Assembly of Turkish American Associations, Atatürk Society of America
and The Light Millennium, associated with the United Nations
Department of Global Communications, proudly present


In support of the President of the UN General Assembly’s 75th Session and his
Excellency’s two of the top priorities “Multilateralism” and “Gender Equality”

Keynote Speaker:
Ambassador (ret.) Faruk Loğoğlu
Former Turkish Ambassador to the U.S.

UN – Women:
Ms. Meral Güzel
Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Specialist of UN-Women

Organized & Presented by
Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) &
ATAA Committee on UN Relations

In collaboration with
Atatürk Society of America (ASA) & The Light Millennium

Sunday, October 18, 2020
2:00pm – 4:00pm EDT

The ATAA webinar will take place online via zoom application. 



Piano performance by Korkmaz Can Sağlam
Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship Recipient at The Juilliard School

Opening Remarks by Mr. Gökhan Özalp
President, ATAA

Part I

Keynote Speech by Ambassador (ret.) Faruk Loğoğlu


Ms. Meral Güzel
Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Specialist of UN Women

Ms. Filiz Odabaş-Geldiay
Founding Board Member, Atatürk Society of America (ASA),
Executive Director, International Association for Human Values

Mrs. Sema Başol
Social Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Turkish Women’s Initiative – TWI

Ms. Bircan Ünver
Chair, ATAA Committee on UN Relations & New York Region V.P. &
Head Representative of The Light Millennium to the United Nations
Department of Global Communications.

On the #UN75 Online Survey – Join the World’s Largest Conversation
“The World Needs Solidarity – Your Contribution Counts!
The United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great challenge, including the worst global health crisis in its history. Will it bring the world closer together? Or will it lead to greater divides and mistrust? Your views can make a difference.

Part II

Brief Presentations by Representatives of Turkish-American Organizations

Mr. Mehmet Akçay
President, Florida Turkish American Association

Mr. Engin Ateş
President, Turkish American Society of Northeastern Ohio

Ms. Fatma Aytaç
Chairwoman, Red Pepper Association, NGO Rep., UN-ECOSOC (New York)

Ms. Aydın Durgunoğlu
President, Turkish American Association of Minnesota

Mr. Tufan Erdinç
President, Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington

Ms. Nilüfer Esen-Bilgin
Executive Board Member, Turkish American Cultural Association of Michigan

Ms. Zinnur Fenmen
President, Turkish American Ladies League

Ms. Vildan Görener
President, Turkish American Cultural Alliance

Ms. Tuba Firincioglu-Apaydin
Past President, Turkish American Cultural Society of Colorado

Ms. Arzuhan Kavak
President, Turkish American Association of Arizona

Mr. Sıtkı Kazancı
President, American Turkish Association of Washington DC

Ms. Hülya Koç
Founder and President, Empowering The Turkish-American Community

Ms. Binnaz Leblebicioğlu
President, Turkish American Association of Central Ohio

Mr. Sevgin Oktay
Founder & Past President, Turkish Anti-Defamation Alliance

Mr. Levent Onat
Vice President, Turkish American Association of Alabama

Mr. Özgür Özkurt
President, American Turkish Association of North Carolina

Ms. Vega Sankur
President, AKM Los Angeles

Ms. Nilay Senel-Nylund
President, Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California

Mr. Erdal Sipahi
President, Turkish American Association of Northern Texas

Closing Remarks by Mr. Mazlum Koşma, President-Elect, ATAA



Dr. Faruk Loğoğlu retired from public service in 2006 after thirty-five years in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Following his work as Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister (1990-1993), he was appointed Turkey’s Ambassador to Copenhagen, Denmark (1993-1996) and subsequently transferred to Baku, Azerbaijan (1996-1998). Ambassador Loğoğlu became Deputy Undersecretary for multilateral political affairs in 1998. He then served as Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry from 2000 until his posting as Ambassador of Turkey to Washington D.C., USA in 2001 where he stayed until the end of 2005. He attended Brandeis University, did his doctorate in Political Science at Princeton University and was a lecturer in Political Science at Middlebury College, 1969-1970. He is the author of İsmet İnönü and the Making of Modern Turkey, a political biography of the second President of Turkey. He has published articles on foreign affairs in both Turkish and English languages. Dr. Loğoğlu served as President of the think-tank the Eurasian Strategic Studies Center (ASAM) for two years (2006-2008). He was the Deputy Chairman of the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO (2006-2010). He was elected a member of parliament from Adana. (2011-2015) and served as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. From August 2011 to September 2014 Dr. Loğoğlu was also the Vice-Chairman of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in charge of foreign relations.



