Blog No : 2019 / 28
12 dk okuma




April 2019 at TASC


In this Issue:

·     Message from University of Wisconsin Madison Association of Turkish Students (MATS)

·     TASC Events

·     Congressional Outreach

·     Upcoming Events

·     What We're Reading

·     TASC Media Watch

·     April Press Releases



Empowering Turkish American Students


Message from Madison Association of Turkish Students (MATS) at University of Wisconsin:


Merhaba, Hello, Salamun Alaikum,


My name is Makbule Kubra Eryilmaz, a first-year Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering-Applied Physics. I am a proud daughter of the Turkish Republic, full of love and passion for my country, culture and people. Here in America the Beautiful, far away from my home in Anatolia, I understand better the importance of solidarity. 


MATS is a big family of Turkish students and faculty who came together to celebrate our diversity and equality: gender, life style, religion, religiosity, secularity, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and political preferences. Drawing strength from our diversity, we are working together to tell the story of our people and the opulence of our Turkish history and culture. Our hospitality and inclusivity give us an huge advantage, while some think Turks don’t have PR gene. We feel otherwise. We will prove otherwise.


On this beautiful journey, Wisconsin Turkish American students thank TASC for leading us in solidarity. We are Stronger Together! God Bless You! 


TASC Events


Turkish American Community Replies to

Armenian Allegations, Calls for Reconciliation,

Sheridan Circle, Washington DC




On April 24, 2019, over 150 Washington, DC Turkish Americans, including the leadership of TASC, ATADC, TCA, DCA, and MUSIAD, came together to show support to Turkey and remember victims of Armenian terrorism. The event was preceded by a 24/7 TASC Vanguard Vigil, in the memory of over 40 Turkish diplomats, four on American soil, who were assassinated by Armenian terror groups Justice Commandoes (JCAG) and Secretary Army (ASALA).


In a hateful tweet, Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ), known for supporting Armenian extremists, demanded that the National Park Service revoke TASC’s permit. TASC Co-Chair Gunay Evinch replied: "As Justice Wendell Holmes stated, free speech is not for the speech we like to hear, but the speech which challenges us. Since 2005, Turkish Americans in Washington, DC have assembled on April 24 to increase awareness of:


·     Modern Armenian terrorism, that killed more than 70 people, including four in America, and injured more than 700, including a dozen in America;

·     The Armenian Revolt of 1885-1919, which caused the deaths and displacement of over 1.1 Million Ottoman Muslims and 100,000 Ottoman Jews on one side, and over 600,000 Armenians on the other side of a tragic domestic conflict;

·     Armenia’s violent invasion and occupation of western Azerbaijan, which has caused more than one million Azerbaijani refugees."


Evinch concluded the event by saying, "TASC regrets the tragic loss of life of its Armenian brethren during WWI, and again calls for reconciliation in the spirit of the Armenia – Turkey Protocols Historical Commission, which was supported by the United States, European Union, and Turkey."



TASC, TURCA, ATASC Lead Advocacy Coalition

Against CA Assembly Bill AB-1320



TASC, TURCA and ATASC co-led efforts to mobilize California residents to oppose AB-1320, a California Assembly bill that would force California pensioners to divest over a billion dollars from Turkey. Opposers of the ethnically charged and financially irresponsible bill includes the California pension fund administrators, California Teacher’s Association and California Police Officers Association, among other state employee groups.


TASC Co-Chairs Halil Mutlu and Gunay Evinch commended the unprecedented joint effort which included a joint letter by TASC, TURCA, ATAA, and ATASC. Ergun Kirlikovali, signing on behalf of TASC, was the lead signatory. TASC also mobilized a Twitter campaign (hashtag #caopposeab1320) that invites all Turks and their friends across America to oppose AB-1320.



TASC Co-Chair Evinch Speaks on 

Turkish American Public Advocacy at

American Turkish Council Conference



TASC Co-Chair Gunay Evinch spoke at the American Turkish Council (ATC) 37th Annual Conference, and addressed Turkish American civil society leaders from across the nation. The panel was organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEIK), World Turkish Business Council (DTIK), and included Moderator Omer Er, DEIK President Nail Olpak, DEIK Board Member Rona Yircali, and MUSIAD President Mustafa Tuncer. Over 700 Turkish Americans, U.S. government officials and businessmen and women attended the two day conference in Washington DC. With representatives in countries around the world, DTIK works to network Turkish business owners with each other for the common cause, commerce, trade and multilateral relations.



