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Cemil Ozyurt

Cemil Ozyurt

Over 200 Turkish-American Lawyers Practice in the U.S.

By Cemil Ozyurt - According to TurkofAmerica’s research on Turkish-American lawyers in the U.S., the most experienced lawyer is Elizer Kapuya, who has practiced since 1975 in Los Angeles. Kapuya graduated from the University of West Los Angeles. After Kapuya, the second-most experienced lawyer is Aydın S. Çağınalp, who has practiced in New York since 1976. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America. Melih Doğan also has practiced since 1979 in New York. İskender Cemaletin has also practiced immigration law for over 26 years and has maintained his main office in the same building, located in downtown New York City.

New York is a home for Turkish-American lawyers. According to our research, 82 lawyers have practiced in New York State, 38 lawyers are located in California, and 25 lawyers have practiced in Washington, DC.

The most popular law schools for the lawyers are Brooklyn Law School, Touro Law School, Seton Hall University School of Law and Suffolk University Law School. The most preferred practice areas are immigration, business law and international law.

In addition to Turkish-American lawyers, there are plenty of American lawyers who target the Turkish-American community and they are very active in it. Considered as friends of Turks, Michael E. McMahon of Herrick, Feinstein, LLP, Andrew P. Johnson, David Saltzman of Saltzman & Evinch P.C., and John Driscoll of Eaton & Van Winkle LLP are well known American lawyers in Turkish-American community.  

The list includes Armenian, Greek, and Jews of Turkish descent as well as lawyers who married Turks, such Vanessa Seçkin in New York, Staci Cazanne Pirnar of Bellinger & Suberg, LLP in Dallas, TX, Rachel Cerqueira Denktaş of Saltzman & Evinch, P.C. in Washington, DC, and Christina Angelena Çorbacı of Joyce & Associates, P.C. in Boston, MA.

There are approximately 20 lawyers who have dual law school degrees from both Turkey and the U.S. Cahit Akbulut is the pioneer of the Turkish lawyers who started to practice in the U.S. after obtaining a law degree in Turkey. Mine Gür of The Law Office of H. Mine Gur, Mehmet Fırat Polat of Polat Law Firm, and Betül Ü. Dışkaya of Pinci & Bianchini Law, have obtained dual law degrees from both Turkey and the U.S.

Some owners of boutique law firms expand their offices to different cities. Seda Aktaş of Aktas Law Firm, and Ayhan Ögmen of Ogmen Law Firm have three different offices in three different cities. Seda Aktaş has offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando.   

Some lawyers work at as partners in respected large law firms such as Barbaros Karaahmet of Herrick, Feinstein, LLP, a New York based renowned law firm with 170 lawyers and it has existed since 1928, Berin S. Romagnolo of Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP, founded 1980 in Boston, Demet Başar of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, founded in 1888, and Gülgün U. Mersereau of Hawkins Delafield & Wood, LLP, based on Portland, OR with more than 100 lawyers in eight cities.

The highest ranked person among Turkish-Americans in the legal professions is Jay Ceyhun Karahan, who is a judge in the Harris County Criminal Court in Houston, TX. He has been re-elected twice since 2003. Elizabeth Munisoğlu is the Commissioner of the Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles and Mehmet K. Konar-Steenberg is the Dean of William Mitchell College of Law School in Saint Paul, MN.

While most lawyers prefer to run their own offices, some of them work for companies as in-house legal advisers for companies such as IBM, Blackberry, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, American Express, Morgan Stanley and Travelers.

Some experienced lawyers are also very active in Turkish-American community. Günay Evinch of Saltzman & Evinch was former President of American Turkish Association Assemble; Sevil Özışık of Tooma & Ozisik LLP was President of Turkish American Chamber of Commerce Industry and Remzi Güvenç Kulen of Kulen Law Firm was President of Turkish American Cultural Center in New Jersey.

