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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.

Lessons Learned from Muhtar Kent

By Altan Ergün * - Muhtar Kent was born in New York. His father was the Turkish Consul General at the time. After finishing high school in Turkey in 1971, he went to University of Hull where studied economics and then MBA at Cass Business School in London. Het joined the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1978 and rose through the company taking different leadership positions in US, Europe and Asia.  After a stint with Turkey’s Efes Beverage Group in 1999, he returned to Coca-Cola in 2005, and become the Chief Executive Officer in 2008 and then Chairman in 2009. He is married with two kids and lives in Atlanta.

Meet the Turkish Developer Behind Ghost Buildings

Mükemmel (Mike) Sarımsakçı founded Alterra in 2009 with one mission in mind: “to develop inspired spaces for people to live, work, and play,” the company says. Sarımsakçı is a more than 20-year real estate, development and construction industry veteran with experience in North America as well as internationally. Before forming the company, Sarimsakci was managing director of Polidev International LLC, where he was responsible for real estate development projects in the Americas. His international experience includes working as vice president in Saudi Arabia for AECOM and serving as a board member with Ibra Holding in Azarbaijan. Sarimsakci’s first job in the construction industry was with Bechtel in San Francisco, where he was a construction manager and civil engineer for massive park projects in Dubai and Euro Disney. He sits at two NGO boards: American Turkish Society and East West Institute. TURKOFAMERICA talked to Mike Sarımsakçı about his past and current projects.

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Mexican Luxury Hotel Manager Who Is A Grandson of Sultan Addulhamid II

By Cemil Özyurt- Sultanzade Touran İbrahim Rateb is son of Mihrişah Selçuk Sultan who is granddaughter of Sultan Abdulhamid II. He was born in Egypt in 1950, where a number of the Ottoman families were welcomed by the Egyptian royal family. The first time he remembers Turkey was in 1978 when he traveled with his wife and daughter. After having completed hotel school in Switzerland, Sultanzade Rateb had the opportunity to work in South America, Europe and the US. He is in Mexico for the third time, which he finds to be an endearing country. TURKOFAMERICA talked to Sultanzade Touran İbrahim Rateb.

Betül Kaçar Invokes the Past in Modern Bacteria

Betül Kaçar joined The University of Arizona Molecular and Cell Biology department as an astrobiology professor. This is a first time a molecular biology professorship position specifically targeted for origins of life and astrobiology. After earning her PhD in Bio Molecular Chemistry at Emory University’s School of Medicine and Chemistry, she developed an interest in evolution and deep questions that impacted the way life is today. She applied for a NASA postdoctoral fellowship. They awarded her with this fellowship and she also received a NASA Early Career Fellowship, as well as a grant from the Exobiology Branch of NASA. Kaçar responded TURKOFAMERICA’s questions.

Turkish Think Tank Hosts Discussion in US on Syria

A panel of experts in Washington held discussions Tuesday on a political solution to Syria’s ongoing civil war. Hosted by Washington-based think tank SETA DC, the discussion was titled “The Geneva Process: Toward a Political Solution in Syria”. Mona Yacoubian, a senior advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Andrew Tabler, Martin J. Gross Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hassan Hassan, a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, and Kadir Ustun, executive director at SETA DC, took part in the panel. The discussion was moderated by Kilic Kanat, a research director at SETA DC. Participants agreed that actual developments in the field in Syria as well as peace talks in Astana and Geneva would directly affect a political process in the country.

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As Chobani Expands Footprint in Twin Falls, City Reflects on Anti-refugee Backlash

By Patrick Sisson - Curbed.com - For Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of the Greek yogurt-making giant Chobani, Twin Falls, Idaho, helped his company expand in ways he could barely imagine when he arrived in the United States in 1994 as a Turkish college student who didn’t speak English. The small city of 48,000 in the Magic Valley, an agricultural center in the southern part of the state, home to the company’s 1 million-square-foot factory, will soon be the centerpiece of a new chapter for Chobani, one of the last decade’s most successful new food brands.

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