TASC-Boston Hosts Dr. Michael Gunter for Discussion on Armenian Allegations



TASC and the Turkish American Network of Boston (TAN) hosted Professor Michael Gunter at Boston University for a lecture on the Ottoman - Armenian conflict (1885-1919). Gunter, an expert on Armenian nationalists movements, stated that in late 1914 - early 1915 the conflict escalated into full out armed revolt, as Armenian nationalists colluded with the Russian invasion of eastern Ottoman Anatolia, where almost one-third of the population was Armenian. The Russian invasion and Armenian revolt in the east, strategically conceded with the Allied invasion of Gallipoli in the West. The Ottoman Army defeated both with high casualties for all sides of the conflict.


Importantly, in March 1915, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) forces, assisted by thousands of Armenian civilians, killed and displaced over 60,000 Ottoman Muslims (mostly Kurds) and 1000 Ottoman Jews in the province of Van. The Ottoman Empire responded with a national security-based relocation to separate Armenian civilians from Russian forces and ARF. The Armenian lobby alleges the relocation as a genocide. However, the United States, United Nations, European Court of Human Rights, French Supreme Court, and Swiss Supreme Court do not accept the Armenian case as genocide.



TASC Remembers Slain Journalist 

at Ziya Gurel Art Exhibit in Annapolis, Maryland



The work of Turkish artist, Ziya Gurel, “Istanbul & Beyond; An Eastern Tale” was exhibited at Annapolis City Hall, as a part of the City of Annapolis Arts in Public Places Commission production. TASC promoted and attended the reception which was held in memory of Capital Gazette journalist Wendi Winters, who was among five journalists who were killed by a gunman in June 2018. The host of the reception and artist’s daughter, Deniz Karatas, stated that Winters, whose father was the U.S. Naval Attache in Istanbul, had spent her childhood years in Turkey, and that her ashes were laid to rest near the Bosphorus where she grew up. Karatas and Winters, who were friends, last communicated minutes before the tragic shooting.




Deputy Secretary of State Luis Borunda who provided opening remarks, acknowledged Winters’ family who were present, and expressed the meaningful convergence of the free expression of art and speech in the memory of Wendi Winters. Borunda acknowledged TASC Co-Chair Gunay Evinch and Ms. Sarit Brosh, "Turkish and Jewish American Commissioners of the Governor’s Commission on Middle East Communities". William Rowel, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Annapolis, welcomed the solidarity in diversity, and commended a moment of silence in honor of Winters, and her Capital Gazette colleagues, Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiassen, John McNamara, and Rebecca Smith.



TASC Embassy Row Lecture Series:

Turkish Foreign Policy in Eastern Africa



On Wednesday, April 10, TASC hosted Dr. Brendon Cannon and Dr. Federico Donelli at the Washington Turkish House for an Embassy Row Lecture Series (ERLS) on Turkish Foreign Policy in Eastern Africa. The speakers outlined Turkey's successful foreign and economic policy in Africa, using Somalia as a case study. The speakers contrasted Chinese programs as detached from the local people, American policy as purely hard power through military initiatives, and Norway’s policy of auctioning native lands and resources as extremely destructive.



TASC Joins TCA to Thank

Congressman Pete Sessions



On May 1, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) hosted a dinner in honor Congressman Pete Sessions who served for 11 terms. TASC Co-Chair Gunay Evinch and Secretary General Oya Bain attended. TCA Chairman Dr. Yalcin Ayasli and Chairwoman Dr. Serpil Ayasli recognized Congressman Sessions for being a respected voice and bridge of friendship between Capitol Hill and Turkey. TASC Co-Chair Evinch thanked Congressman Sessions for fighting smartly for U.S.-Turkish relations, including among many initiatives, writing to former California Governor Jerry Brown, to ensure that the assassin of Turkish Consul General Kemal Arikan was not granted parole.


