Sayın Milletvekilim: OHAL, DERHAL KALDIRILSIN!

31 Mart 2017,  New York  |  ÖNEMLİ NOT*

Sayın Milletvekilim:

Konu: OHAL, DERHAL KALDIRILSIN! | @OHALSİZREFERANDUM
Referans: BM’ye 6 Mart 2017 tarihli Acık Mektup (TurkishLibrary.Us)

NİÇİN, BM’ye OHAL’in Referandum’dan önce kaldırılmasına destek temin amaçlı bir mektup yazılmıştır?

Çünki, Referandum sürecinde ve halen OHAL’in kaldırılması teklifi, TBMM gündemine getirilmemiştir. Bu içerikte bir talep, TBMM’imizden 26/27 Şubat 2017 tarihi itibariyle bir Açık Mektup ile şahsen tarafımdan yapılmıştır.

OHAL’in Referandum’dan önce kaldırılmasına ilişkin bugüne değin yapılmış olan girişimler ile sosyal medya kampanyasına ilişkin bağlantılar da, bu mektubun aşağısında verilmiştir. Bugün ki tarih itibariyle de, Referandum’a sadece 17 gün kalmış olmasına rağmen, maalesef, OHAL halen devam etmektedir! [Read more…]

İNSANLIK, MARS’I HEDEFLERKEN, TÜRKİYE’MİZ NEDEN ISRARLA ORTA ÇAĞ’A İTİLMEK İSTENİYOR?

hayir#HAYIR  | 14 Ocak 2016

Sayın Milletvekili:

Bu mektup, özellikle Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasa’sının “Başkanlık Sistemi/Tek Adam”a, öz olarak REJİM DEĞİŞTİRME PAKETİ olarak dayatılmasına “Evet” oyu veren veya vermeyi düşünen Sayın Milletvekillerine ithaf edilir.

Giriş sorusu: İNSANLIK, MARS’I HEDEFLERKEN, TÜRKİYE’MİZ NEDEN ISRARLA ORTA ÇAĞ’A İTİLMEK İSTENİYOR? [Read more…]

ABD DE ETKİN BİR TOPLUM VE GÜÇ OLMAK İÇİN, TÜM TÜRK-AMERİKALILARA BİRLEŞMEK AMAÇLI AÇIK BİR ÇAĞRIDIR…

AÇIK TASLAK ÖNERİ: TÜM TÜRK-AMERİKAN SİVİL TOPLUM KURULUŞLARI, TEMSİLCİLERİ, TÜRK-AMERİKAN TOPLULUKLARI VE ÜYELERİNE...

AÇIK TASLAK ÖNERİ: TÜM TÜRK-AMERİKAN SİVİL TOPLUM KURULUŞLARI, TEMSİLCİLERİ, TÜRK-AMERİKAN TOPLULUKLARI VE ÜYELERİNE:

Aşağıda ilk etapta tanımlanmış olan ON (10) hedef çerçevesinde; TÜRK-AMERİKAN TOPLULUKLARI BİRLEŞMEK ZORUNDADIR…

Cumhuriyet’in 93.ncü Kuruluş Yıldönümü ve Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’ün Sonsuz Anısına ithafen…

1/10.  En geniş yelpazeden ve toplumun her kesitini kapsama alanı içine alacak a-politik/partilerüstü (bipartisan) bir platform kurmak ve / veya tüm ilgili taraftarları tek çatı altında, Türkiye aleynine Regean Dönemi’nde çıkartılmış olan sözde soykırımın her yıl 24 Nisan’da ABD Başkanı tarafından anılmasına yönelik 22 Nisan 1981‘deki “kararname”nin tamamen ortadan kaldırılması amacında birleşmek. Ve bu amaç doğrultusunda, Amerika ve Türkiye boyutunda çalışacak çok sesli-katılımlı bir Türk-Amerikan Platformu’nu da aktif ve etkin hale getirmek. 

[Read more…]

DÜNYA’DA ULUSALLAŞMANIN ÖNCÜSÜ: ÇANAKKALE – GELİBOLU 1915 – 2015

Bu yazı, Amerika’da Çanakkale Savaşı’nın 100.ncü yıldönümünde büyük bir Çanakkale sergisi açılması ideallerinde iken rahmetli olan Yüksel Oktay’a (1937 – 2012) ithaf edilmiştir.

