Join Us for the ATAA 2024 Annual Conference & Gala
Saint John’s Resort, Plymouth, MI

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The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) will hold its 2024 Annual Conference on May 25-26, 2024 at the Saint John’s Resort, Plymouth, MI. The conference will start with registration on Saturday, May 25, and end with a gala dinner on Sunday, May 26, in the evening.

In celebration of the ATAA’s 45th Anniversary, the annual conference will bring together ATAA members, Turkish Americans, community leaders, and scholars from across the nation, Canada and Türkiye.

Since its founding in 1979, the ATAA has made remarkable strides in representing the interest of Turkish Americans, Turkish culture and heritage in USA. Past 45 years, ATAA fought effectively against the efforts of hostile ethnic groups to distort our history and defame Turks and Türkiye. ATAA has successfully empowered Turkish-American Community and member Turkish American associations through civic engagement and has supported strong U.S. – Türkiye relations through education and advocacy. As the largest independent umbrella organization representing Turkish Americans and local member associations, the ATAA shall continue to further its mission based on Atatürk’s principles of secular democracy, rule of law and human rights.

We look forward to seeing you at the Conference!

P r o g r a m

Saturday, May 25, 2024
2:30pm – 5:30pm   City Tour by Bus
6:00pm – 10:00pm   Detroit River Cruise with Dinner & Live Music
Sunday, May 26, 2024
7:30am – 8:30am   Conference Registration & Breakfast
8:45am – 9:00am   Opening Ceremony 
    Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Nilüfer Esen-Bilgin, ATAA President
9:00am – 10:00am   Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: The Brilliant Mind
    Introduction by Gökhan Özalp, ATAA Former President
Keynote Speaker:   Dr. Edward J. Erickson, Historian and Professor (Ret.) of Military History
10:00am – 10:15am   Break
10:15am – 11:15am   Session 1 | Atatürk’s Vision for Education and Reforms, and the Current Situation 
Moderator:   Dr. Mehmet E. Yaya, ATAA Treasurer and Professor of Economics, Eastern Michigan University
Speakers:   Dr. Gary M. Grossman, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University
    Dr. Selçuk Şirin, Professor of Applied Psychology, New York University
11:15am – 11:30am   Break
11:30am – 12:30pm   Session 2 | The Role of Political Activity Communities in the U.S.
Moderator:   Hülya Erol-Garvett, Vice President,  National Coalition of Turkish American Women PAC (NC-TAW PAC)
Speakers:   Lydia Borland, President, LB International Solutions, LLC
    U.S. Representative Jack Bergman (R-MI)
    James R. Hiller, PLLC
12:30pm – 1:45pm   Luncheon
1:45pm – 2:00 pm   Break
2:00pm – 3:00pm   Session 3 | Voluntarism and Philanthropy in the Turkish American Community 
Moderator:   Erkan Demirağcı, ATAA Western Region Vice President
Speakers:   Ergün Kırlıkovalı, ATAA Trustee and ATAA Former President
    Emin Pamucak, President, Bridge to Türkiye Fund (BTF)
    Pınar Özyürek, Director of Philanthropy, Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF)
3:00pm – 3:10pm   Break 
3:10pm – 4:35pm   Session 4 | ATAA Committee Activities
    Perspectives of Young Turkish American Leaders
Moderator:   Mehmet Efe Taşcıoğlu, ATAA Youth Committee Co-Founder & Chair
Speakers:   Ela Elmas, ATAA Youth Committee Co-Founder & Vice Chair
    Bora Özalp, ATAA Youth Committee Member
     ATAA’s Global Voice in the United Nations
Moderator:   Alev Wieland, ATAA UN Committee Chair, ATAA First Vice President and Southwest Region Vice President
Speakers:   Fatma Aldaş, Turkish Women’s League of America (TWLA) Past Vice President and UN Representative
    Dr. Selim Erhan, ATAA Trustee and ATAA UN Relations Committee Member
    Canan Özaktay, Florida Turkish American Association (FTAA) Past President
    Nağme Erberk, Empowering the Turkish-American Community (ETAC-USA) Vice President
    Yasemin Amanda Knott, ATAA UN Youth Forum member, TWLA Youth Representative
4:35pm – 4:45pm   Break
4:45pm – 5:45pm   Session 5 | Impact of Turkish American Engineers in Aerospace Research in the U.S.
Moderator:   Engin Ateş, ATAA Mid-Central Region Vice President
Speaker:   Dr. Behçet Açıkmeşe, Professor of Aerospace Optimization, University of Washington
5:45pm   Closing Remarks
6:30pm -7:30pm
7:30pm -11:00pm   45th Year Anniversary Gala
    Welcoming Remarks
    Annual Awards Ceremony
    Live Music  Performance by Deniz Şafak Yaprak & DJ Erkin Göksel


Detroit Princess Riverboat Trip

In celebration of its 45th anniversary, ATAA will be offering the Detroit Princess Riverboat Trip on the beautiful Detroit River on Saturday, May 25, 2024. The trip will provide a unique and memorable experience for all guests with freshly prepared meals and friendly, attentive staff, the classic Live Motown Revue performance and the spectacular view of greater Detroit and Windsor riverfronts and skylines, Belle Isle and the Ambassador Bridge. Tickets are limited, so please act quickly.


Register Today!

ATAA is offering Early Bird Registration Discounts to it members who register for the 2024 Annual Conference by April 25, 2024. If you are a current ATAA member, you will receive an email with the discount code to use at checkout. If you did not, please contact our central office at and/or 202.483.9090. To renew your membership or become a member,  please visit for further details. Current full-time students (high school and undergraduate only) will receive special discounts for the 2024 Annual Conference. Valid proof of student id is required. ATAA reserves sole discretion to determine eligibility. Please contact our central office at and/or 202.483.9090 for details. You will receive a confirmation email at the address you provided under your registration information during purchase. Please ensure that your email address is correct when registering.

Saint John’s Resort
44045 Five Mile Road, Plymouth, Michigan 48170
734-414-0600 |

Perfectly situated 24 minutes from the Detroit Metro Airport, Downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor, Saint John’s Resort has everything you need to make every moment of your stay worthwhile.