TASC Co-Chair expressed TASC’s complete support to the Ayasli family, and dedication to working closely with TCA. Sessions said all thanks go to Yalcin and Serpil Ayasli for having the vision to create and dedicated the resources to operate the Turkish Coalition of America for effective advocacy, Turkish PACs for supporting campaigns, and Turkish American Legal Defense Fund for defending the rights of Turkish Americans.



TASC Team Attends 37th Annual Conference

on U.S.-Turkey Relations



The TASC leadership attended the American Turkish Council's 37th Annual Conference on U.S. Turkey Relations. TASC Co-Chairs Gunay Evinch, Esq. and Dr. Halil Mutlu met with ATC Chairman General James Jones (center) and Turkey specialist Joshua Walker. General Jones thanked TASC for mobilizing grassroots solidarity and effective advocacy for US-Turkish relations at a time when dialogue and diversity are challenged by destructive polarizations. Over 700 people attended the ATC Conference.



TASC Attends Historic Ertegün Jazz Night

at Turkish Ambassador's Residence



On April 30, Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kılıç hosted the Ahmet Ertegun Jazz Night at the historic Turkish Residence at Sheridan Circle. TASC Co-Chair Gunay Evinch attended the event Read the full event summary here.



TASC Participates in MAS-ICNA Convention




On April 19-21, TASC represented the Turkish American Muslim community at the 44th Annual MAS-ICNA Convention in Washington, DC. The TASC team and volunteers handed out brochures on TASC's mission, and raffled off two free tickets on Turkish Airlines!


Congressional Outreach


California Residents: Help Us Oppose AB-1320: Another Racist Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions measure.



Upcoming Events


·     May 4: Visit TASC in the Turkish Embassy during Embassy Open House Day! Free to the public, more information here.

·     May 5: join TASC and the Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia (BASONOVA) at Bamian Afghan Cuisine for a lecture titled, "The Rise & Fall of Tell Tayinat" by Dr. J.P. Dessel. Register here.

·     May 18-20: 75th Anniversary of Deportation of Crimean Tatars

·     May 19: Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day 2019

·     June 11: Embassy Row Lecture Series: "To Save an Empire" Book Discussion by Dr. Alan Gall


What We're Reading


Turkey & America: East & West- Where the Twain Meet

by Dr. Henry Williams III


"This book is a synthesis of the author’s now lifetime of deep and abiding personal and professional experiences that have led to his deep understanding of the American Experience, the Mediterranean World, and U.S.-Turkish relations."




To Save an Empire: A Novel of Ottoman History

by Dr. Allan R. Gall


Allan R. Gall lived in Turkey for eight years as a Peace Corps English teacher, as a grants administrator for the Ford Foundation, and as a Fulbright-Hays research fellow. Allan’s Ph.D. dissertation for the University of Michigan analyzed the writings of Turkey’s most prolific and widely read author, Aziz Nesin. To Save an Empire grew out of his experience in Turkey, where Turks still referenced the Crusades as defining the attitude and politics of Western Christian countries toward Muslim ones.


Purchase this book here.


TASC Media Watch


TASC Advisory Committee Member Mr. Enis Pinar leads TASC Media Watch which includes selected published, unpublished, and censored letters to the editor. It is our goal to correct biased reporting regarding issues of importance to Turkish Americans.




April Press Releases



April 23: Happy Turkish National Sovereignty & Children's Day!


On April 23, 1920, during the Turkish War of Independence, the first meeting of the Turkish Grand National Assembly took place in Ankara and laid the foundations of the independent, democratic, and secular Republic.








2023 is the 100th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic!


Support the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) on #GivingTuesday, by giving $20.23 weekly or monthly, or with an annual donation of $2023. A modest sacrifice to honor the forefathers and mothers of the Turkish Republic, your gift will help TASC empower the Turkish American community through civic engagement education and training, and project a unified voice on issues important to Turkish Americans.



Checks payable to: 

Turkish American National Steering Committee

The Washington Turkish House

1526 18th Street NW

Washington DC 20036

Produced by Carri Connor, TASC Programs Director


Interested in participating as a speaker in our Embassy Row Lecture Series,

or have program ideas for TASC?


Email me at cconnor@ourtasc.org


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