“İngiltere ve Fransa ile Osmanlı ve Alman orduları arasında geçen ve iki taraftan toplam 500,000’den fazla insanın “kaybına” (ölüm, firar, esir, sakatlanma ve hastalıklar) neden olan savaşın ardından İtilaf Devletleri Çanakkale Boğazı’nı geçememiş, İstanbul’u işgal edememiştir. Pek çok tarihçi, Rusya’da zorda kalan çarlık rejiminin devrilmesinde ve I. Dünya Savaşı’nın 2 yıl uzamasında, bu olayın önemli bir payı olduğu görüşündedirler.” (Çanakkalesavası.gen.tr)

Alı N. AKANSU, ÇANAKKALE 1915 * 2015

Prof. Ali N. Akansu programın amacını, açılış konuşmasında açıkladı ve program akışını baştan sona sundu.

Dr. Sebahattin Devecioğlu, Birleşmiş Milletler – Kamu Bilgi Birimi’nde
The Light Millennium”un (STK) Temsilcisi tarafından ve
Bircan Ünver, The Light Millennium & IşıkBinyılı.Org katkısıyla yazılmıştır.

[25 Mart 2015, New York] Çanakkale – Gelibolu Zaferi‘nin 100. Yıl dönümünün Anılması nedeniyle,  21 Mart 2015 tarihinde New York’taki  “CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice” de, Amerika’daki 19 Türk-Amerikan derneklerinin işbirliğiyle, Türk-Amerikan dernekleri tarafından, özellikle de Türk-Amerikan toplumunu bir araya getirmiş olan “Çanakkale 1915 – 2015: Savaş Alanından Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’ne Tarihi Bir Yolculuk” adlı bir anma programı başarıyla sunulmuştur. [Read more…]

Çanakkale 1915

Hasan Bülent PAKSOY, DPhil

Çanakkale’yi savaşarak geçemeyen İngiliz ve Fransızlar, Almanların yanında savaşan Osmanlı’yı da yenik sayarak Kasım 1918 de Çanakkale’yi vuruşmadan geçip İstanbul Boğazı’na demir attı. Orduları İstanbul’u büyük törenler ile işgal ettiler.

Hasan Bülent PaksoyHasan Bülent Paksoy, kapsamlı sunumunu Skype üzerinden yaptı ve soruları yanıtladı.

Aşağıdakı bildiri, Çanakkale Savaşlarının 100.cü yıldönümü nedeni ile New York şehrinde ATAA-FTAA öncülüğünde birleşen Toplum’a 21 Mart 2015 günü Profesör Hasan Bülent Paksoy tarafından sunulmuştur.

Tarih’i değiştirebilen olayların sonuçlarını önceden kestirmek güçtür. Savaş alanlarında olup-kaybedilen toplum üyelerinin ve gelecek kuşaklarının, toplum’a ileride ne gibi kayıplar getireceği de bilinemez. Dünya değiştirici düşünceler yaratabilecek tür bilim adamı,[i] mühendis vb nin savaş yolu ile kaybedilmesi kesinlikle o toplumun zararınadır. Bu nedenler ile, yalnız bir savaş’ın ayrıntılarının dökümünü yapmak yetmez; konu dünya üzerindeki konumuna oturtulmalıdır. Bu bakımdan, bir teğmenin ya da generalin anı defteri içeriği yerine, savaş’a katılan toplumlar içindeki en üst düzey politikacıların karşılıklı olarak birbirleri ile yaptıkları yarışmalarda hangi amaçlara ulaşmaya çalıştıkları üzerinde durulmalıdır.  [Read more…]

An exhibition for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – The 130th Anniversary of His Birth – 19 May 2011, and His Contributions to Humanity, 1881 – 1938

An Exhibitoon of Photographs, Posters and Books and Presentation on the Life of One of the Greatest Leaders of the 20th Century.By Yüksel Oktay, PE

Exhibition – May 1-31, 2011 Presentation – May 21, Saturday, 13:00 – 15:00

Hunterdon County Library, North County Branch, 65 Halstead Street, Clinton, NJ 908 730-6135

This year marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of a towering figure of the 20th Century and the Creator of Modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. A great military hero at the Battle of Dardanelles in 1915 against the Allied Forces, the commander-in-chief  at Kocatepe in 1922 war against the invading Greek Army , the President of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara in 1923, a world leader honoured at his death in İstanbul in 1938. (1).

