Excellencies, Mr. Faircloth, Colleagues, and Friends,
I am Sermin Özçilingir, President of the Turkish Women’s League of America (TWLA).
We are very excited to be a part of as one of the co-sponsors of the “PEACE, WOMEN, SECURITY AND SECULARISM” program.  
In my speech, I would like to relate our organization’s mission and programs with SDG-5 and SDG-16 in connection with the secular education and democratic societies and institutions.

At the Multi-Participatory Session of the
Peace, Women, Security & Secularism Event at
The Salvation Army Intl. Social Justice Commission, New York City
On April 11, 2019

By now, as you know it, this event is led by The Light Millennium, associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications.

Although we have not yet associated with the UN as a Civil Society Organization, our mission and programs are very much in line with and in support of both the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal#3, “Equal Opportunity and Quality Education for ALL” and Sustainable Development Goal#5 “Gender Equality” along with the UN’s recent resolution on “International Day of Education”.

Further, as Turkey is the pioneering country for the very first dedicated Children Holiday on April 23 in 1922, since then we’ve been proudly celebrating it both on the national level as well as through our Ataturk School in New York since 1971.

As a minority community in the US, it is our core program is the education towards to bring and hold-together both the families and children through NY Ataturk School, which is a year-long and five years weekend elementary school, that follows on the basis of secularism and the founding principles and visions of the Republic of Turkey.

Within TWLA,  both education as one of the most important missions that we have along with the families; as both are the backbone of our Organization and the School.

In this context, as the TWLA and NY Ataturk School, where we stand on in connection with today’s topic, “Peace, Women, Security & Secularism”:

We were all raised in a secular education and political systems in Turkey as the founders, board of directors, members, teachers, students and families, to that effect, our students.  All together, we are the living examples of the founding principles and secular education system of Turkey, in which, we’ve been operating and implementing these principles in New York for several decades, in a secular county that allows us to operate a secular Turkish education school and promote Turkish language and culture. This alone also contributes to SDG-16 for building democratic and peaceful institutions.


As a Turkish-American Women organization in NY, our core commitments are for educating girls and boys on a provided equal opportunity, keeping the close connection with the students and families as well as with their cultural roots and language back in Turkey.

All together is combined, we’ve been contributing towards SDG-5 and SDG-16 along with the SDG-4 along with several UN related days and programs throughout the year.

I thank you all for this unique opportunity and looking forward to collaborating with similar programs to this in the near future.

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About Sermin ÖZÇİLİNGİR, President, Turkish Women’s Leauge of America (TWLA)
The Turkish Women’s League of America is a non-profit organization, formed in 1971. It serves to the Turkish American Community in New York.

TWLA represents the modern Turkish women, who believes secularism and equality for women. It follows principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of Turkey. The core mission of the TWLA is to reach out to, and unite,
It organizes cultural and recreational activities to foster a better understanding between the people of Turkey and the United States. The TWLA’s Board of Directors is comprised entirely of volunteer members. The organization is the sole supporter of The Ataturk School.
The school’s role for the Turkish community living in the New York Metro area is vital for perpetuating the language, culture, history and music of Turkey.  The Atatürk School’s main goal is to provide education and enlightenment according to the principles and vision of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The school teaches the writing and reading of the Turkish Language; Turkish history, geography, folklore, literature, and music; and a true understanding of religion. Teachers; who were granted teaching licenses in Turkey are educating our students’ ages range from 5 to 14 years old. The Atatürk School was the first school of its kind in New York.

– . –

Photo Album of the Multi-Participatory Session on:
Peace and Women and Security, and Secularism – 2

Concept Note of the PEACE, WOMEN, SECURITY & SECULARISM Event:

Event photo credit: Demet DEMIRKAYA, The Light Millennium

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The U.S. Turkish Library & Museum Project is under The Light Millennium Organization, Associated with the Department of Global Communications of the United Nations (formerly #UNDPINGO). http://www.turkishlibrary.us | http://www.isikbinyili.org | http://www.lightmillennium.org

"The U.S. Turkish Library & Museum For Friendship and Peace" project joined, and has been produced under the umbrealla of The Light Millennium Organization effective on October 15, 2015.