ATAA UN Related Announcement# 25

In commemoration of the 85th anniversary of
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s passing,
in support of the World Science Day for Peace and
Development (UNESCO 31 C/Resolution 20) (10 November)

Sunday, November 19, 2023
10:00am PT, 12:00pm CT, 1:00pm ET, 21:00 TR

Online Registration:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Language: English

On November 19, 2023,The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC), will hold a virtual event titled “World Science Day for Peace and Development” in commemoration of the 85th anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s passing and in support of World Science Day, UNESCO 31/C Res. 20 | 10 November. World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.


Celebrated every November 10, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.

The Day offers the opportunity to mobilize all actors around the topic of science for peace and development – from government officials to the media to school pupils. UNESCO strongly encourages all to join in celebrating World Science Day for Peace and Development by organizing your own event or activity on the day.

Turkish youth inspired by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of the Republic of Turkey, to maintain peace at home and wherever they live in the world.  They are also committed to proactively getting involved in sustainability programs within their means. November 10 is also the 85th anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s passing. Turkish Youth remembers Atatürk and dedicates this program to all the young people in the world.


Opening Remarks and Introduction by
Dr. Nilüfer Esen-Bilgin
, ATAA President

Alev Wieland, Co-Chair & ATAA Southwest Region VP
Yücel B. Tavolara, Co-Chair & ATAA Midwest Region VP

Dr. Selim Erhan, Member of the ATAA Board of Trustees

Keynote Speaker:
Aral Tolan

“Role of Political Science and Diplomacy in Peace and Development”
Sean Özalpasan

“The Role of Science in Clean Water and Sanitation”
Bora Özalp
Kaan Arslan
Selim Demirkan

“The Role of Science in Quality Education”
Evren Erhan
Yigit Kaan Kızlıer
Derin Sen
Emre Muharremoğlu

“The Role of Science in Gender Equality”
Damla Ayrılmaz

Q&A Session

Closing Remarks by
Alev Wieland, Co-Chair & ATAA Southwest Region VP


Aral Tolan

Aral was born in Istanbul, Türkiye. At the age of 6, Aral and his family moved to Aix-en-Provence, France, where he completed his elementary education. Later on, they relocated to Tucson, Arizona, where he completed both middle and high school.  He is currently a senior at Arizona State University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in the French language. His goal is to continue his education with graduate studies in international relations and diplomacy. In the future, his career aspirations involve becoming a diplomat and working in the fields of international relations, diplomacy, and global affairs.

Sean Özalpasan

Sean is an 11th grader attending Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, California.  Sean is a proud member of the Turkish-American community and takes pride in participating in Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC) events in Los Angeles, California. He enjoys programming, computer hardware, finance, geography, and history. Sean enjoys learning languages, as he is currently taking advanced Spanish classes and beginner German classes at school. Furthermore, Sean enjoys traveling, and whenever he and his family go to Türkiye, they make sure to visit UNESCO-recognized ancient historical sites as well as important hallmarks of Atatürk’s legacy in Türkiye. To further his understanding of Turkish history, Sean takes the Middle East Studies class at his school. This year, Sean wanted to join the ATAA 2023 Youth Competition because he wanted to educate people on the importance of the Turkish Straits.

Bora Özalp

Bora is a student at Detroit Country Day High School. He is a straight-A student and is ranked in the top 10% of his class. He plays basketball for his school’s junior varsity team and is also a member of the school’s ski team. Bora is an avid violin and piano player since age seven and has been playing in the school’s Honors Symphonic Orchestra. Bora was a member of the Detroit Country Day Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society, and he is a candidate member of the High School’s National Honor Society.  Bora has been actively involved with the Turkish American Association of Michigan from a very young age by participating in association’s Turkish language school, clubs, events and activities. He participates in Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington’s Turks Without Borders project as a conversation partner to high school students in Türkiye. Bora also volunteers with Cagdas Yasami Destekleme Dernegi in Türkiye to help university students in conversational English.  Bora volunteers his time during summers in Türkiye as a summer camp counselor in remote villages helping elementary school age students with learning English. Bora is fluent in Turkish and Spanish. Bora’s goal is to continue his involvement in projects where he can use his skills helping students and by doing so establish friendships and connections between the Turkish-American youth in the US and in Türkiye. Bora plans to become an Electrical and Computer Engineer with a focus on medical applications.

Kaan Arslan

Kaan is an 8th grade student who is authentic, responsible and respectful young man. He is interested and inspired by the technology and science. STEM projects are his favorite. He also enjoys playing basketball, solving escape room mysteries, swimming, skiing, playing video games, playing piano and of course playing with his little sister. He believes in a world where everyone is treated equally and respectfully, admires leaders as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Martin Luther King.”

Selim Demirkan

Selim is a Walt Whitman High School Senior in Bethesda, Maryland with an immense passion for biology, public health, and domestic and foreign policy-making. He enjoys a wide variety of different niches in each of these areas, ranging from neurobiology to nuclear energy policymaking. He is also a fellow at the NIH and has held other internships and fellowships that have expanded his knowledge in each of these subjects.

Evren Erhan

Evren is an 18-year-old American university student born to Turkish parents in 2004 and attends Grand Valley State University. Growing up with many different perspectives, he grows a love for civics, writing, and sports. Continuing to grow and learn, he welcomes any opportunity to expand his knowledge and perspective.

Yiğit Kaan Kızlıer

Yiğit was born in Izmir on August 24, 2006. After graduating from Bilfen middle school, he started education at Izmir Atatürk High School as a result of the national exam he took and is currently studying in the 10th grade. Yiğit Kaan, who has been interested in STEM since his middle school years, has 4 research projects on cancer and alzheimer’s disease. He has interned at Dokuz Eylül University, Ege University and Koç University during the summers and tried to improve himself especially in cancer research. Yiğit, who has gold, silver, bronze medals in many national and international competitions with his research projects, has made presentations at various conferences and has applied for a patent with his latest project. His biggest ideal is to continue his studies in the light of science and to make his name known all over the world as a Turkish young man.

Derin Sen

Derin is a high school sophomore from the vibrant state of North Carolina and a proud student at Raleigh Charter High School. Some of her biggest values include her family and friends. Beyond the classroom, she is a big community member and enjoy being involved. Right after being a student, she is a swimmer and enjoys being a part of her team while finding both challenge and joy in the sport. Looking ahead, her life’s ambition is to travel the world and meet new people while she learns about the diverse cultures and languages around the world.

Emre Muharremoğlu

Emre is a 9th grader at Lakeside School in Seattle. He enjoys reading, playing tabletop games and various sports, especially soccer and ultimate. He won the Middle School 1st Place Award for his “Atatürk and Science” Project at the ATAA UN Relations 2021 Science Day, The Atatürk Era & Youth Competition held for UN World Science Day for Peace and Development.

Damla Ayrılmaz

Damla is a junior at Green Hope High School. She is from Türkiye, and being Turkish is a large part of her identity. She is interested in pursuing a career in STEM, and I enjoy researching topics related to science! She hopes to make an impact on the world in relation to this field.

For further inquiries, please e-mail, (Alev Wieland, Co-Chair & ATAA Southwest Region VP)

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