[Read more…]

PRESS RELEASE for Media, NGOs and Public in General

Ephesus Library

Ephesus Library

Turkish Library and Museum in America (TLM) – In search of Ideas in Service to Turkish Nation

 

“TURKISH LIBRARY AND MUSEUM FOR PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP IN AMERICA (TLM)” First Project Meeting was held ANEMON GALATA HOTEL on March 29, ande in Izmir on April 3, 2011

The establishment of a “Turkish Library and Museum for Friendship and Peace” in America with plans to open in 2015, will be discussed at a meeting on 9th April, 2011, Saturday between 11:00 – 13:00 in Ankara, Hilton Hotel, Vista Room, 15th Floor

The aim of this meeting will be to bring together potential partnerships and introduce the project.

The project was initiated during a Symposium in Adana on January 28 and continue to gather momentum as outlined in its first “Progress Report” which can be viewed in www.turkishlibrary.us or  <http://www.isikbinyili.org/docView.php?d=article&id=339>

TLM project has been introduced in several platforms, gathering support across the board from several Museums, Corporations, Turkish Travelers Club, “Changing Leaders Summit” held in Istanbul 14-15/3/2011 (including HE Ahmet Davutoglu) and  ATAA and FTAA’s conference “Turkish American Leadership Conference” in Washington DC, 17-19/3/2011.

TLM’s is planned to open its doors on April 23 2015. One of the important aims of TLM is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Canakkale Battles which is always under played or seldom mentioned in foreign media.  To provide resources on the  Turkish history, culture and civilizations,  to support Turkey, Turkish and Turkic peoples in the USA, to provide a place for academicians, students and alike for research and work on Turkic studies as well as to provide an opportunity, dynamic atmosphere throughout  the year for Turkish-Americans and new generations to learn their own heritage  and keep them in touch with their own values and strong ties with their homelands.

A “digital library and museum” will also be established in parallel with Turkish Library and Museum’s opening in New York, 2015. With this, not only people who live in New York but people who live in other parts of the USA and the world will be able to benefit. This will be the first Turkish Library and Museum in America.

For the goals laid out above, we cordially invite you to attend the TLM’s first introductory and organizational  meeting in Istanbul on March 29, Tuesday. Other meetings are planned for May 21st at Hunterdon County Library in Clinton, NJ. and in New York

Kind regards,

 

On behalf of Turkish Library and Museum for Peace and Friendship In America Project Working Group:

Mr Yüksel Oktay Mr Isa Alemdağ Ms Bircan Ünver Mr Beyhan Türer Ms Sema Sagat

*******

AGENDA for the MEETING

Amerika’da Turk Kutuphanesi ve Muzesi Projesi Tanıtım Toplantisi Agendasi

1.ACILIS KONUSMASI – Tanitma: NEDEN AMERIKA’DA BIR TURK KUTUPHANESI VE MUZESI – Yuksel Oktay, PE

2.  Nicin Turkiye’de toplanti ve Turkiye’nin katkilari – ISTANBUL ve IZMIR’deki TOPLANTILARDAN NOTLAR

3.  Amerika’da Turkler ve Turk-Amerikalilar ve katkiları – ve Turkiye ile Amerika arasinda koordinasyon/esgudumlu calismanin nasil saglanacagi uzerine gorusler

4.  Turk Hukumeti/Dis Isleri-DC Temsilcilik son temaslar ve destegin saglanmasi-guvencesi ve talep edilecek katkilarin tanimi

5.  Kutuphane ve Muzenin adi ve nerede acilmasi geregi – Son teklifler – Turk Kutuphanesi ve Muzesi, Amerika, Dostluk ve Baris Icin

6.  Organizasyon, komitetelerde calismak isteyenler ve koordinatorler (Turkiye – AB ve Amerika olarak gruplandirilarak ve  ustlenecegi kisisel ve yasal duzeyde sorumluluklar farkli kategoride olacaktir.)

7.  Uyelik Listeleri – Teyit etmis olanlar, ayri bir word dosyasinda ve/veya TLM websitesinde yayinlanacak.. Faaliyet Raporuna da; komite/calisma gruplari/board vs.. ana basliklari ile her bir komitenin sorumlu kisileri tespit edilecek ve o kisi ve iliskili bir e-mail yayinlanacak

8.  Faaliyet Raporu Mart Sayisi ve Calısma Programi/TAKVIMI — Genisletilmis Giris ve Amaclar’la beraber – Yuksel Oktay

9.  Gelecek toplantilar – New York’ta, Los Angeles’ta, Seattle,da, Columbus Ohio’da ve 21 Mayis’ta Clinton NJ’de (konfirme oldu.)

