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TCA's Chairman and Founder Dr. Yalcin Ayasli Receives 2020 Ataturk Distinguished Humanitarian Award

TCA's Chairman and Founder, Dr. Yalcin Ayasli, was a keynote speaker and recipient of the 2020 Ataturk Society of America Ataturk Distinguished Humanitarian Award at the 100th Anniversary of National Sovereignty & Children's Day and the inauguration of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

Turkish Philanthropy Funds Launches its COVID-19 Community Relief Fund and #KeepHopeAlive Music Marathon

Turkish Philanthropy Funds has launched it’s Community Relief Fund on March 31st, 2020 The fund focuses on supporting nonprofit organizations working directly to respond to the pandemic among the most vulnerable populations and to hospitals to provide the much-needed gear and equipment to help build their capacity for response both in the United States and in Turkey.
Since the launch, Founding Society Members Haldun and Nihal Tashman have pledged to match the first $100,000 raised. Additionally, Aylin and Louis Kim matched the first $2,500 donated.
To this day we are at $102,266 toward our goal of $200,000.

Belgin Aksoy meets with Oprah in New York

Oprah Winfrey, famous American talk show host, started her 3-month tour - titled "Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus" - during which she will be visiting most of the states in the US to talk about the balance between mind,  body, and soul.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama was one of the speakers during the Brooklyn leg of her tour - which took place at Barclay's Center and featured the leaders of the wellness industry and changemaker celebrities among the guests. Belgin Aksoy - the person who introduced the "Global Wellness Day" to the world - drew attention by meeting with Oprah.

Belgin Aksoy, who spoke about the sentimental moments of this meeting, said that "While residing among the audience crowd of 15,000,  I smiled to myself when I heard Oprah talking about the Global Wellness Day, and thought about how strong each one of us is." Last year, Winfrey also supported the Global Wellness Day via the congratulatory video, which she shared through all of her social media accounts. Aksoy also noted that the moment she thanked Oprah in person for her support "will always be one of the most unforgettable moments" of her life.

 Aksoy also invited Oprah Winfrey to Turkey by presenting her a special invitation letter for the 8th anniversary of the Global Wellness Day which will be celebrated on June 13th, at more than 7,000 locations and 150 countries with free-to-participate events.

THY EXECUTIVE ILKER AYCI SPEAKS AT UN

Ilker Ayci was among the keynote speakers of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science event which took place at the UN General Assembly Hall and organized by the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) which is being chaired by Dr. Nisreen El-Hashemite - a descendent of the Iraqi royal family and a Faysal I of Iraq.

Following the opening speech of Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the 74th session of UN General Assembly, Ayci first noted that Turkey is one of the pioneer countries when it comes to women's rights, and also stated that as a flag carrier THY is proud of Turkish women's role in the aviation sector since 1930s.

Ayci, reminding that the first [female] combat pilot in the history was Sabiha Gokcen from Turkey, made an emphasis on the fact that women were increasingly participating in active roles since the establishment of THY in 1933.

Ayci also noted that 46% of THY's workforce is comprised of women and that they are working to increase this percentage to create full gender equality. He also said that THY, with their 211 female pilots in the workforce, is one of the airlines in Europe with the highest amount of female pilots.

Ayci made the following remarks in his speech:

"Our steadfast support for women is not only in the business sector. As Turkish Airlines, we believe in gender equality in sports as well and as a company that believes in the power of sports, we support certain athletes, teams, and tournaments worldwide with pleasure."

Ayci said that THY supports gender equality, and also talked about the institution's environmental awareness. Aycı said that as Turkish Airlines, they embrace a versatile approach, from developing alternative fuels to zero-waste projects.

During the two day program, Selin Sevimli - youngest female pilot Turkish Airlines -, Captain Pilot Ahu Nur Turkoglu and engineer Elif Ozsoy also spoke and shared their experiences with the audience.

Among the speakers of the event were diplomats, "Fortune 500" company executives, academics from all over the world, and representatives from nongovernmental organizations.

