TASC Co-Chairman Evinch’s Message
TASC proudly represents the broadest diversity of Turkish Americans nationwide, here at the nation’s capital!
TASC welcomes Ms. Semrin Aleckson as its new Programs Director. Semrin graduated Cum Laude with an MS from the London School of Economics and BA from George Mason University. She interned on Capitol Hill with Congressman Tom Price. Prior to that, she interned with the Turkish Coalition of America and Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC). Before joining TASC, she researched security issues at a global intelligence firm.
We also welcome to the TASC Board of Directors, Ms. Nevin Bakir, Mr. Hasan Guclu and Mr. Memis Yetim, respected community leaders in the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, where over 200,000 Turkish Americans reside. We welcome to the TASC Board of Advisors, Mr. Ibrahim Kurtulus and Attorney Ayhan Ogmen, who join Dr. Bulent Basol in advisory roles directly to me.
TASC invites the Turkish American community to Turkish 23 April Children’s and Sovereignty Day at West Potomac Park in Washington Mall National Park. 23 Nisan will feature a live concert by Kenan Dogulu, and a live performance by the Turkish State Folkloric Dance Troupe and Washington DC Ataturk School, and offer world famous Turkish cuisine by Agora, Divan, and Taskin Bakery. This event will begin with the third annual Turkish American Peace and Solidarity Walk, starting at the White House Ellipse, proceeding south to the Washington Monument, then west to the Lincoln Memorial, and finally south to the venue of Children’s Day at West Potomac.
As you read our Newsletter, you will see that TASC is nationally engaged in public education, civic empowerment, and advocacy.
- U.S. CONGRESS: As recently as March 16, I had the opportunity to speak on Capitol Hill as a guest of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria, alongside five Members of Congress [Pete Sessions (TX), Marcy Kaptor (OH), Brendan Boyle (PA), Eliot Engel (NY), and Dan Kildee (MI)]. Appreciation toward Turkey for hosting over 3 million refugees, and fighting ISIS, Assad and the PKK simultaneously, was overwhelming, to say the least. The Kurdish National Council (KNC), which visited Washington DC to distinguish themselves from and oppose the PYD/YPG/PKK terror trio, expressed strong support for Turkey. Turkish forces have freed 1000 square miles from ISIS control, losing over 60 soldiers. Turkey has lost over 300 citizens in attacks by ISIS terror and Assad’s forces. The PKK, assisted by the PYD/YPG (which according to the U.S. Office of the Director National Intelligence is a terrorist organization), has engaged in urban terror. All participating Members of Congress expressed that freedom shall prevail in Syria and the region, with US-Turkish cooperation, and that Assad and these terror networks shall be brought to justice. Sessions expressed that diplomacy has failed, and that the time had come for American military action. Over 500 who had attended the event, applauded.
- MARYLAND: TASC provided favorable testimony at the Maryland State Assembly to support Israel against Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), as Turkey is often the target of similar discriminatory and destructive legislation in some states.[TASC Chairman Evinch Testimony]. Also in Maryland, leaders of TASC and Maryland Association of Turkish Americans (MATA), in cooperation with the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) recruited Congressmen Anthony Brown and Jamie Raskin to the Congressional Turkish Caucus, to make it 143 members! Please visit and thank the team at the Turkish Coalition, President Lincoln McCurdy, Executive Assistant Louette Ragusa, Project Coordinator Liz Clark, and Project Coordinator Sezan McDaniel, for all their good work, at www.tc-america.org/about.htm and www.tc-america.org/in-congress/caucus.htm.
- TEXAS: TASC is opposing State House Resolution 191, which erroneously characterizes the Ottoman Armenian experience as a crime, and alienates Turkish Americans in that state. [TX HR191] TASC is providing local support to the Turkish Association of Northern Texas (TURANT).
- CALIFORNIA: TASC is working with ATASC to oppose the parole of Armenian terrorist, Hampig Sassounian, who assassinated the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles. [TASC Director Kirlikovali Testimony]. The matter is likely to come before the California Governor, as both state and federal authorities investigate the decision of the parole board to release Sassounian into free society.
- MASSACHUSETTS: TASC provided testimony distinguishing Turkish American organizations from the Gulen Movement who are the subject of federal and state investigations regarding the use of their charter schools as cover for immigration fraud, government contracting fraud, and elections fraud. [TASC Board Testimony]
- NEW YORK: TASC hosted an event with KADEM and the Maarif Foundation regarding women’s rights in Turkey.
TASC wishes all a very happy April 23rd Turkish National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.
TASC also offers prayers for the Mirac Kandili which this year falls on April 23rd.
Co-Chairman of the Board