TCA Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Balkan Wars

This month marks the 100th Anniversary of the start of the first Balkan War, which broke out on October 8, 1912. It is estimated that approximately 1.5 million Muslims died and were forcibly exiled from Ottoman Europe as a result of the Balkan Wars. Surviving Ottoman Muslims, who had once represented a majority in their Balkan homelands, settled in Eastern Thrace and Western Anatolia. Millions of Turks today are the descendants of those who later found refuge in Turkey.

To commemorate the memory of these victims, TCA published an annotated map on October 8, chronicling the devastating effects of the Balkan Wars on Ottoman Muslim communities. In an interview with TurkishNY, TCA President Lincoln McCurdy stated that “by drawing attention to this tragedy, this annotated map aims to overcome double-standards inherent in historical accounts of this period when the Ottoman Empire was on the verge of collapse.”

The map was prepared by Justin McCarthy, Professor of History at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, an expert on Ottoman history and particularly demographics and population movements. Free hard copies of the map may be requested by sending an e-mail to or it can be downloaded here.

TCA Attends Capitol Hill Turkish Cypriot Day

On October 2nd, TCA joined celebrations for the Turkish Cypriot Day on Capitol Hill. Throughout the day, scores of Turkish Cypriot Americans and Turkish Americans were joined by members of Congress and more than 200 staff members from over 50 Congressional offices, learning more about and enjoying the rich history and heritage of Turkish Cypriots. The event, led by The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), was hosted by national and area Turkish American and Turkish Cypriot organizations.

TCA President Addresses Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH) Board Members and Bosnian American Community Leaders

On September 13, TCA President, G. Lincoln McCurdy, addressed the board members of the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH) as well as Bosnian American community leaders on the occasion of the annual “Bosnia and Herzegovina Days on Capitol Hill” event. Mr. McCurdy spoke on the state of relations between Turkey, BiH and the United States.

TCA President Addresses National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) Board

TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy addressed the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC)'s board on September 19th to discuss the history of TCA's Native American outreach and further collaboration with NAIHC. Founded in 1974, NAIHC is comprised of 271 members representing 463 tribes and is the only national organization representing housing interests of Native people.

TCA Awards Study Abroad Scholarships to American Minority Students While Continuing Scholarship Outreach

TCA awarded Study Abroad scholarships to 2 students of African American and Native American heritage in September. Bobby Boone from University of Cincinnati and Heidi Brandow from the Institute of American Indian Arts received the TCA scholarships to attend Istanbul Technical University (ITU) for the Fall 2012 semester. Heidi is the first scholarship recipient to take advantage of ITU's Comprehensive Scholarships (for Native American college students.

TCA's Study Abroad Scholarships for Native Americans were also featured in Winds of Change, the nation's leading Native American science and engineering magazine. Winds of Change's special College Edition featured an interview with former scholarship recipient Jacquelyn Spring of the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana about her experience as a Native American student and her time studying in Turkey.

In September, TCA also continued its collaboration with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) for the 4th consecutive year by becoming a sponsor of the CHCI's Annual Leadership Conference on September 12. Additionally, TCA worked with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) during their Annual Legislative Conference to spotlight TCA's scholarships for African American students.

TCA President Attends 2012 National Association of Attorney's General's (NAAG) Presidential Welcome Reception

On September 27th, TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy attended the 2012 National Association of Attorney's General's (NAAG) Presidential Welcome Reception, organized in honor of Doug Gansler, NAAG President and Maryland Attorney General in Washington DC. The NAAG visited Turkey last spring with a program partly sponsored by TCA.

TCA Vice President Meets with Senator Shaheen

On October 4, TCA Vice President Basak Kizildemir met with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) during her stopover in Istanbul. Senator Shaheen was returning from observing the recent elections in Georgia.

TCA Staff Update

Ms. Beril Unver, who has worked as Program Manager with TCA since 2009 and successfully executed 15 Congressional Delegation trips as well as the TCA Washington Summer Internship Program on Capitol Hill, has moved on to a new chapter in her life.  Beril is an exemplary second generation Turkish American leader and we wish her success in her new endeavors.

We are happy to welcome Ms. JoEllen Byrnes as the new TCA Project Manager, Congressional Liaison. Ms. Byrnes is pursuing a doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and has conducted extensive research on Turkey. For more information about Congressional outreach activities, please contact Ms. Byrnes at