July 23, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA – On Tuesday, July 20th the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) facilitated a meeting between the visiting Turkish Trade Minister, Zafer Caglayan, and representatives of the Hopi Tribe, including Ali Cayir, the first Hopi Tribe Representative to Turkey.
During the meeting, Cayir described the benefits of working with the tribes in the United States, which operate as sovereign nations with their own governments that can deal on an equal footing with Turkey in negotiating trade and investment relationships. The Hopi Tribe, whose reservation is in Arizona, hopes to promote increased solar power projects, continued coal extraction, and the development of a major consumer center for the reservation’s residents.
"When TCA began connecting the Hopi and Turkish peoples, we were working to develop completely new relationships. The meeting between the Hopi Tribe and Minister Caglayan represents a giant step forward in tying together the native peoples of the U.S. and Turkey through trade and investment. This is an unprecedented development. TCA is proud to have helped launch this extraordinary relationship," said TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy.
Minister Caglayan, meeting with the Tribe for the first time, spoke of the affinity and possible kinship of the Turkish and Native American peoples, based on ancestral migration thousands of years ago, and expressed interest in visiting the Hopi reservation upon his return to the United States in October 2010.
Also in attendance were several commercial representatives of Turkish business interests, who engaged in a discussion of investment and construction opportunities on the reservation. The parties walked away with a plan for the Hopi Tribe to conduct initial feasibility studies and cost-benefit analyses that would justify potential Turkish involvement on the reservation.
Samuel Shingoitewa, Jr., advisor to the Tribe’s chairman, closed the meeting by reiterating the Tribe’s desire to work with Turkey, and expressed his desire for the Hopi Tribe to aggressively expand its relationships with other nations over the next four years.
For years, TCA has promoted the development of relationships between the Turkish peoples and the many ethnic and cultural groups in the United States, including a program to provide scholarships for Native American, African American, Hispanic American and Armenian American students for study abroad in Turkey or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus