On Saturday May 9, 2009, the TAAA was invited to take part in the International Dance and Games Festival at Ramsey High School. The organization helped a group of students from the high school with a project on countries all over the world, their country being Turkey. They also helped present the project at its completion to the school's faculty and parents. During the festival, a Flag March took place, where students of each country marched with their representing flag.

Orrin Ford, member of board of directors of TAAA, gave Advocacy Training at Birmingham International Center.

 

In keeping with the Ramadan tradition of making children happy, TAAA will collect gifts for the children at its Ramadan Celebration on September 20th.

 

 

For this Ramadan Festival, we have chosen the organization Pathways that provides support for homeless mothers and their children. TAAA will be organizing to collect gifts for these children. For more information, you can visit http://www.pathwayshome.org/about-board.html .

Please select from the following list as you wish and bring the gifts to the BIC on 20th September without packed. If you cannot come, please let us know in advance so we can arrange a pick up.

Please let us know if you have further question by calling Aynur Ates Vloon at ... or sending e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We would like to thank you in advance for your kind help.

 

TAAA President, Aynur Vloon, and Director, Orrin Ford attended the Annual Delegates meeting of ATAA in Washington, D.C. as Delegates from TAAA.

The Delegates meeting is the most important meeting of the Assembly each year at which reports from all the Committees and Officers is reported and the results of the elections of new officers and directors is reported.

The highlight of the meeting this year was the election of TAAA to full membership in ATAA by the unanimous vote of the Delegates. Both Aynur

and Orrin addressed the Assembly of Delegates and stressed the need for solidarity and support in the Turkish American Community for improvement in Turkey/United States relations and increased efforts to educate Americans about Turkey, its history and culture, and Turkish/Americans and their importance to the United States.

 

The new President of ATAA, Gunay Evinch, in his first address to the Assembly said, “I invite all Turks to work toward simple common goals within our diverse communities, to breathe life into our Turkish heritage of tolerance and into the universal principals for which Ataturk stands.”

We invite you all to join in this work.

 

In the few days leading up to the meeting, Aynur and Orrin met with Legislative Aides to Alabama Congressmen Artur Davis, Spencer Bachus, Jo Bonner, and Bobby Bright. Included in the conversations were discussions of the formation of TAAA, the importance of the Turkish American community in Alabama, increased trade between Turkey and Alabama and several issues pending in Congress of importance to Turkey and the Turkish American community. They were well received in all the offices and look forward to maintaining close relations between the Alabama Congressional delegation and the Turkish American Community.

 

Aynur and Orrin also participated in meetings at the Turkish Embassy looking to finalizing the "Spotlight on Turkey 2010-2011".

 

The visit by Aynur and Orrin put a face on the Turkish/American community in Alabama. TAAA became an important part of the national community of Turkish/Americans. We have the opportunity to positively influence the entire community.

Every year, the Birmingham International Center spotlights a country from September until May of the following year. The Spotlight features the culture and history of the country and includes the teaching about the country in all the schools of Alabama.

 

In July, 2008 at a breakfast meeting with Gunay Evinch, then President-Elect of ATAA, Iris Gross, Executive Director of Birmingham International Center, and Orrin Ford and Peggy Bonfield, an idea was hatched to explore whether The Republic of Turkey could be the Spotlight country for 2010 – 2011.

That meeting was followed by a meeting at the Turkish Embassy in Washington in October, 2008 among Embassy Staff, staff members and officers of several Turkish and Turkish American organizations and Orrin and Peggy representing Alabama. The result of the meeting was unanimous agreement to move forward with the idea.

 

Since that time, there have been several meetings and discussions from the Ambassador, to staff of BIC, to staff of ATAA, to staff of TCA, to staff of TOBB and to Orrin and Peggy designed to move the project forward.

When TAAA was formed, Aynur Vloon became a key member of the team. At the last meeting at the Embassy in June, Aynur's participation was most important in moving to the next stage, a meeting in Ankara.

 

The last meeting was in Ankara in July, between Iris and Gunay and several of the Turkish Government ministries. The result of those meetings was to identify several projects and the primary organization responsible for them and to identify tentative funding sources. The last step will be the formalization of an agreement between The Republic of Turkey and BIC which we anticipate will occur in October of this year.

There are still obstacles to be overcome, but we hope to have them overcome by October.

 

Once the agreement is reached, the work will begin. We will need the support of all of you to make the Spotlight on Turkey a success. Those of you who have been eager to work will have as much as you can handle.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that all the work so far will pay off. There is not a better opportunity to showcase Turkey, its culture and history, and the Turkish American Community in Alabama.