The Gifted Photographer Joined TURKOFAMERICA Team  

Koray Kasap is potentially one of the most famous and talented Turkish American photographers in 21st century joined to TURKOFAMERICA team as a creative art director and lead photographer. Kasap has worked as both an image maker and a photographer for several well-known Turkish singers, TV stars, model, and artists such Tarkan, Mazhar-Fuat-Özkan, Müslüm Gürses, Ahmet Kaya, Kenan Doğulu, Cem Yılmaz, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Bayezıt Öztürk. After moving to the United States in 2017, Kasap also worked with Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jason Statham. Most recently he shot photos of Netflix movie which was shot in New York, Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and Beren Saat have leading roles.  

World Percussion Master Who Doesn't Like to Brag, Burhan Öçal

Recognized worldwide as a virtuosic percussionist Burhan Öçal has made the bridging of musical cultures his central mission. A native of Kırklareli in Thrace region, he grew up in a musical family. From his father, he learned a variety of percussion instruments, while his mother introduced him to religious vocal music. After his first contact with Western music, he became interested in combining other genres and cultural traditions, such as jazz and Western classical music, with his own. Burhan Öçal’s instruments are as diverse as his music. He is a highly skilled player on a number of stringed instruments. Once Sting described him as ‘the king of drum.’

Printing from Walls to Vehicles, from MoMa to Mom&Pop

 

When COVID-19 spread and halted life, employees of Letra Sign Supplies, a sign, banner and printing business in Garfield, New Jersey were concerned. They had moved the company from Clifton, NJ to Garfield that year. The company was on the eve of growth. They were providing logo, banner, sign, and other printing materials services to the retail sector at all scales, from small to large. What they feared did not happen. On the contrary, their business grew. 

Bye Bye Jewelry Business Welcome Commercial Real Estate Business 

 

Ceylan family from Türkiye arrived in New Jersey on Sunday, July 4, 1993. The shop was closed on Monday. On Tuesday, he and his brother stopped by Dunkin Donuts for a coffee. They made their way to his brother's shop at the Woodbridge Jewelry Exchange, the region’s largest selection of jewelry, with more than 100,000 items in one location in Woodbridge, NJ. "I’ve been working ever since," says Yusuf (Joseph) Ceylan. The Ceylan family, originally from the village of Gülgöze in the Midyat district of Mardin, sought to go abroad when economic conditions in Türkiye became difficult after the Gulf War. Ceylan graduated from high school in İstanbul. His brother and uncle had come to the United States before them. They came to the U.S. with a green card. 

Selling Carpet Across the U.S.

 

Sellers in the carpet shops in the Grand Bazaar, İstanbul are known in the world for their unique sales techniques. The sales adventure ends with the customer who enters the shop saying "I will definitely not buy a carpet" and receives thousands of dollars’ worth of carpet to his home. Carpets sold in Istanbul Grand Bazaar are delivered directly to Germany, France, Belgium, the United States and all over the world. They swallowed the dust of the Grand Bazaar together at an early age, carried carpets, served tea to tourists, swept the floor, tried to learn English together, and got scolded by the boss. The story of the friendship and brotherhood of two apprentices of the same shop for nearly 35 years, stretching from Istanbul to America. 

A Reality Show Star, A Cosmetic Surgeon, and A Happy Home: Jennifer & Bill Aydın

By Cemil Ozyurt - When the reality show Real Housewives of New Jersey started on Bravo TV on May 12th, 2009, Jennifer Aydın, a housewife then living in River Edge, New Jersey, was one of the devoted followers of the show. She sent an e-mail to the production company a couple of times to be on the show. The production team reviewed her application. They visited her house but found it too small for the show. But Jennifer didn’t give up. She had a new house, with 9 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, built on a vacant land in Paramus, one of the neighborhoods near River Edge. The house she had built also had basketball court in the basement, a pool and a huge yard around it. When the production team saw this new house, they changed their mind and invited Jennifer to The Real Housewives of New Jersey show. Jennifer started being on the show in 2017, during its 9th season. Jennifer has been watched closely for four seasons on the The Real Housewives of New Jersey TV Show, which has been broadcasted on Bravo TV for 12 seasons and viewed by an audience of 1,1 million. She is a savvy, witty, and sincere person who thinks and responds quickly, reflecting on her real thoughts and, at times, appearing somewhat arrogant. She gives much effort to make her family and everybody else around her happy. She is sometimes a bridge between her mother and father when they’re in conflict; an angel watching after her siblings; and mother who has taken over the role of discipling her children. By February of 2023, with the start of the new episode on Bravo TV, Jennifer will begin her fifth episode on the show. Every single detail about her life is reflected on tv screen.

