Episode 90

(29 minutes)

The 32nd Annual Turkish American National Convention was held on April 12-14, 2012
in Washington, DC. This convention is geared towards advocating a positive
relationship between Turkey and the United States. Many Turkish-American
organizations gather to promote involvement of community members in the affairs of US
and Turkey through education, grassroots, and local efforts. Convention Chairperson,
Gunay Evinch, described the theme of the 32nd convention as “leadership for heritage
community empowerment.”

This yearʼs convention was hosted by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations
(ATAA), the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA), and the Turkish
American Community Center (TACC). Over the course of three days, the convention
aimed to “educate, motivate, and mobilize local community support of US-Turkish
relations” through various seminars, discussion panels, and grassroots events. Day 1,
Grassroots Day, was held at the Turkish Coalition of Americaʼs (TCA) office and focused
on training members on public advocacy. Day 2, Leadership Day, was held at the
Washington Plaza Hotel, discussing the intricacies of relations between the US and
Turkey. Day 3, Young Turks Day, centered around the involvement of young Turkish
community members. Ambassador Namik Tan stated, “The future is in the hands and
minds of our young generation.”

Members of Congress, the State Department, and representatives from the White
House were also in attendance, serving to foster a strong relationship between the US
and Turkish community. Mr. Evinch mentioned that the byline is “thinking globally, acting
locally.” As the video shows, the convention achieved its goal of educating and
motivating the community to take action in working towards strengthening relations
between the two countries.

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