36th Annual Turkish American National Leadership Conference
February 25-27, 2016 | Washington DC
The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) held its 36th Turkish American Leadership Conference in Washington, DC on February 25-27, 2016 with a large and varied attendance, including Turkish American community leaders, association presidents, members, students, academicians, U.S. State Department officials and ethnic group representatives as well as more than 300 community activists from all over the United States, Canada and Turkey.
Since 2011, ATAA has extended invitations to major Turkish American umbrella organizations and friendly ethnic associations to join the Annual Conference in order to display unity and solidarity. ATAA Annual Conference is now a National Leadership Conference, the largest conference in the U.S., that brings together Turkish-American communities and friendly ethnic groups nationwide to promote greater public awareness and understanding of Turkey’s rich culture and modern day society, as well as to showcase the many diverse aspects and activities of the Turkish American Community and the extent of its strong ties to many ethnic groups in the world.
This year’s conference, as suggested by its theme “Turkish American Vision: Today and Beyond”, provided the Turkish American Community with a special opportunity to come together in unity, raise its voice, take action for the present, and plan for the future.
During the 3-day conference U.S.-Turkish economic and political relations, Turkish American grassroots, congressional activities, participatory democracy, diversity partnership, terrorism, refugee crisis, Turkish Jewish relations, and the prospects for the resolution and reconciliation of the Armenian issue were discussed.
With the support of Promotion Fund of the Turkish Prime Ministry (BTF), Mehmet D. Okumus Charitable Fund, Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), Azerbaijan Embassy, Ankara Restaurant, Arzum/Okka, Vinkara Wines, ELS Language Centers, EduSolutions, and donations by ATAA members throughout the U.S., ATAA was able to offer various panels and activities geared toward educating and empowering the Turkish American community nationwide.
This year’s Conference included a well-rounded lineup of scholars, leaders and experts with their valuable input and a rich variety of nongovernmental organizations, namely, the American Turkish Council (ATC), the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), Canadian Iraqi Turkmen Cultural Association (CITCAL), Syrian American Council (SAC), Turkish American Business Association (TABA-AmCham), Turkish American Scientists and Scholars Association (TASSA), Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), Turkish Historical Society (TTK), Turkish Women’s Initiative (TWI), US Azeris Network (USAN), US Turkey Business Council (USTBC), and American Friends of Turkey (AFOT). Many local Turkish American organizations across the U.S.-the largest being the Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC) with five sub chapters-were present.