Meral Güzel is Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Specialist of UN Women, working on women’s economic empowerment issues with a specific focus on private sector advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment at the workplace, marketplace and the communities. Meral has over 14 years of experience in in international development across Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East through her work at the UN Women, the World Bank Group and the private sector. Meral’s expertise includes women empowerment at the workplace, banking on women, financial inclusion (MSME development, remittances, access to finance) and women’s entrepreneurship. Meral is an economist and holds Master’s degrees in High European Studies, International Franchise and International Finance. She speaks Turkish, English, French and Spanish. She is the proud mother of three sons.



Filiz Odabaş Geldiay, Executive Director of International Association for Human Values, a UN associated NGO that implements humanitarian service projects globally. She is one of the founders and Board member of Atatürk Society of America. Previously an executive director of an international NGO, she organized World Children’s Day events at the UN General Assembly annually based on the principles of April 23 Turkish National Children’s Day. The event attracted 1200 children from 141 countries. She was the Washington correspondent for the USA edition of Hurriyet and also published articles in the Washington Post and Nation’s Business. As a member of a speaking group, she spoke about Atatürk’s reforms for Turkish women at the US State Department, Harvard Club of Washington and many universities. Filiz was selected as one of the Nation’s Top 90 Women Mentoring Leaders at the Global Women Mentoring Summit and received the Vishalakshi Award from the Art of Living Foundation. Filiz holds M.A. in Communications & Conflict Management from American University.



Sema Başol (MBA) is an executive with over 25 years of diverse work experience both in the U.S. and in Turkey. Her experience ranges from multi-billion dollar corporations such as Mattel Inc. and Koc Holding (in Turkey) to small businesses, and non-profit educational and cultural institutions. Currently Sema is focused on building and growing The Turkish Women’s Initiative. She is also the founder of Degisim Liderleri Dernegi, TWI’s partner organization in Turkey. Throughout her career, Sema has taken active roles in Turkish-American affairs, Turkish community organizations, and Turkish arts. She is deeply committed to improving the status of Turkish women and brings a unique cross-cultural perspective to her work. Sema has a B.A. degree from Bogazici University and an M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School. She has been living in California for more than 30 years.



Bircan Ünver is the independent TV Producer, Originator (1999), Founder-President and Head Representative of the Light Millennium Organization (LM) to the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN-DGC-CSO); also Executive Producer of LMTV; Content Provider at QPTV since 1992; Co-founder of the Turkish Library & Museum’s vision & Ambassador of Peace and Goodwill for Anuvrat (Anuvibha) Global Organization (India); and Member of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace (GMCoP, an NGO platform at the UN). She served in several Planning Committees of the UN-Civil Society Conferences (formerly UN-DPI-NGO), and Planning Committee of the High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace (HLF-CoP). Bircan has undertaken LM’s e-publications, public programs, and LMTV Series and Specials’ in its all aspects since January 2000; also its all UN related activity and programs since 2005. Author of: “En Kutsalı Yaratmak” (1995), “Sanatın Labirentlerinde (2016),“Işık Yollarında (poetry, 2017) and “Bin Yıl Daha” (2020) in Turkish. Holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (Istanbul, 1988) and a Master’s Degree (M.A.) from Media Studies of the New School University (New York City 1999). Bircan currently serves as the Chair of the ATAA Committee on UN Relations and New York Region Vice President.



Korkmaz Can Sağlam began studying piano at the age of six, and gave his first recital at the age of eleven. In 2018, he was accepted as a scholar of the “Young Musicians on World Stages” project created and mentored by Guher & Suher Pekinel with financial support of Tupras. In 2020, he received the Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Scholarship. Throughout the years, he played in masterclasses of artists such as Pavel Gililov, Boris Berman, Ilya Itin, Michel Beroff and Jean-Francois Heisser. He has appeared in concerts in France, Belgium, Cyprus and Italy. After studying with Ms. Gamze Kırtıl at the Bilkent University Music and Performing Arts High School, he studied with Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Korkmaz Can Sağlam continues his studies with Sergei Babayan in The Juilliard School.




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