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Meryem Uzerli: International Star You Should Know

By Jimmy Cüneyt Gürkan - Meryem Uzerli is a Turkish-German actress and model who rose to prominence by playing Hürrem Sultan in the Turkish TV series The Magnificent Century (2011–2013), for which she received critical acclaim and won numerous accolades, including a Golden Butterfly Award. In 2012, she was chosen as the Woman of the Year by GQ Turkey. She was in Los Angeles for the Hollywood Turkish Film Festival, and Meryem Uzerli talked to TURKOFAMERICA.

Virtual Reality Is About to Go Mainstream

By 2017, there were at least 200 companies developing VR-related products. Facebook has over 400 employees focused on VR development. Google, Apple Amazon, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung all have dedicated AR and VR teams. We talked to one of Turkish-American pioneers of Virtual Reality. Ali Hantal, CEO of VR Masters, answered our questions?

Beijing’s Five Star Turkish Manager from New York

According to data shared by Hotel Association of New York City, established back in 1878 as one of New York’s oldest guilds, there are 280 hotels operating within the borders of New York City and only 10 of these are 5 star hotels. Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons Hotel, Ritz-Carlton New York, The St. Regis New York, Trump International, The Plaza Hotel and The Peninsula Hotel are some of them. The five star hotels create diversity in the hospitality sector with the special services they provide to their customers. One usually needs to do a lot of search, especially in special times, such as the general assembly meetings of the UN in September, Christmas, and the New Year’s Eve, to find rooms at hotels in New York, which is a busy city that was visited by 58.3 million tourists in 2014, by 59.7 million in 2015, and 60.3 million in 2016. It is estimated that the contribution of tourists to the economy of New York is around 70 billion dollars. And, the average price for a one night stay at five star hotels is 480 dollars.

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A Turkish-American at the Camp of Democratic Party Senators’ Elections Committee

The annual meeting of the Elections Committee of Democratic Party, which brings together the key figures of the party every year for discussion of their party’s future strategies, was once again held at the Martha’s Vineyard Island in Massachusetts. The camp that includes activities such as boat trips, dinners, and breakfasts, is known as a meeting where important decisions are made in terms of providing support for those prospective senators.The island that has been visited by 9 former US presidents, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, has a special importance. It is also one of the places definitely stopped by presidential candidates for the purpose of collecting donations during presidential election campaigns.

The Businessman Who Spent 60 Million Dollars for the Case of Turkey

It was the year 1968 when Dr. Yalçın Ayaslı came to Boston to get his Ph.D. at the globally famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology-MIT, after having graduated from the Middle East Technical University-METU in Ankara. When he told the taxi driver that he was a Turk, he encountered, for the first time, claims about the Armenian genocide allegedly carried out by the Ottoman Empire back in 1915. Ayaslı took it upon himself to fight these claims first as a student and later as a professional. He used to work closely with then Honorary Consul General of Turkey, Orhan Gündüz. When Orhan Gündüz was murdered by Armenian terrorists in Somerville, Massachusetts on May 4, 1982, Ayaslı honoured his legacy by naming his son after him. Turk of America magazine selected Dr.Yalcin Ayaslı among one of the 50 Most Influential Turkish-Americans and summarized the reason for the award as defining him as ‘one of the people who changed the unfortunate fate of Turks in America in terms of political and cultural aspects’.

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PepsiCo Leading the way in Digital Transformation in HR

By Cemil Özyurt - Ümran Beba is the senior vice president and CHRO, PepsiCo, for Global Human Capital Management, Services and Operations. Based in Purchase, NY, she oversees Human Capital Management Strategy and Workforce Analytics, Enterprise Organization Development, Change Management, Organization Design, the Labor Center of Expertise, HR Operations, Core Services and Human Capital Management Communications. Prior to this role, she was based in Dubai serving as the SVP and CHRO for PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and North Africa, which spans some 40 countries and 50 nationalities in its workforce. Beba has held a wide range of roles since joining the company in 1994. From 2013 to 2015, she was the president of PepsiCo’s Asia-Pacific region, which spans some 25 markets. “Digital transformation is changing the labor market, and altering how companies think about everything from talent acquisition to learning, performance management and rewards,” says Ms. Beba, who is also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on the Future of Education, Gender and Work. “Today, business leaders must have critical data and analytics at their fingertips to allow them to make more informed decisions about everything including talent, workforce planning and staffing.” A Turkish executive with one the highest positions at PepsiCo answers questions of TURKOFAMERICA.

He Purchases Firms for Pepsi Co.

Tarkan V. Gürkan graduated from Bosporus University’s Mechanical Engineering Department in 1994. With the advice of one of his professors in college, he decided to study for his master’s degree in America. He got accepted to Dartmouth College and Yale University; and, he decided to attend Dartmouth. While he was studying, he worked at the school cafetaria and the security office for the schools computer rooms.

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Human Resources Department of the Best Hotel of New York is Run by a Turk

Two years in a row, the Surrey Hotel has been selected as the best hotel of New York in a readers’ survey conducted by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. The survey was taken by over 300K readers in 606 cities and the selection was done among 7394 hotels. And, the human resources director of this first place winner luxurious hotel in New York that is a part of the Denihan Hospitality Group is a Turkish professional.

Soliya Brings the World Together in a Class

Students from Jerusalem, Beirut, Cairo, and Morocco meet with students from Texas, Iowa, Pittsburg, and Kentucky at an online class and discuss issues of the Middle East, global warming, and the Israel-Palestine conflict.  Students from Finland, Denmark, and France find a chance to have an online face to face conversation on US-EU relations with their American peers. The first of the online education systems was the platform called Computer Assisted Learning Center, which was created in 1994.

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Peyman Umay, Rising Star of Fashion

Peyman Umay moved to the U.S. in 2007, after a promising liaison with 2 fashion houses in Europe. In 2011, He started his own line of menswear in New York City, offering luxury men’s made-to-measure clothing, by appointment only. Through his passion and hard-work, Peyman created a loyal clientele by combining his fashion background with unique services that no other brand does. Within 2 years, Peyman Umay designs were already being celebrated by the very affluent people of the country from Hollywood to Sports. Realizing the need and not being able to resist the consistent demand, Umay launched women’s made-to-measure line in 2013 and finally men’s ready-to-wear collection in December 2015, opening the first Peyman Umay retail store in Aspen, Colorado. The New York based celebrity designer shares his secrets in his recently penned book “Dressing Well” that will be published soon.

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