From A Sultan’s Pen, Prisoners in the Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus  

 

 

By Cemil Özyurt - Murad V, (1840-1904), Ottoman sultan from May to August 1876, whose liberal disposition brought him to the throne after the deposition of his uncle Abdülaziz. Abdülaziz’ deposition by a group of ministers led by Midhat Paşa, the great advocate of constitutional government, Murad was brought to the throne. The new sultan was determined to introduce constitutional reforms, but, under the impact of Abdülaziz’ suicide and the murder of some of his key ministers, Murad suffered mental collapse. After declaration by Turkish and foreign doctors that his illness was incurable, Murad was deposed by the same men who had brought him to the throne. During the reign (1876–1909) of his brother Abdülhamid II, several attempts to restore him to the throne failed, and he spent the remaining years of his life confined in the Çırağan Palace. Languishing behind the high walls and heavily-guarded gates of the Çırağan Palace are the former Sultan Murad V and his family. This palace on the shores of the Bosphorus has been their ‘gilded cage’ for nearly thirty years: ever since Murad’s deposition in 1876, they have been held in strict confinement on the orders of his younger brother, the autocratic ruler Sultan Abdülhamid II.  

It’s not a common writing a story, novel or diary for members of Ottoman family. Not more members of the Imperial family put pen to paper in order to record their unique memories and fascinating stories. To honour the memory of her great-great-great-grandfather, Ayşe Gülnev Osmanoğlu wrote a novel, “The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus” and she decided to make the book available to purchase on 7th July 2020 – in honour of his father’s 80th Birthday. She says: “In memory of all who once lived as prisoners in the Çırağan Palace, especially His Imperial Majesty Sultan Murad V. You will never be forgotten ghosts and shadows – instead your memory lives on in the hearts and souls of your descendants…” Osmanoğlu answered TURKOFAMERICA’s questions.

Experiencing Europe and America through Restaurant Business

Most of the Syriac community who left Mardin for several reasons came to Europe and some to the United States. Aziz Gürbüz is one of the names who have both European and American experience.
Originally from Altıntaş village of Midyat district of Mardin province. He still has not broken his ties with his village. Last summer, he sent his wife and son Gabriel to Mor Gabriel Church in Midyat for summer camp, so that he could get to know the Syriac culture and understand the religious values. 

NYC Mayor Adams attends Turkish Parade

The annual New York Turkish Day Parade was held in Manhattan after a two-year break due to the pandemic. The Parade started on East 53rd Street on Madison Avenue and ended in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, opposite the United Nations building.

The 39th Turkish Day Parade was held with the theme, 'Towards the Centenary with the Crescent and Star', under the coordination of the Directorate of Communications of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey. More than 50 organizations and associations from the US and Turkey attended the Parade.

The Janissary Band within the Istanbul Historical Turkish Music Ensemble of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism also appeared in the Parade. The folk dance groups from Konya Seljuk University and Izmir Dance and Arts performed in the events organized within the 39th Turkish Day Parade.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams also attended the Turkish Parade and addressed the Turkish-American community. He stated that he valued the Turkish community in the US and said:  "I am happy to be celebrating the Turkish parade with you on this beautiful day."

New York City Mayor Eric Adams told Turk of America Journalist Ali Cinar that "I'm a friend of the Turkish people here and abroad. I have a large Turkish population that lives in New York, probably one of the largest in our country,"

At the Parade festival at Dag Hammarskjold at 2nd Avenue and 47th Street, Manhattan, Turkish Ambassador Murat Mercan addressed the Turkish-American community and said: "We aim to conserve and pass down our Turkish identity to the future generations. Our unity and solidarity will grow stronger thanks to this Parade. I would like to thank all of our associations who have contributed to the event."

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