For the last five years on February 11th as a part of the celebrations of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, RASIT is organizing this 2-day meeting in the UN Headquarters for increasing the women's role in science. These meetings are hosted by Malta and serve as a platform for the exchange of ideas on gender equality.

5th Annual TOA Awards to Honor The Year's Best

TURKOFAMERICA Magazine, which has been awarding successful people of the United States in different categories since 2014, honors the year’s successful people in different field from diplomacy to business, academy to entrepreneurship.

5th TOA Outstanding Achievement Awards (Outstanding Achievement Awards, Heritage + Diversity + Legacy + Business) ceremony presented by TOA Consulting and U.S. Chamber of Commerce is held at U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s historic building in Washington DC on November 15, 2019. The award ceremony has showcased the artworks of three artists.

This year’s award winners are among 12 different names such as Ryan Zinke, former United States Secretary of the Interior; Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States; Ümran Beba, Pepsico Inc Chief Global Diversity Engagement & Talent Officer; Murat Özgener, CEO of Oz Arts Nashville, one of Nashville's most popular contemporary art centers; Kemal Erkan, known for his work in the field of electronic medical record and one of the founders of the largest private health network system in Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region; Dr. Gökhan Gündoğdu, Senior Advisor to Executive President to Atlantic Council and Chairman Gundogdu Foundation; James Hughes, President and CEO of Unity Bank; businessman İzzet Pinto, founder of Global Agency, which exports the most films and TV series from Turkey to the world; G. Lincoln McCurdy, President of Turkish Coalition of America; Mehmet Mustafaoğlu, Founder and CEO of Los Angeles based  private equity firm, Trans Global Financial Corp and first recipient of Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and businessman Mustafa Tuncer, known for his companies in the natural stone, media and retail sectors in the United States. Özer Güler, Turkish Airlines General Manager of Washington, DC also were awarded with a special thanks award plaque.

“We will continue to expand the categories”
Demet Cabbar, Sevil Altinsoy and Ali Gunertem have also awarded as Friends of TURKOFAMERICA for their contribution and support the magazine since 2002. The awards were determined by the TURKOFAMERICA selection committee and presented to the jury members. Last year’s award ceremony was held at the Harvard Club in New York. Thirty Americans who are Friends of Turkey had been awarded at the ceremony.

TURKOFAMERICA Magazine Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, Cemil Özyurt stated that for the first time this year they would present awards to Turkish-Americans as well as American people and other ethnic groups contributing to the economic, social and cultural life of the United States. Özyurt who pointed out the difficulty of doing such activity at a time when relations between the two countries were very tense, said: “Strained relations between the two countries should not keep us from such activities. Our purpose was to open this traditional award ceremony to different ethnic groups and Americans. This year, besides Turkish-Americans in different fields, we have included successful names that contribute to America. We will continue our way by expanding the categories next year.”

Jimmy Cuneyt Gürkan, TOA Consulting Partner stated that the artworks of Hulis Mavruk, Tony Şeker and Esin Kösoğlu have exhibited before and during the award ceremony, and a portion of the proceeds would be donated to a non-profit institution. Gürkan emphasized that they would hold the award ceremony for the first time this year in a city other than New York, and remarked that they wanted to reach different audiences by spreading the awards ceremonies throughout the United States.

Turkish Airlines is the main sponsor of the award ceremony. United Medical, Natural Source Group, Vintage Food and Sarar also supports the event. About 150 people are expected to attend the award ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To see event photos click here 

ABOUT TURKOFAMERICA MAGAZINE
TURKOFAMERICA is founded by two college friends from journalism school in Istanbul and they came to United States to pursue their master's degree on June 19th, 2001. The young entrepreneurs started to publish TURKOFAMERICA on August 2002. The magazine is the first Turkish-American nationwide business magazine and its mission is to report news about the Turkish-American business community in the U.S. The magazine's content includes primarily the lives of Turkish people in the U.S. and their social, cultural and economic activities as well as the activities of Americans who are related in any way with Turkey or the Turkish community.

