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AMERICAN TURKIC Business Journal THIRD ISSUE

BUILDING

NEW ATTITUDES, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND RELATIONSHIPS TO HELP BUSINESS GROW AND THRIVE

SETTING THE STAGE FOR GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY BEAUMONT, TEXAS

PG.20

PG.10

THE NEWEST ADDITION TO SOCCER CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES PG.32

THE SOURCE OF HAPPINESS AND/OR STRESS FOR FOREIGN WORKERS… PG.42


THE FIRST STEP TO SUCCESS IS

creativity THE SECOND IS

branding Brand Strategy


CONTENTS

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WELCOME

I’m proud to say that we have come a long way thanks to the great positive feedback we have received from our readers. In the last year, 2014-2015, we have seen a tremendous growth in the number of Turkish origin... BY ORHAN KUCUKOSMAN

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BUILDING NEW ATTITUDES, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND RELATIONSHIPS TO HELP BUSINESS GROW AND THRIVE New Mexico, a state that has relied heavily on the federal government for more than a century, is quickly growing as a leader in international commerce and trade. We’ve seen 35 consecutive months of year-overyear job growth... BY GOVERNOR SUSANA MARTINEZ

New Mexico Green Chilies Are Special. The heart of chili pepper country in southern New Mexico is the tiny village of Hatch, which bills itself the “Chile Capital of the World.”

PRINTED IN THE USA. COPYRIGHT © 2015 BY AMERICAN TURKIC BUSINESS COUNCIL, INC. All right reserved. American Turkic Business Journal is published by American Turkic Business Council, Inc. 2700 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 1750 Houston TX 77056. Phone : (713)-960-0845, info@ttacc.org, info@americanturkic.org, www.americanturkic.org

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GOING GLOBAL? TURKISH COULD BE YOUR GOLDEN TICKET.

In the last decade Turkey has been a pivotal country for international trade and commerce. Its proximity to the Middle East, Asia and Europe lends hand to the cultivation of a rich culture that borrows from the entire region... BY ORHAN KUCUKOSMAN


CONTENTS

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BEAUMONT, TEXAS SETTING THE STAGE FOR GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY

Southeast Texas is culturally rich and economically diverse. The region is a melting pot of Cajun influence, Texas flair and Hispanic undertones. In the last year, the region has seen an influx of entrepreneurs... BY GOVERNOR SUSANA MARTINEZ

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THE NEWEST ADDITION TO SOCCER CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES Achieving success in the first year of its creation, Dallas City FC (Soccer club), is the newest addition to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). BY YUSA PARCALI

SP OT LIG HT

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THE SOURCE OF HAPPINESS AND/OR STRESS FOR FOREIGN WORKERS…

Foreign workers with an H1B visa are individuals who seek employment in the United States without sponsorship from a firm in their home country and who hold temporary work visas in the United States... BY ALI SOYLU, PHD. ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, CAMERON UNIVERSITY LAWTON, OK

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OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE IN OIL AND GAS; 5 REASONS IT IS NEEDED Something is about to become a major business driver in Oil and Gas, and it’s called Operational Excellence. And it’s a real game changer. BY DR. AKIF ONER

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STOCK MARKET NEWS, ANALYSIS AND TIPS It all started with China. Investors are trying to figure out just how badly China’s economy is doing -and how much it will reverberate elsewhere. China is the world’s second-largest economy.... BY DR. AKIF ONER

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SHOULD TURKEY JOIN TTIP?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a series of trade negotiations between EU and US that began in 2014... BY DR. OSMAN NAL


CONTACT

AMERICAN TURKIC Business Journal EDITOR / PUBLISHER ORHAN KUCUKOSMAN

VICE PRESIDENT / ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ALLEN A. AYDOGDU