The younger generation also has a bright future in their careers, including Ayşe Kuzucuoğlu of Vedder Price, a San Francisco based law firm, Ekin Senlet of Hiscock & Barclay LLP in Albany, NY, and Petek Günay of Gunay Law Firm in New York.

The Future of Turkish Universities

By Cemil Ozyurt - The first permanent English settlement in North America was established by the Virginia Company at Jamestown in what is now the state of Virginia in 1607 and only 29 years after the arrival of first colony in America, Harvard College was founded. After Harvard, the College of William & Mary was founded by the Virginia government in 1693.

What An Eight Years!

By Cemil Ozyurt - cemil{at}turkofamerica.com
When we decided to publish the first Turkish American business magazine eight years ago, nobody believed that we would survive ever for three or four issues. Despite the doubters, the issues have followed each other and almost eight years have passed. When I think about what we have done in eight years, I am really proud of our team and their work. 

How Should Businessmen Overcome the Difficulties of Entering the U.S. Market?

Cemil Ozyurt - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - The U.S. market is a very attractive market for businessmen all over the world who want to get a piece of the pie. Whenever I meet manufacturers overseas, their first question is, how they can sell their products to the U.S.?

They have a very good point in asking how to enter the U.S. market. When we look at  last year’s U.S. import numbers, even though it decreased 23 percent compared to 2008 and it was not a good year for the U.S. or the rest of the world, either, the country’s imports totaled 1.9 trillion dollars.

To consider only one month, May 2010, the U.S.’s importing of goods and services reached $194.5 billion. Imports increased to $194.5 billion in May from $189.0 billion in April. The U.S.’s monthly imports figures equal or surpasss Turkey total yearly exports, which was 102 billion in 2009.

The numbers are enough to get foreign exporters who have not yet encountered the market excited, but the real point is, how can they get started?

Anybody who does business in the U.S. could give you a very long list about what a businessman should do.  First, find a lawyer, then an accountant, and so on. Those are crucial elements, but I have two simple pieces of advice. First, be patient, and second, find someone who knows marketing and don’t forget that you have to spend money to make money.

I have already assumed that you are patient, so I’ll go into the second one, marketing.

One of the most important decisions that a Small and Medium-size Business (SMB) has to make is how much money to allocate for its marketing budget. "How much should I spend on marketing?"

Scott C. Margenau, the founder and CEO of ImageWorks Studio and award-winning web design and branding firm, says both the Counselors to America's Small Business (SCORE) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) define the variable for a proper marketing budget to be between 2% and 10% of sales, noting that for B2C, retail, and pharmaceuticals, it can exceed 20% during peak brand-building years.

Most Fortune 500 companies typically spend about 5 – 7% of expected gross revenues on marketing. This could be a good starting point for companies that are just thinking of expanding their businesses into the U.S. market. According to Tony Fannin, President of BE Branded, who specializes in integrated marketing and work with Fortune 500 companies, if you are introducing a new line, a new service, or a revamped brand position, it takes about an additional 12 – 15% in marketing investment.

If I give a specific example for a mid-size Turkish company, the revenue of which is between $5 to $7 million, the company should spend at least $300,000 to $500,000 a year on marketing.

Once you decide to spend money on marketing for market reports, research, advertising with newspapers, magazines, and printing coupons, then the Internet has to be on the other side of marketing.

Investing in technology is a smart move for many small businesses.  The U.S. has a population of over 300 million, and 240 million of them, 77 percent of the country, are internet users. If you want to establish a good business model, the Internet must be an indispensable marketing tool for you.

Forrester Research, an independent technology and market research company, conducts an Interactive Marketing Forecast which makes predictions for the next five years.  Forrester Research estimates social media marketing to grow at an annual rate of 34 percent – faster than any other form of online marketing.

Forrester estimates that $716 million will be spent on the medium in 2010, growing to $3.1 billion in 2014. Social media will be a bigger marketing channel than both email and mobile.

Using all the tools of marketing helps your business grow, but first you have to be confident in your products and services. If you believe in your product; I wish you good luck and welcome to the United States.
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