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Seven Turkish Americans Running for Elected Office

Turkish Coalition of America reports that there are seven members of the Turkish American community who are now running for elected office in 2017-2018. Turkish Americans running for office: Hacibey Catalbasoglu of New Haven, CT; Judge Jay Karahan of Houston, TX; and Lauren Arikan of Jarrettsville, MD., Kemal Bozkurt of Lawrence, MA; Aylin Acikalin Maklansky of New Orleans, LA; Tayfun Selen of Chatham, NJ; and Ben Bartlett of Berkeley, CA.

Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection Wins 'APT Software of the Year' 2017 CyberSecurity Breakthrough Award

CLIFTON, N.J., Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Comodo, a global innovator and developer of cybersecurity solutions and the worldwide leader in digital certificates, today announced that Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) has been selected as winner of the "APT Software of the Year" award from CyberSecurity Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global information security market today.

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CBS Developing Medical Drama From Dr. Mehmet Oz & Safehouse Pictures

CBS has put into development an untitled medical/spiritual drama based on Dr. Harley Rotbart’s book Miracles We Have Seen: America’s Leading Physicians Share Stories They Can’t Forget. The project hails from Joby Harold & Tory Tunnell’s Safehouse Pictures; Dr Mehmet Oz and his wife, producer Lisa Oz; Sony Pictures Television Studios; and CBS Television Studios. Written by Grant Thompson (McFarland, USA), the untitled Medical Miracles project is a medical drama that exists at the intersection of spirituality and medicine, revolving around two surgeons — one who is grounded in hard data and the other who pursues a dual mission of faith and science.

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Chobani Launches Food Incubator in Australia

Chobani, the US yogurt maker, has launched a second food incubator - this one in Australia. The venture builds on its US food incubator, launched in 2016. The company has partnered with Monash University in Melbourne to help food entrepreneurs launch "natural and affordable" foods. Food industry start-ups that become part of the programme will receive equity-free grants, mentorship and access to Chobani's network of experts and customers.  The company's founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, unveiled the programme at Monash University's newly launched AUD3m (US$2.4m) incubation facility, located at the university's Food Innovation Centre (FIC).

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Women on Boards: A Call to Action with Coca-Cola’s Muhtar Kent

The Women’s Forum of New York salutes Muhtar Kent and Coca-Cola as corporate champions for advancing women on corporate boards and inspiring other companies to follow suit. Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Coca-Cola, argues that communities and nations both excel and get ahead when women have more opportunities. He explains, “In fact, studies show a direct connection between women’s empowerment and GDP growth, business growth, environmental sustainability, improved human health and other positive impacts.”

Trump, Turkey's Erdogan Emphasize Push for Regional Stability in Call

President Trump and Turkish President Recep Erdoğan stressed their "common commitment" to regional stability in the Middle East during a phone call on Saturday, according to the White House. The brief readout of the call released by the White House said the U.S. and Turkey were working together to increase stability in the region, which is plagued by the crisis surrounding the Syrian civil war. Trump and Erdoğan previously discussed Syria on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in July.

Lauren Arikan Running for Maryland House of Delegates

Lauren Arikan, wife of Turkish American Yusuf Arikan, is running for the House of Delegates in Maryland’s 7th District in the Republican Primary on June 26, 2018. The Arikans live with their three children in Jarrettsville, Maryland on their 8-acre farm where they raise poultry and dairy goats.  They own and manage an accounting and staffing firm, Arikan Accounting.  Lauren also owns and operates an investment company, Arikan Investments.

NASA Reveals Its New Reusable Space Vehicle - the Dream Chaser

NASA has revealed its new reusable space vehicle, the “Dream Chaser”. The new spacecraft follows in the footsteps of its previous generation which was partially reusable. The craft is in its early test phase and more tests will start before the end of 2017. Once fully developed, the vehicle will be used to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). Researchers hope its first delivery can happen within the next few years.

Turkey Firms Ready $64 Billion Spending Spree to Leave Home

Robert Yuksel Yildirim had barely been at the family’s construction-materials business a year before the company won its first international contract. Now, it’s a conglomerate with interests in mining, ports and chemicals across 28 countries. Twenty four years after the deal to import coal directly from Russia was sealed, the impetus to expand Yildirim Holding AS beyond its Turkish home base is stronger than ever. The political fallout from a failed coup in July last year is hindering economic growth and making it harder for firms to operate in a market many see as saturated, cluttered with red tape and expensive for acquisitions.



“Deals outside Turkey are much cheaper and better than Turkish opportunities,” said Yildirim, 57, whose last purchase abroad was a port in Ecuador that his company bought for $750 million in 2016. “It is easier to deal with foreign bureaucracy than Turkish bureaucracy.”