10. Yapilacak isler, Anket, Logo Yarismasi ve Temenniler

The Turkish American National Leadership Conference – Empowering Turkish Americans, Washington DC, March 17-19, 2011

A Commentary by Yuksel Oktay, PE, March 21, 2011

The three day conference which officially started on Thursday March 17, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, some participants coming on Wednesday night March 16, ended on Saturday afternoon, March 19, where many excellent presentations were made and new leaders were introduced . The highlight must have been the presentation by the The Young Turks TV Radio founder Cenk Uygur, which took place after I had to leave around 2:00 PM on Saturday afternoon in order to visit the site of the proposed Turkish American Community Center in Lanham, MD (1).

The first of a kind conference has been organized by the two umbrella organizations; Washington DC based, “Assembly of Turkish – American Associations – ATAA” and the New York based “Federation of Turkish –
American Associations – FTAA” with support from the “Turkish Coalition of America” and the “Turkish Cultural Foundation.” The official language of the conference and the Program book were all in English, including the
presentations. The exception was State Minister Egemen Bagis’ remarks in Turkish after his presentation in English, which is to be commended. After all, this is a conference for the Turks in America and the Turkish-Americans, or, perhaps to follow the example of a speaker on the American Jews, it could be referred to as the American Turks.

The first day of the Conference, dubbed as “Turkish American capital Day”, opened with a video address by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Ahmet Davutoglu, followed by welcoming speeches by Gunay Evinch, the President of ATAA and Kaya Boztepe, the President of FTAA. The Arlington City Council
Chairman Chris Zimmerman, the Host county, and the Mayor of Alexandria city William D. Euille spoke next.  A message by the DC mayor Vincent C. Gray was included in the Program book with statements from several Congressman and  Congresswoman as well as messages from the Turkish Presidnet and the Prime Minister.

HE Ambassador Namik Tan spoke about the role of the Turkish-Americans and State Minister Egemen Bagis reminisced his 17 years in America before going to Turkey to enter politics and provided many advise, including a strong statement that, the Turkish-Americans should love each other. Of course, the first requirement for this is knowing each other..

The first panel was on “US-Turkish Relations: Challenges and Opportunities”, moderated by Mark Meirowitz, advisor to ATAA and FTAA Presidents. Suleyman Gokce, Deputy Chief of Mission, Turkish Embassy, and Jess Baily, Director, Office of Southern Europe in the Bureau of European
& Eurasian Affairs, spoke in length on various issues. Following the first question by the Moderator himself and long responses, three questions were allowed to the participants, one of which was on the Turkish-Israeli
relations and the Boat Marmara incident. I asked two questions; one whether any action was being taken for the removal of the fabricated statement by Hitler on the Armenian issue displayed at the US Jewish
Memorial Museum, visited by 2.5 million people every year. The second question was whether there was a Turkish Library and Museum in the US? Neither questions were responded to, but was discussed in length outside the conference room with Mr. Baily.

 

The afternoon was reserved for Capital Hill Grassroots visitations and many went to see their congressman. However, due to a crucial vote on the funding of the National Public Radio (NPR), some of the congressman were not available, but several were visited.

The first day of the conference was concluded Thursday evening with the Ambassador’s reception at the magnificent Turkish Embassy Residence. Prominent members of the Turkish-American community, students from several universities in and around WDC, including three 13 year old elementary school students, and many Turks, including a young Turkish-American who said he drove 30 hours from Texas, attended the reception. Professor Dr. Justin McCarty and his wife and many academicians
and businessmen were also at the conference and the reception. I had an opportunity to speak with the Ambassador on the “Turkish Library and Museum Project” and suggested that clear definition of what is expected from the Embassy and the Turkish government should be formulated.

The second day conference began with a presentation by Prof. Dr. Justin McCarty, following brief opening statements by Gunay Evinch and Kaya Boztepe. The topic of McCarty’s presentation was, “The Turks in America: the Creation of an Enduring Prejudice.” As usual, the presentation was lively with a lot of anecdotes and slide showing of caricaturs of Turks from McCarty’s new book with the same name, some dating back to 1890s, including an Editorial cartoon in the 1895 issue of the New York Times (Library of Congress Collection), the darling of Armenians who love to quote from that newspaper.