MANAGING EDITOR UMIT BAYULKEN

COPY EDITOR/ PROOFREADER

DENISE BENZER

CREATIVE SERVICES & INTEGRATED MARKETING

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MARKETING/CREATIVE SERVICES ALLEN A. AYDOGDU ART DIRECTOR SHIRIN ABDOLLAHI DESIGN SERVICES ZNA DESIGN

ADVERTISING SALES

HEADQUARTER/HOUSTON, TX advertisement@americanturkic.org

HOW TO REACH US AMERICAN TURKIC BUSINESS COUNCIL, INC 2700 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 1750 Houston TX 77056 Phone : (713)-960-0845 WWW.AMERICANTURKIC.ORG info@americanturkic.org 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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PRESIDENT’S LETTER

WELCOME

T

On behalf of our team, I would like to welcome you to the third issue of American Turkic Business Journal. he American Turkic Business Council & Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce set forth a mission to establish successful partnerships between American and Turkic businessmen. The chamber is dedicated to promoting social and economic relations through networking and business development events, while meeting the needs of our members by aiming to provide increased trade volume and business opportunities through a wide range of sectors. With the third issue of the journal, I’m proud to say that we have come a long way thanks to the great positive feedback we have received from our readers. In the last year, 2014-2015, we have seen a tremendous growth in the number of Turkish origin companies invested in Southwest region of the United States.

Especially with the efforts made through the select USA program, the United States has become a high attraction point for Turkic investors for many reasons. Especially Texas, with its good and stable economy, it has become one of the first states that come to mind for investors from Turkey. But a stable economy is not enough to promote all that is offered here, the increased flow of investments to the U.S. has been made possible in part by the hard work and dedication of the United States Embassy in Turkey. Along with U.S. Ambassador John Bass, Consul General in Istanbul Charles Hunter and Commercial Officer Neil Pickett working tirelessly to promote investing in the U.S. And finally, the American Turkic Business Council’s dedicated effort to reach out to Turkic investors and host them in the region. All of these factors working

together has made our great state a highly attractive point for future investment opportunities. American Turkic Business Council continues to become a proactive Chamber in the region by bringing important speakers in different sectors. In the following pages, you will have the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the events that made this year an incredible one. You will have the chance to read about the increasing diversity in Fort Bend county and how it can be used as an asset in the growing global economy, learn about the important role small businesses play, and the impact of the Panama Canal Expansion on Texas Economy. This issue also houses incredible articles highlighting one businesses’ view on engaging in trade with Turkey. Another article highlights the growth and increased investment opportunities in Beaumont, Texas. You will find an article emphasizing the importance of learning a new language and the critical role it plays in forming global business partnerships. In addition to these incredible articles, there are articles on topics regarding the TTIP, stress surrounding foreign employees, and many others that will surely peak an interest. I would like to personally thank the Governor of New Mexico, Hon. Susana Martinez for the incredible article she has written about New Mexico and for highlighting the opportunities of growth, progress, and infrastructure needed for businesses to thrive and form partnerships in such an important state. With each new edition to our journal, we are creating new prospects for partnerships, knowledge, and ability for progression, but these would not be possible without your continuous support. As the President of American Turkic Business Council & Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce, I thank you on behalf of our team! We hope you will continue to read and enjoy this issue as much as you have enjoyed the previous ones. All the best,

Orhan Kucukosman President, American Turkic Business Council

osman@americanturkic.org

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BUILDING NEW ATTITUDES,

Infrastructure, and Relationships to Help Business Grow and Thrive

BY GOVERNOR SUSANA MARTINEZ

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New Mexico, a state that has

relied heavily on the federal government for more than a century, is quickly growing as a leader in international commerce and trade. We’ve seen 35 consecutive months of year-over-year job growth, with our strongest employment gains since 2006. Our exports are booming and shattering records. In one year alone, we’ve doubled our exports to Mexico, and nearly quadrupled them since I took office.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that New Mexico leads the nation in export-related job growth at 107 percent. The next state wasn’t even close. And the latest data from the Department of Commerce ranks three New Mexico metro areas in the top five for export growth in the nation. Furthermore, our export mix is diversifying, just like we want. Simply put, more businesses are exporting more of their goods to more places than ever before. For a state that has been so dependent on the federal government for revenue and employment, these are positive signs of growth that point to diversification in our private sector.