The chairman of Istanbul-based Yildirim isn’t alone in expanding abroad. Turkish companies may spend a further $64 billion on overseas acquisitions and setting up new operations abroad by 2023, according to Volkan Kara, a partner in Bain & Co.’s Turkey office. That is after investing $36 billion in the 10 years through 2016, according to a report by Bain and Turkey’s DEIK Outbound Investments Business Council.

“There is a serious flow of investment towards developed countries, especially to the U.S. and Europe,” Kara said . “We project annual investments to continue growing significantly.”
Shifting Risk

Murat Ulker, a billionaire whose Yildiz Holding AS spent 15 billion liras ($4.3 billion) on overseas ventures through 2016, said he is seeing “significant opportunities” for growth in the Middle East, North America, Africa and Asia. His company made the largest investment outside Turkey to date with the 2014 purchase of Middlesex, U.K.-based United Biscuits Holdings Plc for $3.1 billion.

Companies are seeking to diversify earnings and spread risk after a coup attempt resulted in the detention of opposition party members and human-rights activists, causing relations to sour with Germany, the country’s biggest trading partner. Gross domestic product expanded 2.9 percent in 2016, the slowest pace since a contraction in 2009.

Turkish businesses are used to operating in a country which has faced several “political challenges,” said Jonathan Friedman, a director at London-based risk management consultants Stroz Friedberg Ltd. “And you manage risk by diversifying assets.”
Dominant Players

The drive to expand abroad also comes amid a weakening Turkish lira, with the currency dropping 17 percent against the dollar over the past 12 months, the biggest decline among 24 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg.

Many companies are acquiring assets to secure raw materials for production or to expand into under-serviced markets. Fertilizer maker Gubre Fabrikalari TAS invested in Iran, while businessman Turgay Ciner’s Park Holding AS bought a controlling stake in soda ash producer OCI Resources LLC in the U.S.

Turkey’s biggest home appliance maker, Arcelik AS, plans to invest $100 million to build a plant with Tata Group to make refrigerators and other goods in India next year after it bought Pakistan’s appliance maker Dawlance Group for $243 million in 2016.

“After developing dominant domestic market shares, Turkish companies are seeking new markets for growth,” Friedman said.

Other companies that have expanded abroad include billionaire Ferit Sahenk’s Dogus Holding AS, which stepped up foreign investments after selling its stake in the country’s biggest listed bank. Electricity producer Zorlu Enerji, which owns plants in Pakistan and Israel, last year said it plans to spend a “sizable amount” in Iran.

Istanbul-based M&A adviser Pragma Corporate Finance is negotiating three acquisition opportunities for three Turkish holding companies in the U.S., Western Europe and Asia, each valued at as much as $250 million, said Managing Director Kerim Kotan in an interview. “We are aiming to close all three deals by the end of 2017.”
Commercial Rationale

Even state-owned utilities have jumped on the bandwagon, with oil and gas producer Turkiye Petrolleri AO, which earns most of its revenue abroad, last year allocating almost 80 percent of its investments outside the country.

“We expect this investment trend to continue among companies in production, transportation, consumer goods and energy industries,” said Efsane Cam, a manager of corporate finance at Istanbul-based brokerage Is Investment.

Yildirim, which plans to bid for U.S. marine terminal operator Ports America Holdings Inc. and co-invest a further $5 billion with Chinese investors in a Columbia coal mine, is still seeing too many obstacles in Turkey, especially with antitrust regulations that limit its ability to expand domestically. The group, which has spent $2.5 billion on overseas investments, wants to have 75 percent to 80 percent of its assets outside the country by 2020 from 60 percent currently, according to the chairman.

“Yildirim Group will globally continue to invest in metals and mining, ports and terminals, fertilizers and chemicals, energy, logistics, infrastructure,” he said. “We don’t see so many good opportunities in Turkey that will make us stronger and elevate our position as a global player.” - By Ercan Ersoy and Asli Kandemir - Bloomberg

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Chobani Refocuses Marketing and Sales Around Demand Creation

Ten years ago, newcomer Chobani was excited when a small Long Island grocer became the first to stock its Greek yogurt. Then came another. And another. Now, as a $1.5 billion giant with the country's single leading yogurt brand, Chobani wants to dominate even further and unseat Dannon as the largest U.S. yogurt maker. To help, Chobani is rolling out a new organizational structure focused on what its chief marketer calls demand creation. Sales, marketing, insights, product innovation and other areas, which were largely separate, are now housed in one demand department as Chobani aims to do more with more speed and agility.

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