Proclamations were sent by the Governor of Ohio Jon Kasich, The Secretary of State Jon Husted,President of the Ohio Senate Senator Tom Niehaus and Mayor of Riverside Bill Flute.
The Consul General of the Turkish Republic in Chicago Fatih Yildiz joked in his speech that even his ceremonies in the consulate hadn’t ever gathered so many honorable officials. The reason for the attention of the officials explained Gary Leitzell . He told about his first meeting with the president of ATACC . he was attracted by the incredible perseverance of this young man. Islom Shakhbandarov could convince him to become open to immigrants and promised to fill thousands of vacant houses bringing all diaspora to Dayton. The Center had purchased a land from Riverside Community to open the biggest muslim cemetery in America and it had become the starting point for a reunion of Diaspora .
In short time when hundreds of Ahiska Turkish refugees revitalized the old North Dayton , the city decided to prepare “Wellcome Dayton plan”.
This people experienced 3 deportations within 70 years and were persecuted 15 years in Krasnodar region of Russia. After the
years of hardship and persecution they are not afraid of economic crises. They only wants to live in peace and work legally. This hard-working self-sufficient people only wants to be useful to the friendly city.
The ability of the Turkish Community to adapt admired also Bob Taft the Former governor of Ohio. The Community hosted the Dayton Early College Academy(DECA) students studying immigration and cooperation with Mr. Taft will continue.
The Building of the ATACC will be the hosting center not only for Ahiska Turks but also for Catholic Social Services, Communities of Dayton and many others who will be ready to cooperate. The Facility has its own mosque which is open every day like the whole office.
Anthony Whitmore, master of ceremony and the board member after the honorable guests’ greetings invited 300 guests to taste Turkish cuisine. For about 14 members of the Women Committee during 2 days were preparing many delicious dishes: hinkal (meat dumplings), pilaf, samsa (puff pastry pies with meat), katmer (puff cake), stuffed grape leaves, stuffed mushrooms ,honey cakes , chady ( corn bread)and different salads.
Miko show group from Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan entertained the guests . The concert continued with Caucasus dances from the young performers of the Community. In the end of the evening the whole community joined hands dancing “ bar”. The name of the dance means “together”. This dance is the final chord of all feasts of the Ahiska people which implies unity.
On this first official day ATACC tried to make an unforgettable evening for the guests. Volunteers of the Center will create a space of peace which has become the only desire of the Community for many years of hard uncertainty. With gratitude to the Government of the US and Turkey, with the desire of happiness to the people of America. To watch the opening ceromony at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl-YiHoSG_c