Turkey Caucus Gains Two New Members

The Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans reached 136 members with the addition of Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA/8th) and Congressman French Hill (R-AK/2nd). 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.

Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu Visits TCA

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Ambassador Serdar Kilic paid a courtesy visit to TCA offices on April 20 during the Foreign Minister’s trip to the U.S. on the invitation of Secretary of State John Kerry. On April 19, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy and staff attended a roundtable discussion with the Foreign Minister and representatives of Turkish American community organizations at the Turkish Embassy.

TCA Takes Action Preceding April 24

During the month of April, TCA staff hand-delivered a letter and informational materials to all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate regarding the Turkish-Armenian controversy over 1915. The materials included a TCA cover letter and annotated maps by Professor Justin McCarthy and published by TCA. The maps demonstrate the displacement and tragedy faced by Ottoman Muslims and Ottoman Christians alike during the final years of the Ottoman Empire and World War I. Additionally, preceding an April 23 Helsinki Commission hearing on the Armenian issue, TCA delivered a letter urging balanced dialogue along with informational materials and a brochure to all commission members. TCA also encouraged balanced dialogue in the press and was quoted in a New York Times article, available here.

ATA-DC's 50th Anniversary Gala

On April 11, the American Turkish Association of Washington DC (ATA-DC) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy and staff attended the ceremony to commemorate this important Turkish American milestone in the nation’s capital. TCA assisted ATA-DC in extending an invitation to Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD/4th), who attended and spoke at the gala.

TCA President Attends White House Foreign Correspondents' Dinner

On April 16, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy attended the White House Foreign Correspondents’ Gala Reception at the Sofitel Hotel. Other attendees included Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) White House correspondent Emel Bayrak, the spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council (NSC), the Turkish and Indian ambassadors, and other officials and foreign correspondents.

TCA President Meets with Key Figures

In mid-April, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy met with TOBB (Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey) President Rifat Hisarciklioglu, several TOBB board members, and Turkey Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC/5th). The meeting took place in Congresswoman Foxx’s office in the U.S. Capitol and topics of discussion included U.S.-Turkey relations and trade. Also this month, McCurdy traveled to New York, where he participated in the Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF) committee meeting and also met with officials from the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TACCI). In Houston, McCurdy met with members of the Turkish American community and spoke with Turkish Consul General in Houston Ferhat Alkan.

Atlantic Council Luncheon on Syrian Refugees in Turkey

On April 20, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy participated in a luncheon discussion about Turkey’s role in managing the Syrian humanitarian crisis. The lunch was hosted by the Atlantic Council and the Turkish Heritage Organization. The discussion featured remarks by Dr. Fuat Oktay, President of the Turkish Disaster & Emergency Management Agency (AFAD), which manages the well over 1.5 million refugees who have found safe haven in Turkey.

TCA Hosts Meet and Greet with Congressman Brendan Boyle

On April 29, TCA hosted a meet and greet for the Turkish American community and Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-PA/13th). Congressman Boyle, who is a member of the Turkey Caucus, was interested in getting to know representatives of the Turkish American community and hearing their perspectives. Turkish Americans from throughout the northeast traveled to Washington, DC for the event.

TCA Announces 2015 Study Tour Grant Recipients

TCA is pleased to announce that after receiving a record number of applications in 2015, it has awarded nine grants to faculty-led study tour programs organized by American universities. The 2015 recipients are Buffalo State - SUNY, Evergreen State College, University of Arkansas, Texas A&M University, University of Colorado, University of Nevada - Reno, and University of Minnesota, Duluth. The TCA Study Tour Grant program supports educational tours to Turkey and this year will provide a total of $41,350, which will benefit 105 students. As of 2015, the TCA Study Tour Grant program will have benefitted 270 students through 25 grants, a total of $119,850 since the program’s inception in 2011. For more information on this year’s recipients, please click here.

TCA Has Awarded Over 400 Study Abroad Scholarships to Turkey

In April 2015, 13 students received the TCA Study Abroad Scholarship for Students of Minority and Heritage Communities, bringing the total number of students receiving the scholarship to 402 since the program's inception 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 language program or university study abroad program in Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), or Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). April's scholarship recipients hail from Syracuse University, James Madison University, the University of Texas at Austin, Valdosta State University, Spelman College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Tennessee State University, and Florida State University.