MONTHLY NEWSLETTER     May-June 2020
2020 Summer Internship Begins
On June 15, TCA launched its 2020 summer internship program. Since its founding in 2007, TCA has sponsored 209 internships. Due to Covid-19, this year’s interns are working remotely.
 
Ten Turkish American college students across the country are working with the TCA Washington Team on TCA's outreach programs to Congress, the Turkish American community, and other ethnic/heritage groups. The summer interns are also assisting with the maintenance of TCA's website and social media development, and the TCA-sponsored Turkish Studies Project at the University of Utah. Additionally, TCA was able to place an 11th Turkish American intern at the Middle East Institute. The 2020 summer interns are   Timur Ayaz   (County College of Morris),  Kaan Cubukcu   (Kennesaw University),  Pelin Ensari  (UC Berkeley),  Mert Kamberoglu   (TOBB University of Economics and Technology),  Carmelo Konmaz   (Bogazici University),  Melissa Ozdemir (Columbia University),  Mert Selcuk   (Santa Clara University),  Stephanie Sezen   (Washington & Lee University),  Meryem Uzumcu   (NYU),  Furkan Yalcin   (UCLA), and  Andrew Yildizlar   (University of Buffalo).
Virtual Meetings with Members of Congress
TCA's Washington team met with the following Members of Congress virtually during May and June—Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL/16th), Ann Kuster (D-NH/2nd), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI/14th), Barbara Lee (D-CA/13th), Elaine Luria (D-VA/2nd), Michael McCaul (R-TX/10th), Alex Mooney (R-WV/2nd), and Joe Wilson (R-SC/2nd). Discussions ranged from current foreign and domestic issues affecting Turkish Americans to the co-sponsorship of House Resolution 931 - Congratulating the people of the Republic of Turkey and Turkish Americans nationwide on Turkish National Sovereignty and Children's Day.
House Resolution 931 Gains Five Additional Co-Sponsors
In April, Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN/9th), with the co-sponsorship of Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC/5th), introduced  House Resolution 931 - Congratulating the people of the Republic of Turkey and Turkish Americans nationwide on Turkish National Sovereignty and Children's Day . The resolution also recognized the founding of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on April 23, 1920.
 
As of June 30, House Resolution 931 has gained  five more co-sponsors  - Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK/4th), Alcee Hastings (D-FL./20th), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX/30th), Alex Mooney (R-WV/2nd), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ/9th). 
TCA Women’s Leadership Initiative Holds a Virtual Conversation with Turkish American Woman Candidate: Aylin Acikalin
On June 5, the TCA Turkish American Women's Leadership Initiative held a virtual meeting with  Aylin Acikalin , candidate for Judge of New Orleans First City Court, hosted by Tulay Spicker, Emel Songu Mize, and Dr. Atilla Ertan. Acikalin addressed the Turkish American audience about the race, her qualifications, and her positions. Her election is July 11, 2020. If elected, Aylin Acikalin will be the first Turkish American woman judge.*
TCA Hosts Screening of "James Baldwin / From Another Place“ Followed by a Panel Discussion
As part of its  African American – Turkish Connections through the Arts  series, TCA, in collaboration with the  Gay Professional Men of Color (GPMC)  and the  UK   Foreign & Commonwealth Office LGBT + Staff Association (FLAGG) , hosted a screening of Sedat Pakay's short documentary, "James Baldwin / From Another Place" via Zoom on June 24.
 
After the film, there was a roundtable discussion with GPMC Member  Rashaun Bennett , Virginia State Delegate  Joshua Cole  (28th District), and British Embassy Support Officer  Dave Francis . GPMC Member  Jamir Smith  was the evening's moderator.
TCA Sponsors a Panel Discussion for
Turkish American Lawyers
On June 27, TCA hosted a panel discussion followed by a Q&A session with interested Turkish American lawyers across the country to address whether the increasing number of lawyers with a Turkish heritage can play an influential role in raising Turkish American voices in civil society and the political arena. The panel was moderated by  Judge (Retired) Jay (Ceyhun) Karahan  of Houston, Texas, with  Yelda Bartlett  of the Bartlett Law Firm in Oakland, CA, and  Levent Herguner  of the international law firm Jones Day in Washington, DC, as discussants. TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy made opening and closing remarks.
Interviews with Women Political Candidates
At the beginning of 2020, TCA winter/spring intern Tanem Zaman, a journalism major at George Washington University, began to interview the four women political candidates from the Turkish American community running for public office in 2020-- Aylin Acikalin , Leah Ersoylu , Ceylan Rowe , and Aycha (Sirvanci) Sawa .* In June, she held her last two interviews. Interested individuals can read Tanem's four featured articles under TCA's  Turkish American Women's Leadership Initiative .
Turkey Caucus Co-Chair Congratulates Aycha Sawa
Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA/11th), Co-Chair of the  Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations & Turkish Americans , congratulated Turkish American Aycha (Sirvanci) Sawa for her election win as Milwaukee's newest City Comptroller on April 7. In his letter to Sawa , he encouraged other Turkish Americans to run for public office. 
*Please note: as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, TCA is prohibited by law from engaging in activities that could be construed as political campaigning. TCA cannot and does not donate funds to a political action committee or support any political candidate or group of candidates. With this initiative, TCA is not endorsing or supporting any candidate for any office.