ABOUT TOA CONSULTING
TOA Consulting is a management consulting firm that helps overseas companies to reach their full potential is U.S. TOA helps global companies with business contulting, corporate event organization, trade shows, conferences, summits, corporate travel arrangements for trade delegations, international business matchmaking, B2B networkind events.

 

Ryan Zinke, Former U.S. Interior Secretary receives his award from Kimmy Cunyet Gurkan, TOA Consulting partner. 

 

Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States receives his award from Cemil Ozyurt, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TurkofAmerica Magazine. 

 

Umran Beba, Senior Vice President of Pepsi Co. receives her award from Deputy Ambassador of Turkish Republic to Washington DC. 

 

Izzet Pinto, Founder of Global Agency receives his award from Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. 

 

Janice Bolomey, Director of Sales and Chief Admin Officer, Executive Vice President of Unity Bank. She recieves her awared on behalf of James Hughes, President/CEO of Unity Bank from Lola Zinke. 
 
 
 
 
Mustafa Tuncer, founder of Troy Granite and owner of Forum USA newspaper, recieves his award from Lala Abdurahimova Suleymanov. 
 
 
 
 
Lincoln G. Mc Curdy, President of Turkish Coalition of America recieves his award from Derya Taskin. 
 
 
 
 
Aylin Ozgener of Oz Arts Nashville recieves her award from Tony Seker, Turkish-American artist.
 
 
 
 
Dr. Gokhan Gundogdu, Senior Advisor to Executive President to Atlantic Council and Chairman Gundogdu Foundation recieves his award from Savannah Lane of Turkish Heritage Organization. 
 
 
 
 
Businessman Kemal Erkan, founder and CEO of United Medical of Deleware, recieves his award from Ryan Zinke, former U.S. Interior Secretary. 
 
 
 
 
Businessman Mehmet Mustafaoglu recives his award from Loutte Ragusa of Turkish Coalition of America. 
 
 
 
 
Ozer Guler, Turkish Airlines General Manager of Washington, DC receives his award from Ryan Zinke.
 
 
 
 
Friend of TURKOFAMERICA award reciept Demet Cabbar with Fidan Ozyurt.
 
 
 
 
Friend of TURKOFAMERICA award reciept Sevil Altinsoy with Lola Zinke.
 
 
 
 
Friend of TURKOFAMERICA award reciept Ali Gunertem with Cemil Ozyurt. 

Facebook appoints a Turkish Businesswoman as the new Regional Director for Middle East, Africa and Turkey

A successful Turkish businesswoman Derya Matraş has been appointed as Regional Director of Facebook in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

In this role, she will manage Facebook to serve businesses and communities and to grow the company’s economic and social impact across the region.

 “The fast-growing ME, Africa and Turkey region is an important market for Facebook. Derya’s wealth of experience in emerging markets and her pioneering spirit will help us further drive impact and value in this uniquely diverse region, while maintaining our mission of bringing people together and building communities,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s Europe, Middle East Africa Vice President.
 
Commenting on her appointment,Derya Matras said: “I am honored to lead this diverse region for Facebook where our goals of building new experiences that meaningfully improve people’s lives and supporting millions of businesses that rely on our services to grow and create jobs, truly come to life. As a woman leader, I am very proud to be appointed to this region where diversity is of crucial importance, and I am looking forward to continuing to drive our significant economic and social value contribution.”

Who is Derya Matras?

Derya Matras, who has been Country Director of Turkey in Facebook since 2015, is leading the Facebook team working to help brands and agencies operating in Turkey to use Facebook, Instagram and other relevant company products in the best way.

Ms. Matraş had a Bachelor of Engineering from Boğaziçi University, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and an MBA degree from Columbia Business School. She previously worked in international companies, including McKinsey & Company. Prior to joining Facebook, she was Vice President of Dogan Media Group, the largest media conglomerate and She also worked at McKinsey & Company advising private sector and governments around the world, especially on the digital economy. Ms. Matras is married with two children.

