The Turkic American Alliance held its 6th Annual Turkic American Convention in Washington D.C., between March 15-16, 2016. The premier event was attended by over 300 guests, including about 100 international participants from 20 countries — Central Asia, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and East Africa. There were also participants from academia, agencies, embassies, government, think-tanks and media.
The event kicked off with a welcome reception at the Senate Building on March 15th. Among the distinguished guests were Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX); Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ); Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA); Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA), Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA), Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX); Emil Umetaliev, Former Minister of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, Akylbek Zhamagulov, Abdyvakhap Nurbaev, members of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic.
On March 16, 2016, there was a business breakfast the next day at TAA headquarters and a international networking luncheon organized by the Mid-Atlantic Chamber of Commerce attended by William Fanjoy, Director of the US Export Assistance Centers, Chairman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Dr. Gerald L. Gordon, President and CEO of the Fairfax County EDA, Bob McCollar, Intl. Business Development Manager at the Loudoun County DED, Varol Ablak, CEO of the Vocelli Pizza & Rock n Joe, and Ken Ulsaker, Vice President & Certified Real Estate Management Broker (CRB) at the Long & Foster Companies. Delegations later attended a tour of the Capitol Building as well as meetings with U.S. Members of Congress.
The convention concluded with a gala dinner at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington D.C. The distinguished guests were Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY); Emil Umetaliev, Congressman Brandon Boyle; Former Economic Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic; Paul Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of Washington Field Office; Hon. Peter Henry Barlerin, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs; Kerim Balci, Editor in Chief Turkish Review; Ilyas Ustuney, President of Black Sea University in Tbilisi, Georgia and Rev. Dr. R.Cooper, Sr., Founding Pastor of The Mission Baptist Church, in Bahamas.
A Youth Leadership Awards ceremony was also held during the Gala dinner to recognize and honor the achievements of Turkic American high school and college students that have been active in contributing and serving the community. The Youth Leadership Award was given to Esma Geçir (Hackensack, NJ), Esat Bayar (Sugarland, TX), Ebru Kul (Brooklyn, NY) and Karen Eren (Brooklyn, NY). Halis Yaka (Boston, MA) was awarded the Emerging Leader Award and Reyhan Mutlu (Fairfax, VA) received the Public Service Award.
The convention attracted prominent leaders and delegations to provide participants a unique opportunity and platform from which local and international business leaders would discuss and engage in talks to strengthen relations and create partnerships. A stand-alone business networking event was organized by Turkic American Chamber of Commerce (TACC) on March 13-14 in New York and New Jersey.