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"Politicians from Turkey and the U.S. comment two countries relationship and current problems, foresight future relations... Presidents, Prime  Ministers, Ministers and Members of Parlement  all speak to TURKOFAMERICA, share their experiences and views with our readers. All exclusive interview from Ankara and Washington, D.C...  

 

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Washington, Ankara Grow Closer as Wave of Revolts Continues

Image Washington hosted two high-level Turkish diplomats this week and had a chance to listen to the Turkish administration’s foreign policy vision spanning from Eurasia to the Middle East and North Africa during various think tank discussions.

One of the visiting diplomats, Ambassador Selim Yenel, deputy undersecretary for Bilateral Affairs and Public Diplomacy, was in Washington primarily for the sixth meeting of the U.S.-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission to follow up previous meetings to find ways to increase the trade between two countries. However, Yenel spent considerable time to reach members of the Congress, especially from the House Foreign Relations Committee, met some of the new members of the commission, and also talked at the German Marshall Fund, in a panel organized by Ian Lesser, senior Transatlantic fellow there. Interest in this particular discussion was high, as many of Washington’s serious Turkey watchers as well as diplomats from various European countries crowded the conference room.

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas Visits New York

ImageBrooklyn Borough Mayor Marty Markowitz welcomed the mayor of Istanbul to Brooklyn, with a ceremony featuring a marching band and huge platters of Junior's cheesecake, a ceremony he says was paid for entirely by the Turkish consulate.

"Brooklyn -- proud home to America's largest Turkish-American population by county -- was extremely thrilled to welcome Mayor Kadir Topbas, the leader of Istanbul," Markowitz said.

TCA Donates $100,000 to Help Haiti Earthquake Victims

ImageOn February 7, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) presented a $ 50,000 donation to Operation Helping Hands to help victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. TCA had previously donated $50,000 to Operation Helping Hands and to Cross International, another relief organization, bringing the total TCA donation for the Haiti relief efforts to $100,000.
 
The donation ceremony was held at the Florida Turkish American Association (FTAA) Turkish House with the participation of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in whose district Operation Helping Hands is headquartered, Joe Pena of The United Way and Serap Odabas-Yigit, President of FTAA. Congresswoman Lehtinen praised TCA and Operation Helping Hands for their efforts to provide vital assistance to the people of Haiti. The event received coverage in the Miami Herald and the Bradenton Herald and on local television networks.

Turkish-US Strategic Partnership

Image By Namik Tan *- During the long decades of the Cold War, Turkey was primarily known for its military-strategic contribution to NATO in the defense of freedom. Now, we are increasingly known for our regional ties, economic dynamism and secular democracy and Turkish diplomacy has become an active force in projecting peace and stability in a wider geography spanning the Balkans, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Asia.

However, conflicts and disputes in our immediate and further neighborhood and beyond are far from resolved. Indeed, the Iranian nuclear issue remains elusive; Iraq is yet to be secured from sources of instability; efforts to ameliorate the Arab-Israeli conflict have not produced the desired outcome; Turkish-Israeli relations are passing through difficult times; the Caucasus continues to witness ongoing conflicts; efforts to ensure stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina face challenges; despite positive developments, international efforts in Afghanistan still confront difficulties; and in Cyprus the ongoing isolation of the Turkish Cypriots continues despite attempts to achieve a lasting settlement. Turkey plays an important and frequently central role on each of these issues, all of which remain high on the United States’ foreign policy agenda.

US Consul General Kilner: "Bilateral Trade Should be Bigger"

ImageThe first and the 16th largest economies in the world should have better trade relations, said US Consul General Scott Kilner, who assumed his duties in İstanbul in September 2010. “Bilateral trade is roughly $11 billion in both directions. It should be a lot bigger than that for the first largest and the 16th largest economies in the world. Turkish trade with a number of European countries, and now with Iraq is bigger than with the US,” Kilner told Sunday’s Zaman. Kilner referred to US President Barack Obama, Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s commitment for setting up the framework for an increase in trade relations.

The trade volume between the two countries reached almost $13 billion in 2010, the flow is in the US’s favor as Turkey’s imports from the US are more than double the volume of its exports to the country. In 2009, US exports to Turkey were $7.09 billion while imports from Turkey were $3.66 billion, bringing total bilateral trade to $10.75 billion.

Turkey's Erdogan Chosen "Man of Year" on CNN

ImageAccording to the news on CNN's Arabic-language portal, 74 percent of readers voted for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and carried him to the top position in the ranking. Syrian President Bashar al-Asad followed Erdogan in the list, getting votes from 20 percent of CNN Arabic's followers.

TCA Native American Delegation Meets Turkish Minister

ImageWashington, DC, November 9, 2010 - Participants in the TCA Native American Business Cooperation Trip to Turkey met yesterday with Turkish Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan and the leadership of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly to discuss opportunities for economic cooperation between Indian Country and Turkey. Topics covered during the meeting included natural resources, tourism, and construction.

TCA Ranks Third in Groups Sponsoring International Congressional Travel

Image
Lincoln McCurdy, President of Turkish Coalition of America with Congressman Dan Burton.
September 24, 2010, Washington, DC –
According to a report by U.S. News and World Report, the Turkish Coalition of America ranks third in the list of American organizations sponsoring trips for members of Congress and staff in 2009-2010.

The list is headed by the American Israel Education Foundation, an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The Aspen Institute, a non-partisan think-tank ranks second and the German Marshall Fund ranks fourth in the list.

Since May 2009, TCA organized and sponsored seven congressional delegation trips, taking 80 congressional staffers and five members of Congress to Turkey. Its last two trips included visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia.
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