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There is a reason behind New Mexico’s progress. Thanks to knocking down regulations that harm businesses, building strategic international relationships, and investing more in our infrastructure, our state has become an ideal location for job creators. When I first took office, businesses struggled with red-tape and burdensome regulations. So we did something about it. We instituted a single-sales factor for manufacturing. We curbed tax pyramiding, which often resulted in the double or triple taxation of goods, particularly in manufacturing and construction.

We reduced our business tax rate by 22 percent, and established independent hearing officers in our tax department to make sure businesses get a fair shake. And we’ve cut taxes 37 times.

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We fought for a fuel-tax exemption that prompted Union Pacific to locate its state-of-the art $400 million rail hub in Santa Teresa and expanded our overweight cargo zone by 12 miles. Our ports of entry are now experiencing record-breaking commercial crossings each year. After our reforms, the renowned professional services firm Ernst & Young recognized New Mexico as the best state in the West for the taxation of manufacturers, up from third worst when I took office. This progress is made possible, in part, by our efforts to continually build confidence and trust with leaders across our border in Mexico. We are quickly positioning our state as a gateway of international trade throughout the Americas, and we are embracing our newly found leadership role, which wouldn’t be possible without the cross-border relationships we’ve built. We’ve worked to establish trust and confidence with our counterparts in Mexico. I have worked very closely with Chihuahua Governor César Duarte and was recently in Mexico with President Enrique Peña Nieto to celebrate new infrastructure in Chihuahua that will allow for the easier movement of goods between our countries.


Investing in major infrastructure throughout the state is also crucial to our continuing growth. It puts more New Mexicans to work right away, and lays a stronger foundation for long-term prosperity. Last year, I signed a capital appropriations bill that invests more than $89 million in water infrastructure projects throughout the state to ensure more New Mexicans have access to a safe, clean, and reliable water supply. It provides funding for much-needed projects like dam repair, watershed restoration, and backup water systems for cities, towns, and communities at risk of going dry.

And this year, our capital bill invests $45 million in major highway projects. Our roads are the literal foundation for commerce. Repairing and investing in our roads will keep our families safe and make it easier for businesses to move goods efficiently. This year’s investments in infrastructure also include more than $8 million dollars for vital road and highway projects in and around Santa Teresa, the focal point of our booming borderplex. We have committed to building a binational community along the southern border and are experiencing a booming corridor of trade. The once sleepy, dusty town of Santa Teresa, New Mexico, has been transformed into a bustling borderplex.

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Industrial parks that were once empty are now full. One of our newest partners in this growing success is CN Wire, the U.S. affiliate of a Turkish company, ER-BAKIR Elektrolitik Bakir Mamulleri A.S. The company’s products include single wire, multi-wire, bunched and stranded wire, tin-plated copper and braid wire. CN Wire opened its first North American manufacturing facility in Santa Teresa, and relocated sales and distribution operations to New Mexico from Connecticut. More and more businesses around the country and the world are learning that New Mexico is serious about competing for jobs, attracting new businesses, and helping existing ones grow.

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Both around the U.S. and around the world, more and more people are learning that New Mexico is more competitive both nationally and internationally. This June, CNBC issued its annual rankings of the top state in the U.S. for business, and New Mexico jumped 13 spots, tied for biggest leap in the U.S. This is great news, and a remarkable improvement from 2011, when we ranked near the bottom at 43. We’ve made some great progress, but there is still a lot of work to do. These results show what happens when we put politics aside and come together to do what is right for New Mexicans.


FREIGHT FORWARDING CUSTOM BROKERS WAREHOUSING AND DISTRIBUTION

Contact: Cenk Yuceer Tel: (514) 549-0116 e-mail: c.yuceer@sdv.ca 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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GOING GLOBAL? Turkish could be your golden ticket.