McCarty began with an explanation on the reasons for writing about the Turk: “because what I saw around me and the complete lack of understanding of the Turkish issues,” he said, making reference to the New York Times reviews. McCarty stated that if  15 books are presented on Turkey, all would be anti-Turkish, none with Turkish point of view. Then he gave many examples of name calling for the Turks, from Assassins, to Barbarians with pictures of camels. Referring to the books and articles on Turks by foreigners, McCarty listed 3 points used by the west as to why Turks killed the Armenians:

1. Religious hatred
2. Envy of the Armenians for their superior culture and wealth
3. Racially inferior people

Also referring to a description of a Turk in the 1895 issue of the New York Times, “A standing Disgrace to the Civilized World”, followed by stating that the bad image of the Turks in the West was created by the
Missionaries and  “Americans saw nothing else except what missionaries wrote.”

Following the excellent presentation, several participants were allowed to ask questions. One lady asked as to what they should do to correct the bad image of the Turks, further asking if these were included in his book.
McCarty responded first by stating that he was expecting this question and put on a slide with the following points:

1. Educate Ourselves.
2. Educate Others
3. Admit Turks” Mistakes
4. Question falsehoods
5. Identify Bigotry for What it is.

Taking advantage of the 5 points listed on the slide, I asked a question also (after walking to the center of the hall where the microphone was) and suggested that perhaps a 6th point could be included: Build Museums.
Than I briefly told about yet another Chance Encounter with a dozen 8th grade students visiting WDC on a class trip.

“As everyone must have seen, a lot of young students are at the Hyatt hotel. I asked them where they were from and what they were doing in WDC. They were 8th grade students from a Middle School in Illinois and were on a class trip, all 180 of them with several teachers and parents. I asked to close to a dozen of them if they knew where Turkey was, since they were also running around the Turkish American Conference hall. None of them knew. Then I asked one of their teachers the same question, who said she was a Special Education Teacher, and she said, “Somewhere near Poland.” I told her that all she has to do is to put her finger at the center of a world map and that is where Turkey is.”

Then I suggested to Prof. McCarty that establishment of Museums should also be included in the list. He pointed to Point No 2. “Educate others.” I said yes, but Museums should be emphasized.

 

The next Panel was on Effective Non-Profit Organizations which was to be followed by a Luncheon where M. Rifat Hisacikoglu was to be the Keynote Speaker. Since he did not show up, Sevgin Oktay, the coordinator of the CPTSTRS was allowed to speak about the work done by the members of the “Concerned People to Set the Record Straight” and show the 9 booklets issued on the Armenian issues. However, tehw riter was not given time to make a brief presentation on the proposed “Turkish Library and Museum for Friendship and Peace “Project.

The third day of the conference, announced as the “Young Turks Day – Student and Youth Program,” began with presentations in Media and Education, moderated by Bonnie Joy Kaslan from California. A documentary, “Hiphopistan’, by the young and talented Cigdem Akbay was shown, dubbed as “Presentation on the fusion of American and Turkish culture in today’s Turkiye.”  Iris Gross, the Executive Director of Birmingham International Center, made an excellent presentation on the center’s activities.

A newcomer, at least to this writer, Hulya Aksu” the founder and editor of “I AM Modern Women’s Magazine” spoke about two magazines and their contents, which was excellent. After lunch, Cenk Uygur walked in with his father Dogan Uygur and sat at a table in the back of the hall. They were escorted to a table in the front, shown in the attached photograph. I regretted missing Cenk Uygur’s presentation, in which I am sure he must have mentioned the adventures of the ‘Magnificent Seven” friends who meet every year at a different city, in fact some years in different continents, since their childhood days in New Jersey. I hope his
presentation as well as the presentations of all the speakers will be made available.

Another excellent presentation was made by Marty Callaghan, Historian, Journalist, & Film Producer, including the “Armenian Revolt”. The subject of Callaghan’s presentation was  “Placing Turkey Related Programming on Public Supported Television.” When I had the opportunity to ask a question, I suggested that perhaps another documentary could be made, this one on  Armenian Friends, since there are many Armenians in Turkey and around the world who do not agree with the claims that the massacres that took place during World War I, where thousands of moslems and Turks were also massacred, can not be labeled as Genocide.  I also told another chance encounters where just before coming to the conference room, I had met an Armenian lady from Yerevan who told me that she has been involved in the
reconciliation efforts and had a very close Turkish girl friend in WDC.

