On March 31, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) celebrated the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Caucus on US-Turkish Relations and Turkish Americans with a lunch and an evening reception.
28 Members of Congress and nearly 300 congressional staffers attended the events, which were co-hosted by TCA with Caucus co-chairs Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN/9th), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA/11th), Rep.Virginia Foxx (R-NC/5th) and Rep.Ed Whitfield (R-KY/1st). TCA was particularly honored to host Rep.Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL/18th), Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the event.
The lunch, held in the Cannon House Office Building, was overflowing for 2 hours, as Congressional Members and their staff stopped by to learn about Turkish-Americans, Turkish history and the importance of Turkey to the United States in foreign policy, business and other key issue areas.
The reception, held in the newly built Capitol Visitor Center, was also attended by H.E. Namik Tan, Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., and leaders of the Turkish American community.
Lincoln McCurdy, TCA President, in his remarks spoke of the growing importance of the Caucus and thanked the Caucus co-chairs and members for their contributions. Caucus co-chairs Rep.Whitfield, Rep. Foxx and Rep. Cohen addressed the guests in remarks that drew attention to the importance of US-Turkey ties, the role of the Turkish Caucus in strengthening this relationship and praised TCA for its efforts on and off the Hill. A series of educational posters and slide show prepared by TCA, provided participants information on different aspects of US-Turkey relations, the Turkish American community and interesting facts about Turkey, were praised by participants for their visual appeal and informative nature.
Following the remarks of the co-chairs, H.E. Namik Tan, the Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., spoke to the impressive growth and success of the Caucus since its founding 10 years ago, and lauded TCA for its efforts to strengthen understanding about US-Turkey issues on Capitol Hill.
A statement by Congresswoman Virginia Foxx in the Congressional Record marked the day and paid tribute to the role of Turkish Americans in strengthening US-Turkey ties and the Caucus.
"Turkish Americans deserve a special thank-you for their role in expanding the membership as well as the vibrancy of the Turkish Caucus over the years. The recognition of the Caucus as a symbol of Congress' appreciation of our alliance and partnership with the Turkish nation by Turkish Americans has contributed to the rapid growth of the Caucus. On the occasion of Turkish Caucus Day, I salute Turkish Americans across the nation and thank them for their outstanding contributions to America and to strengthening the U.S.-Turkey partnership," the statement read.