We Lost a Great Friend to the Turkish People: Brent Kennedy

There are two questions about which everybody is curious.

When was the first time Turks migrated to the US, and how many Turks are living there now?

There have been numerous stories written, especially on the whereabouts of this migration. However scarce in number, though, we have encountered Americans who claim to be of Turkic origin. The Melungeons are one such group.

Brent Kennedy, the honorary leader of the Melungeon people, who believe that they are the descendants of the Ottoman Levantines, unveiled that he had a suspicion after doctors told him that he had Familial Mediterranean Fever, which is not endemic to the Americas;  he discovered that he was of Turkic ancestry after a DNA test. 

According to several history professors, the ancestry of the Melungeon community, which claims to have a population of approximately two million people in the US, extends back to around ten thousand Levantine seamen from the Ottoman navy who were taken captive during the 1571 Battle of Lepanto. Some of these shipmen were used as galley slaves by the Spanish and the English, and then they were left to their own fate in America. In fact, it is even claimed that Abraham Lincoln and Elvis Presley may be from Melungeon lineage as well.

Melungeons who initially tried to survive by settling on the shores of Virginia withdrew toward the Appalachian Mountains near present-day Tennessee due to cultural differences with the residents of the region and have mixed in with the native tribes in that region whose language belonged to the Athabascan family.

Kennedy, the honorary leader of the Melungeons, reported that their DNA closely matched that of Anatolian Turks, wrote two books to strengthen the bonds between the two nations during his life, and developed close relations with the Turkish people living in the US. Also, Wise in Virginia, where Kennedy lived, and Cesme in Turkey, became sister towns.

It was announced that Prof. Brent Kennedy, the leader of the Melungeon community believed to be the descendant of Ottoman Levantine soldiers and the director of the UVA-Wise college in Virginia, passed away due to his pre-existing health conditions.

Turk of America published a special issue regarding Melungeons and it was recognized by Melungeon and Turkish-American Communities.

Rest in Peace!

The Short Film by a Turkish student in the U.S. is shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

The short documentary film by the Turkish student named Onay who lives in New York will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

Nehir Onay, who is receiving a master's degree education on documentaries in New York, made statements to an Anatolian Agency reporter about the short documentary. 

Onay said that his project titled "Sur Les Pointes" which is about a professional ballet institution and the choreography at that institution, was nominated for the category of best short documentary film in Cannes, and added that her short film also received the second best documentary film award at a film festival organized in New York.

Onay indicated that she was not only the director but also the producer of the project from its development to its distribution.

Onay also stated that the short film festival, which will be held online this year due to the coronavirus, will premiere on September 13th. The projections will end on September 21st. She added that the viewers who purchase tickets for the films that will be streamed online will also have the right to vote for the films.

Turkish Forward Jumps to Cleveland Cavs

Turkish basketball forward Cedi Osman announced on Wednesday that he is leaving Anadolu Efes to join the roster of NBA heavyweights the Cleveland Cavaliers. Speaking to Turkish sports channel NTVSpor, Macedonian-born Osman, 22, said that he was thrilled to be able to play alongside some of the NBA’s hottest stars.

New Haven, Mosque Leaders Work to Resolve Zoning Dispute that Stalled Construction

NEW HAVEN >> A new engineering report is paving the way for resolution of a partially completed mosque, even as another cease and desist order and then a notice to vacate adds to the large city file on the long-delayed project. The problem remains the height of the two minarets on the mosque at 531 Middletown Ave., which exceed what was approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals 19 months ago.

World Stars to Gather for Turkish Series on Refugees

Image Trailers for a Turkish TV series on a Syrian refugee family that will feature global superstars such as actress Angelina Jolie and football player Cristiano Ronaldo have been completed in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, the show’s director has said.  “World-renowned names will come to Gaziantep to contribute to this project,” said the director of “Hayat Köprüsü” (Bridge of Life), Eyüp Dirlik. “We have had talks with some international charity organizations. They promised us to support our project. They will come to Gaziantep and help us. Ronaldo and Jolie are some of the names in the project. They have timing problems but we will do it in one way or other.”

Daphne Oz Shares New Photos of Her 3-Week-Old Baby Son

Image Daphne Oz has offered more glimpses of her and husband John Jovanovic's new baby son, Jovan Jovanovic Jr. The 29-year-old The Chew co-host recently posted on her Instagram page two new pics of the child, whose face is not shown. She is seen carrying the boy in a baby carrier in one, while another shows him being fed. Daphne posted the first pic of her son when he was five days old and his face was also hidden then.

Turkish Drama 'Mustang' Bought by Cohen Media

Image Cohen Media Group has acquired all North American distribution rights to Turkish drama “Mustang” following its screening in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. The film,  the feature directorial debut of Turkish-French filmmaker Deniz Gamze Ergüven, centers on five  young sisters dealing with sexual repression. CMG plans to release the film theatrically in early 2016.

Turkish Playwright Hasan Erkek Selected for 'First Stories Festival'

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble announces that Hasan ERKEK's award-winning play Threshold will be presented as part of the company's "First Stories Festival" on Tuesday, May 20 at 8:00 pm as a staged reading. The performance will be preceded by a brief reception with professor ERKEK, who is attending from Andolou University in Turkey,

Turkish-American Friendship Day

Image WASHINGTON/ATLANTA- Fourth Annual Turkish-American Friendship Day was held in Georgia. The Fourth Annual Turkish-American Friendship Day was held in Atlanta, capital of Georgia state of the US on February 6-7. The event was organized by Atlanta-based ‘Istanbul Center’ and attended by Georgia governor, senators and deputies as well as Turkish officials.
Subscribe to this RSS feed