Publications and Book Sale

The only publications distributed during the conference, other than the Program Booklet, were two magazines, I am Modern and MB – Modern DC Business Magazine and one of the two founding members of ATAA, The
Washington ATA’s excellent NewsMagazine. The publisher of the two magazines, Ms Hulya Aksu, made an excellent presentation with a promise that she was about to launch a third magazine. However, none of the other magazines published in the USA, such as Turks of America, were not displayed or made available although it was good to see the excellent children’s magazine, “Bonbon.”

Observations from the Conference and Recommendations

Since this was advertised as being the first conference jointly organized by the two competing associations, ATAA and FTAA, the observed shortcomings can be overlooked, especially since there were some very
interesting presentations and a  chance to bring several issues to the attention of the conference attendees, which numbered close to 200, including the presenters. I will list some of my suggestions for the benefit of future conferences, hopefully next one to take place in New York, which I had expected to be announced, but was not.

1.  Although the title of the Conference was on leadership, only the leaders of the two organizations were introduced although many leaders, including several past presidents were among the participants but were not
mentioned, unless you knew them. The two organizations must have over 100 member associations between them (The Turkish Ambassador stated that there were over 300 across America), but neither the organizations nor their Presidents (leaders) were mentioned or included in the Program book. Name Tags were not used other than for the speakers. In fact, the young lady who made the introductions did not remember to introduce herself until the second day. The President of TACA of Georgia and a Board member of TACA of Seattle were among the participants.

2.  There were seven flags on the podium, including the Turkish and the US flags, with five  rolled and therefore not clear as to their representation. There was no Photograph of Ataturk at the conference hall or an open large Turkish flag. Azeri Associations were represented, several Turkistan and Ahiska Turk representatives were among the participants, but other Turkic nations were not represented.

3.  I believe there was only one media from the States (Turkish Radio ) and one from Turkey (Ergun Babadan) at he conference. I would have expected to see the representatives of all the media and Turkish publications in the US (Hurriyet, Zaman, Turksof America, etc.) present at the conference, including an exhibition of books other than those that were on sale.
4.  Some of the presentations  were too long with very little time left for questions although comments were made for these to be interactive sessions. In some Panels, the moderator did the asking rather than the
participants and several individuals did not have the opportunity to ask questions due to time limitations.

5.  The official language of the conference and the Program book was English, and except the second part of Minister Egemen Bagis’s speech and one of this writers questions, all presentations and question and answer
sessions were in English. Some even questioned whether the title should have been “The American Turks”, taking the clue from one of the presentations on the history of the American Jews and where they came
from. There is much more that can be reported on this unique and useful Conference and I hope others will also write and the organizers will provide the transcripts of the presentation.

Yuksel Oktay, PE
Past President FTAA
Founding Member and First President of MIM

Notes:

1.The city Council has approved the construction of the Turkish-American
Community Center in Lanham, MD by a 5 to 4 vote. The work now has been
initiated to obtain the various permits for the center which will include
a Mosque, a school, restaurant, guest houses, a soccer field, etc.

The Turkish American National Leadership Conference – Empowering Turkish Americans, Washington DC, March 17-19, 2011 – Part 2, March 18, Fridaday

The second day conference began with a presentation by Prof. Dr. Justin McCharty, following brief opening statements by Gunay Evinch and Kaya Boztepe. The topic of McCharty’s presentation was, “The Turks in America: the Creation of an Enduring Prejudice.” As usual, the presentation was lively with a lot of anecdotes and slide showing of caricaturs of Turks from McCharty’s new book with the same name, some dating back to 1890s, including an Editorial cartoon in the 1895 issue of the New York Times (Library of Congress Collection), the darling of Armenians who love to quote from that newspaper.

 

McCharty began with an explanation on the reasons for writing about the Turk: “because what I saw around me and the complete lack of understanding of the Turkish issues,” he said, making reference to the New York Times reviews. McCharty stated that if  15 books are presented on Turkey, all would be anti-Turkish, none with Turkish point of view. Then he gave many examples of name calling for the Turks, from Assassins, to Barnarians with pictuires of camels. Referring to the books and articles on Turks by foreigners, McCharty listed 3 points used by the west as to why Turks killed the Armenians:

 

1. Religious hatred

2. Envy of the Armenians for their superior culture and wealth

3. Racially inferior people

 

Also referring to a description of a Turk in the 1895 issue of the New York Times, “A standing Disgrace to the Civilzed World”, followed by stating that the bad image of the Turks in the West was created by the Missionaries and  “Americans saw nothing else except what missionaries wropte.”