Facebook:

Facebook had 2.41 billion monthly active users around the world, as of last year. It is blocked in North Korea and China. There are over 40,000 employees and company's revenue was US$55 billion dollars in 2018. Facebook user number is currently 34 million in Turkey and  In 2022, the number of monthly active Facebook users is projected to reach 37.72 million individuals. 

NATO Leaders Meeting in London and the Future of NATO

NATO Heads of State and Government meeting in London witnessed some groundbreaking declarations. During the meeting, it was announced that North Macedonia would join the organization as its 30th member and for the first time, China's rising power became the subject of a joint declaration which stated that "China’s growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance”. 

"We have been able to change when the world is changing," said Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO, underlining that NATO is the most successful alliance in history. Stoltenberg further stated that the defense expenditures have increased and there is only one platform for North America and Europe to discuss and make decisions.

In the joint declaration, countries have agreed on solidarity and Moscow's withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was also touched upon, underlining that Russia's worrying activities pose a threat to the Euro-Atlantic security.

It was underlined that NATO members have increased the number of initiatives to protect their sovereignty in both the aerial and naval domains and that NATO's defensive and dissuasive powers are continuing to being strengthened with nuclear, conventional and missile defensive capabilities. In addition, the commitment to the 5th article of the Washington Treaty which promises that "an armed attack against one member state is an armed attack against all members" was reiterated 

The Trump-Erdogan Meeting

The latest developments between Turkey and the USA were addressed in this unexpected meeting which took place over the course of NATO Heads of State and Government meeting. While the USA was represented by Pompeo - the Secretary of State- and O'Brien - the National Security Advisor -, Yildirim - former prime minister -, Cavusoglu - Minister of Foreign Affairs -, Albayrak - Minister of Finance -, Akar - Minister of National Defence -, Dr. Altun - Communication Director of the Presidency - and Kalin - Presidential Spokesman - were present to represent Turkey.

During the Trump-Erdogan meeting, which was the second face-to-face meeting of the leaders in a month, NATO's co-operation was discussed once again.

The Merkel-Johnson-Erdogan-Macron Meeting

Following the suggestion of President Erdogan, Boris Johnson - Prime Minister of the UK - hosted a quadruple summit where the before mentioned leaders came together with Emmanuel Macron - President of France - and Angela Merkel - Chancellor of Germany - to discuss Syria. In the joint declaration that was presented at the end of the meeting which lasted over an hour, it was stated that the countries agreed on ceasing the attacks that target the civilians all over Syria, including Idlib. While the second quadruple summit is planned to be held in Turkey in February 2020, and Turkey watches Europe's lack of action with concern, in regards to events that are taking place in Syria. 

Turkey's YPG-PKK Sensitivity

An issue was raised about Turkey's initial refusal to back Baltic defense plan over YPG-PKK matter, and the country's later approval for the before mentioned plan. Yet the Turkish side declared that the previous statements made in regards to the correlation between YPG and PKK by the NATO members are still valid, and that the countries have agreed upon certain issues.

However, the disagreements over YPG-PKK matter between the USA and Turkey continue to exist. While some American military authorities and diplomats acknowledge the correlation between YPK and PKK, YPG is being segregated when it comes to Syria.

The sincere support of NATO members to Turkey's fight against terror is important. Otherwise, the presence of the trust issue between certain members will continue to exist.

Trump's Sensitivity to the NATO Budget

After President Trump had taken office and criticized that the NATO member countries are not fair when it comes to NATO's budget, the budget issue had come to the forefront.

This year, NATO members, who have increased their defense expenditures continuously for the last 5 years, increased their defense expenditures by 4.6% in real terms. The number of countries allocated 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to defense expenditures has increased to 9. These countries are Bulgaria (3.25 %), Greece (2.28%), England (2.14%), Estonia (2.14%) , Romania (2.04%), Lithuania (2.03%) , Latvia (2.01%) and Poland (2%).

