughout much of the country, but also caused a serious setback in demining efforts by displacing countless landmines and washing away mine warning signs.

TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy stated that “because of the ravaging floods this year, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina have suffered yet another calamity. Our hearts go out to them. We are thankful that the U.S. Department of State ismatching our grant, and we hope that other governments and groups will also support MLI’s fundraising effort and programs that will aid Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

TCA has been a long-time supporter of the Bosnian American community through multi-year grants extended to the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina and by sponsoring congressional visits to help enhance awareness about the country and region in Washington, D.C.

TCA First Annual Youth Congress

The Turkish Coalition of America announced the 1st Annual Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress to be held in Washington, D.C., October 9-12, 2014. TCA has selected 29 undergraduate/graduate students and young professionals Turkish American heritage to participate in this exclusive forum. Participants come from across the country, and share a 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. The Youth Congress will include discussions with U.S. congressional staff members, American and Turkish diplomats and scholars, representatives of Turkish American community organizations, and opportunities to network with leaders in U.S.-Turkish relations and with other young Turkish Americans. The program will also feature events highlighting the cultural and national landmarks of Washington, D.C.

TCA Study Abroad Minority Scholarship Program

In 2014, 41 students received the TCA Minority Scholarship to study abroad in Turkey, bringing the total number to 360 since the program began in 2008. The program benefits American students of African, Armenian, Bosnian, Hispanic American, Macedonian, Native American, and most recently added, Filipino heritage. In August and September of 2014, six scholarships were awarded to students to attend a university in Turkey, one of whom was TCA’s first Filipino American scholarship recipient. The students hail from Buffalo State College, the University of California-Santa Cruz, the University of Texas at Austin, and Augsburg College.

TCA 2014 Washington Summer Internship Program

The TCA 2014 Washington Summer Internship Program concluded earlier this month. Fourteen young Turkish Americans from across the United State were given the opportunity to spend several weeks in Washington, D.C. with help from the TCA program.

Seven of the participants interned in Congressional offices. Four Congressional offices accepted interns for the first time: Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN). The remaining three Congressional offices which sponsored interns were the offices of Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Participants also interned with several non-governmental organizations in Washington, D.C. One organization, with Voice of America's Turkish Service accepting an intern for the first time.

TCA President speaks at ATAA Seminar

TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy spoke at ATAA's seminar "Protecting the Turkish American Heritage in the USA" at the University of Chicago on September 20 about the importance of having dialogue with elected officials.  This is the first of a series of seminars that ATAA plans to hold around the country in 2014-15.