Dear Members of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and Friends,

I am writing this piece as a farewell statement and a heartfelt note of appreciation to thank our members for the trust and support they bestowed upon us during my presidency. With your help, ATAA has continued to be the most prominent umbrella organization in the US for the Turkish American community.

As the 19. President of the Assembly, my goal was to increase the level of engagement and relevance of ATAA within the Turkish-American community and make ATAA appealing to our next generation of young Turkish-Americans. For the past two years, together with the ATAA Board of Directors, I have been working continuously to reach that goal.

In 2019, we had the honor of celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the ATAA with you and with the broader Turkish American community during our annual conference in Arlington, VA on October 5th. The following year, 2020, has brought upon us many challenges, such as strained Turkish-American relations, the pandemic, and the related financial difficulties. However, these challenges have also created opportunities that helped us make considerable strides in our quest to unite, educate and empower our community. Here are some of our undertakings:

  • ATAA’s Bright Future Committee working with the Baskent University in Turkey has initiated the launch of our online “Bright Future Turkish Language and Cultural Education” program. This online platform is now available in many states through our component associations and ready to serve our children as a powerful educational tool.
  • We have undertaken a new initiative to open new horizons to young Turkish-Americans and formed an association with the United Nations Department of Global Communication (UNDGC). This branch of the UN allows non-profits to have a voice within the United Nations community and provides access to the UN resources. ATAA will be actively involved with the UNDGC and its programs. Young Turkish-Americans are welcomed to participate in ATAA’s UN Relations Committee and the programs of their interest.
  • We have initiated a campaign to unite Turkish-American associations on a single online platform. During the first stage of our campaign, 27 associations are linked to each other, and ATAA creating a network of communities. We invite all Turkish-American Associations in the US and Canada to join our network and unite as one big family.

My presidency will conclude with the upcoming General Assembly this fall. I am confident that the presiding ATAA Board of Directors and the incoming President Mazlum Kosma will lead this organization to a higher level of engagement with the community. However, your involvement is crucial to the success of ATAA’s ongoing endeavors. We ask you to become a member, be involved, and more importantly be a volunteer. This is an organization for all Turkish-Americans who value our founding principles, which is respect for the rule of law, secularism, democracy, and human rights. These are also the founding principles of the Republic of Turkey, as defined by its founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

As for me, I will continue my service to the community as a Past President on ATAA’s Board of Directors. I am looking forward to working with all of you in new and exciting projects for our community.


Gokhan Ozalp
Assembly of Turkish American Associations