THO Staff Joined Turkish Coalition of America’s (TCA) 3rd Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress to Discuss the Status of Turkish – American Relations and Issues Facing the Diaspora

On November 5th, THO Staff joined Turkish Coalition of America’s (TCA) 3rd Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress. Every year, the Congress brings 25 young Turkish-American college students, graduate students, and young professionals to a three-day program to Washington. The goal of the program is to inspire the next generation leaders to take a more active role in local and national politics and to become effective representatives of the Turkish American community.

As a young organization, THO staff informed the young leaders about some basic demographics of the Turkish-Americans and various types of organizations that serve various needs of the Turkish Diaspora and the challenges they face. THO’s Program Manager Yenal Kucuker, who was a former TCA Congressional intern and Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) – TCA joint Congressional Turkey Caucus grassroots activism director, informed the young leaders about the importance of TCA’s program and the strategic benefits of systematically cultivating and engaging the next generation.   

The staff of THO also talked about their experiences and what brought them to focus on Turkey-U.S. relations. THO Program Coordinator Audrey Williams, who was a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey and Coordinator Caysie Myers, who studied abroad in Turkey, explained why they chose Turkey, their experiences in Turkey and why they got involved in Turkish-American relations in Washington. As Americans with no cultural or ethnic connection to Turkey, Audrey and Caysie emphasized the importance of Turkish-American organizations and their critical role with regards to dispelling stigmas against Turkey through engagement in their communities and through student exchanges.