Additionally, Trump got together with leaders of these 9 countries for a dinner as a mean to thank them.

This year the defense expenditures of NATO members surpass $984 billion. While Turkey's budget is $18 billion, the USA single-handedly contributes 70% of NATO's defense expenditure by spending $685 billion 99 million.

 

The 30th Member North Macedonia 

NATO took its final step to accept its 30th member after having signed the accession protocol with Northern Macedonia in February. Zoran Zaev, the Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia took part in the leaders' summit in London and the flag of N. Macedonia was represented at the NATO meetings.

Northern Macedonia, which took part in the NATO meetings, will become the 30th member of NATO once the accession protocol has been approved in the parliaments of all member countries and all official procedures have been completed.

While the area of influence of Russia becomes more restricted with Northern Macedonia, it is expected that NATO will also continue its policy of expansion in 2020.

NATO, S400 and Turkey-Spain Relations

Spanish Prime Minister announced that Spain would maintain its presence in the NATO missile defense mission in Turkey and made a reference to other members. Because Turkey expresses that they are not receiving an adequate amount of patriots from the NATO members against internal and external security threats.

In addition to this, Jens Stoltenberg - Secretary-General of NATO - stated that the "S-400s used by Turkey will never be integrated into the NATO".

 

Dispute over Macron and Trump-Erdogan Solidarity

As was the case before the London summit, both US President Trump and President Erdogan responded to French President Macron's statements that the brain death of NATO had occurred, giving out the message that we would endeavor to make NATO even stronger. Trump referred to the words of Macron as very humiliating and said, "NATO has a great purpose. Nobody needs NATO more than France. These kinds of statements are very dangerous".

2019 NATO Activities

 

Established in 1949, NATO is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Apart from the London Summit, the organization hosted two conferences at foreign ministerial level (with one of these in Washington DC) and three conferences at defense ministerial level.

Established in 1949, NATO is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Apart from the London Summit which was participated by the Heads of State and Government of the member countries, the organization hosted two conferences at foreign ministerial level (with one of these in Washington DC) and three conferences at defense ministerial level.

NATO, along with performing over 100 military operations this year, has declared space as the new theater of operations. It has also been announced that NATO was on new actions regarding cybersecurity.

Following North Macedonia, the work is being done to include Georgia to NATO as a member country. Even though there are difficulties due to Russian annexation over 20% of Georgian land, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg will be in Tbilisi in March and NATO has a coordination office in Tbilisi since 2010.

NATO had also reached a $ 1 billion agreement with Boeing, allowing AWACS fleet to serve until 2035.

As a summary, the future of NATO is not in despair. With each member is making positive statements on the organization, investments of NATO in new fields, attempts to reach the desired budget and with new members, I presume that this 70-year-old alliance will last many many years.

 

 

 

 

Turkish Actor Haluk Bilginer Wins Emmy

By Jimmy Cuneyt Gurkan - Haluk Bilginer won the Best Performance by an Actor award on Monday at the 47th International Emmy Awards in New York for his performance in the TV series Sahsiyet (Persona). "I am very happy that this award went to Turkey more than myself,” the 65-year-old actor told Anadolu Agency. “It is very pleasing that work we do with love and admiration is appreciated by others on an international platform and crowned with an award.”

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5th Annual TOA Awards to Honor The Year's Best

TURKOFAMERICA Magazine, which has been awarding successful people of the United States in different categories since 2014, honors the year’s successful people in different field from diplomacy to business, academy to entrepreneurship. 5th TOA Outstanding Achievement Awards (Outstanding Achievement Awards, Heritage + Diversity + Legacy + Business) ceremony presented by TOA Consulting and U.S. Chamber of Commerce is held at U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s historic building in Washington DC on November 15, 2019. The award ceremony has showcased the artworks of three artists.

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