The Turkic American Conference in Washington, D.C. brings together foreign country delegations, U.S. lawmakers, the business community and political and economic think tanks.
Dr. Faruk Taban, President, Turkic American Alliance: “We are really proud to be part of this great nation and do this in the nation’s capital. It’s great to create that type of venue for them to interact, especially business people.”
This fourth annual conference is bigger than ever and focuses on energy, trade and development this year.
Many U.S. lawmakers make it a priority to show their support for ties between America and Turkey.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand,(D) New York: “There is such an ability to form bonds, to increase relations, to help our economies in both countries grow. There’s so much opportunity.”
Many of the Turkic states also lie in a part of central Asia that’s become a hotbed of unrest, especially because of Russian aggression in Crimea and Ukraine.
Richard Hoagland, Deputy Asst Sec of State,South & Central Asian Affairs: “Six of these countries represented today are former soviet republics. They walk a very fine line. They have multi-lateral diplomacy. Friends in Russia, the United States, European Union and China and special pressures now with Crimea. So we want them to know we stand with our friends, but we don’t demand to be exclusive friends as some others do.”
That’s a welcome message for many young nations looking to grow, especially with connections in the United States.
Dr. Faruk Taban, President, Turkic American Alliance: “In the Turkic countries, the silk road countries, they have a huge potential. So that’s the whole purpose for us, to bring those over here slowly but surely.”