17th TCA Congressional Delegation Trip Concludes

TCA's 17th Congressional delegation visited Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on May 25-31. Led by TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy, the delegation, comprised of two members of Congress and six senior Congressional staffers, visited Istanbul and Gallipoli, Turkey and Sarajevo, BiH. The delegation held high-level meetings with members of Turkish civil society, business leaders, journalists, and representatives of religious minorities, as well as American and Turkish diplomats. In Bosnia, the delegation visited the de-mining work in the Maglaj region, which is undertaken by the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), supported by a major humanitarian donation from TCA, which was matched by the U.S. State Department. While in Turkey, the delegation spent a day in Canakkale, visiting the sites of the World War I Battle of Gallipoli and commemorating its 100th anniversary.

Prior to leaving for Turkey, delegation participants attended a lecture at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center hosted by the Turkish Embassy. The speaker was Professor Edward Erickson of the Marine Corps University, who gave a talk entitled “The Canakkale/Gallipoli Campaign: Place of Encounter to Place of Reconciliation.” Professor Erickson’s latest book, Gallipoli: Command Under Fire, provides more information about this key World War I military campaign, the centennial of which was recently marked by ceremonies in Turkey and throughout the world.

Since 2009, TCA has taken more than 160 members of Congress and senior staffers to Turkey and surrounding countries and has become one of the leading organizations sponsoring foreign congressional travel. For more information, please click here.

TCA Media Outreach

After monitoring U.S. media coverage during the month of April regarding the Ottoman Armenian tragedy, in May, TCA reached out to journalists and news outlets covering this issue with a view to correct one-sided and factually wrong information and to provide a more informed perspective. TCA reached out 19 journalists in leading news organizations and provided newly published books and articles on the issue.

TCA also hosted two journalists for discussions on regional and global issues in recent weeks. On April 30, TCA’s guest was Sarah Ampolsk, Defense Correspondent for Kyodo News. On May 8, TCA hosted Bob Long, former Vice President of NBC News in Los Angeles, who is now at Voice of America.

TCA Istanbul and EDAM Host Luncheon

On May 1st, TCA co-hosted a luncheon discussion with The Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) for Bruce Jones, Acting Vice President and Director for Foreign Policy of the Brookings Institution. EDAM President Sinan √úlgen and TCA Vice President and Turkey Representative Basak Kizildemir hosted the event, which brought together journalists and academics on a discussion of domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey and the region.

Turkey Caucus Reaches 138 Members

The Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans reached 138 members with the addition of Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA/2nd) and Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MT/AL). The Turkey Caucus is a bi-partisan platform for members of Congress to focus on U.S.-Turkey relations and issues of concern to Turkish Americans.

TCA President Attends the Atlantic Council Annual Gala

On April 30, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy attended the Atlantic Council Distinguished Leadership Awards Annual Gala. The event was held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC. McCurdy attended the event as the guest of Frank Ricciardone, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and current Vice President and Director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council.

TCA President Travels to Texas

On May 13-15, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy traveled to Austin and Dallas, Texas. While in Austin, McCurdy met with representatives of the Turkish American community from Austin and San Antonio. While in Dallas, McCurdy met with representatives of the Dallas Turkish American community and spoke about civic engagement at the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) seminar at Southern Methodist University.

TCA Study Tour Grant Recipients Visit TCA Istanbul Office

Several American universities visited Turkey this month with support from the 2015 TCA Study Tour Grant Program. Students and faculty of the University of Arkansas, Evergreen State College, and University of Nevada-Reno also visited the TCA office in Istanbul to receive briefings on TCA and its sister organization, the Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF), from TCA Vice President Başak Kızıldemir and TCF Executive Director Güler Köknar. Other study tours supported by the TCA Study Tour Grant program will take place later in the summer. This year, TCA awarded a total of nine grants to faculty-led study tour programs in Turkey organized by American universities. For more information on this year’s recipients, please click here. As of 2015, the TCA Study Tour Grant program will have benefitted 270 students through 25 grants, totaling $119,850, since the program’s inception in 2011.

TCA Hosts Bosnian and Macedonian American Events

On May 12, TCA hosted the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH) “Meeting with Young Professionals” event, during which participants learned about getting involved with ACBH’s mission and advocacy efforts. On May 19, TCA hosted a roundtable discussion, “US Strategic Interests in the Balkans: Importance of Engagement and Leadership,” which was organized by the Southeast Europe Coalition, ACBH, and the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD). The discussion focused on the need for U.S. leadership to help usher the countries of southeastern Europe towards the EU and NATO.

TCA Meets with President of American Indian Infrastructure Association

On May 21, TCA hosted a lunch with Daniel C. Cardenas Jr., President and CEO of the American Indian Infrastructure Association. The meeting focused on how Turkish American charitable organizations can contribute to infrastructure projects in Indian Country.

TCA Scholarship Program for Students of Minority and Heritage Communities

In May 2015, 23 students received scholarships from the TCA Study Abroad Scholarship Program for Students of Minority and Heritage Communities, bringing the total number of students receiving the scholarship to 425 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). This month's scholarship recipients hail from the University of California-Berkeley, Duke University, Georgia State University, the University of Michigan, Columbia University, the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Stanford University, Spelman College, and the University of Texas at El Paso.