The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) is deeply saddened by the death of Mr. Hudai Yavalar, Founding President and Chairman of Atatürk Society of America (ASA). Mr. Yavalar passed away on Friday, August 14, 2020 at the age of 82 in Washington, DC.

Mr. Yavalar arrived in the United States as a student in 1958. He studied at the Architectural Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul for one year before continuing his studies at Howard University, where he graduated in 1963 with a degree in Structural Engineering. He earned a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from George Washington University in 1967. He wrote his Master’s Thesis on earthquake seismic designs for buildings. While pursuing his degrees, he worked full time for different construction companies and the DC Metro system. He was also involved in the building of satellite earth stations in different countries including the Philippines, Panama, Japan, and others. Mr. Yavalar established Oak Construction Inc. in 1975, which concentrates on residential and commercial real estate development.

Mr. Yavalar was one of the relentless warriors and defenders of the revolutions and principles of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founding father and first president of Republic of Turkey. Mr. Yavalar, along with his wife Mirat Yavalar, was active in promoting Atatürk’s message and ideals both in the United States and Turkey for decades. Mr. Yavalar also contributed to the education of many children in Turkey. In 2013, Kızılköy Ata Yavalar Middle School in Tokat was built by Yavalar’s generous contributions.

Mr. Hudai Yavalar with his wife Mrs. Mirat Yavalar in front of Atatürk Statue.

The Atatürk Society of America (ASA) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, organization, dedicated to promoting the ideals of Atatürk. Since its foundation in 1995, ASA has organized meetings and scholarly lectures, provided research fellowships, and served as a resource center for materials on Atatürk’s political philosophy. In 2013, ASA unveiled a full-sized bronze statue of Atatürk located at the periphery of Sheridan Circle, next to the Turkish Ambassador’s Residence in Washington, DC. The statue is the first public monument in the United States honoring the greatest leader of the 20th century. In 2017, ASA received the Şükrü Elekdağ Award from the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) for its outstanding contributions to the promotion of the principles of Atatürk.

Mr. Yavalar is survived by his wife Mirat Yavalar and his son Ata Yavalar.

ATAA remembers Mr. Yavalar with affection and expresses its deepest condolences to the Yavalar Family and the Turkish American community.