 

Following the excellent presentation, several participants were allowed to ask questions. One lady asked as to what they shoudl do to correct the bad image of the Turks, further asking if these were included in his book. McCharty responded first by stating that he was expecting this question and put on a slide with the following points:

 

1. Educate Ourselves.

2. Educate Others

3. Admit Turks” Mistakes

4. Quesrtion falsehoods

5. Identify Bigotry for What it is.

 

Taking advantage of the 5 points on the slide, I asked a question also (after walking to the center of the hall where the microphone was) and suggested that perhaps a 6th point could be included: Build Museums. Than I briefly told about yet another Chance Encounter with a dozen 8th grade staudenst visiting WDC on a class trip.

 

“As everyone must have seen, a lot of young students are at the Hyatt hotel. I asked them where they were from and what they were doing in WDC. They were 8th grade students from a Middle School in Illinois and were on a class trip, all 180 of them with several teachers and parents. I asked to close to a dozen of them if they knew where Turkey was, since they were also running around the Turkish Amwerican Conference hall. None of them knew. Then I asked one of their teachers the same question, who said she was a Special Education Teacher, and she said, “Somewhere near Poland.” I told her that all she has to do is to put her finger at the center of the world on a map and that is where Turkey is.”

 

Then I suggested to Prof. McCharty that establishment of Museums should alos be included in the list. He pointed to Point No 2. “Educate others.” I said yes, but Museums should be emphasized.

Yuksel Oktay

To be Continued. End of Part 2.

The Turkish American National Leadership Conference – Empowering Turkish Americans, Washington DC, March 17-19, 2011 – Part 1, March 17, Thursday.

The first day of a three day, The Turkish American National Leadership Conference – Empowering Turkish Americans, was concluded yesterday with the Ambassador’s reception at the magnificient Turkish Embassy Residence in Washington DC. Prominent members of the Turkish-American community, students from several universities in and around WDC, including three 13 year old elementary school students, and many Turks, including a young Turkish-American who drove 30 hours from Texas attended the reception. Professor Dr. Justin McCharty and his wife and many academicians and businessmen were also at the conference and the reception.

 

The conference has been organized by the two umbrella organizations; Washington DC based, “Assembly of Turkish – American Associations – ATAA” and the New York based “Federation of Turkish – American Associations – FTAA” with support from the “Turkish Coalition of America” and the “Turkish Cultural Foundation.” The official language of the conference and the Program book were all in English, including the presentations, except State Minister Egemen Bagis also spoke in Turkish after his presentation in English, which is to be commended. After all, this is a conference for the Turks in America and the Turkish-Americans, or, perhaps to follow the example of a speaker on the American Jews, perhaps we should refer to us as the American Turks.

 

The Conference was opened with a video address by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Ahmet Davutoglu, followed by welcoming speeches by Gunay Evinch, the President of ATAA and Kaya Boztepe, the President of FTAA. These were followed by  remarks from the Arlington City Council Chairman Chris Zimmerman, the Host county, and the Mayor of Alexandria city William D. Euille. HE Ambassador Namik Tan spoke about the role of the Turkish-Americans and HE State Minister Egemen Bagis reminisced his 17 years in America before going to Turkey and entering politics and provided many advise, including a strong statement that, the Turkish-Americans should love each other.” Of course, the first requirement for this is “knowing each other.” A simple example of this is the lack of name tags for the Conference participants except for the speakers.

 

The first panel was on “US-Turkish Relations: Challenges and Opportunities“, moderated by Mark Meirowitz, advisor to ATAA and FTAA Presidents. Suleyman Gokce, Deputy Chief of Mission, Turkish Embassy, and Jess Baily, Director, Office of Southern Europe in the Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs, spoke in length on various issues. Following the first question by the Moderator himself and long responses, three questions were allowed to the participants, one of which was on the Turkish-Israeli relations and the Boat Marmara incident. I asked two questions; one whether any action was being taken for the removal of the fabricated statement by Hitler on the Armenian issue displayed at the US Jewish Memorial Museum, visited by 2.5 million people every year. The second question was whether there was a Turkish Library and Museum in the US? Neither questions were responded to, but was discussed in length outside the conference room with Mr. Baily.

 

Yuksel Oktay’ PE

To be continued. End of part 1.

18 March 2011