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In the last decade Turkey has been a pivotal country for international trade and commerce. Its proximity to the Middle East, Asia and Europe lends hand to the cultivation of a rich culture that borrows from the entire region. BY MARIEL COLBERT

you have ever visited the GRAND BAZAAR in Istanbul, Turkey, then you have seen how lively the salesmen can be. You may have haggled with a carpet salesman to make a deal on a beautiful Turkish carpet, or perhaps it was for a few boxes of lavish Turkish delight; but which language did you bargain in? If you are not a Turkish speaker, then you probably spoke to the salesman in English and realized that he can speak English very well. Most likely the same salesman knows about seven other languages and uses them all on a daily basis. Though the Grand Bazaar could never be considered as an official united firm, there is no argument against the fact that the shops process hundreds of thousands of transactions per day. The businessmen who work in these shops have realized the advantage of being multilingual, and based on that skill they could be some of the smartest salesmen in the world.

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This brings us to the question of language learning and its contingency to successful business. There is the obvious notion that learning another language will immediately increase opportunity to connect with customers. Why is language learning so critical to the business world? Why should Turkish be the next hot language to the growth of business? For so long language learning has been linked to careers like the Foreign Service, academia, politics, and the like. For a while many people who were interested in excelling in business were simultaneously invested in learning Chinese. Many people do not talk about Turkish as a language that is applicable to the business world, but I think that now and especially in the near future, being proficient in Turkish will be an outstanding boost in going global.

Turkey is in the limelight for international business at the moment. Given its geographical location, its industry and booming economy, seemingly the country has reached a potential in commerce that resembles a hub on a modern day Silk Road. To understand good business, we can consider the dynamics of the ancient Silk Road and how important it was for merchants to be multilingual. Then it’s easy to understand that if we Americans plan to conduct our business internationally, it is just as important for both seasoned and new entrepreneurs to be able to communicate with their foreign partners and customers. At the moment, Turkey’s economy is booming and as it looks, it is quite sustainable. In the last decade its GDP has tripled, pushing it toward the goal of becoming one of the top ten economies

Startups and companies that have crossed international borders reach 95 percent of consumers outside of the United States. by the year 2023. Because of all of this, Turkey’s friendliness toward US companies is understandable. Over 1,000 companies have opened branches in Turkey. Turkey is a highly industrialized country, has an open economy and is considered an emerging market by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Startups and companies that have crossed international borders reach 95% of consumers outside of the United States. The international buyer is more likely to want to purchase the US good over any other internationally marked product if they have the choice. In our globalized world, companies have increased their desire to employ those who know a second language for the simple fact that learning a second language helps to build the bridge between business and culture. At any point in time, two people who come from different countries but are also able to communicate with one another have participated in making the world a smaller place. Entrepreneurs who are able to communicate between languages are considered trans-globally valuable, and thereby become instruments of

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cultural exchange. Furthermore, with the sharing of business ideas across cultures, firms are able to expand their network by interacting with foreign buyers, investors and employees. Ideally a plan can grow to become a trans-national reality if language barriers are broken. A critical language like Turkish is not only useful for fostering better foreign relations, but it also is necessary to the foundation of lasting business partnerships in our modern world. Turkish is among the world’s 15 most widely spoken languages, spoken in many countries throughout Western Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, in countries like Russia, Nigeria, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, the Balkans and Turkish Cyprus. In total 300 million people speak Turkish as their first language worldwide. Turkish is an official language of the European Parliament. Additionally, Turkish has also become a popular language to study in the United States. Several private and public institutions encourage Americans to learn Turkish to high proficiency in hopes of bettering cultural relations between

the United States and Turkey on a wide array of realms. At the same time, young Turks are incredibly employable to western firms. Turkey has a large middle class population, with half of it being under the age of thirty-five. This means that consumerism in Turkey is explosive. In the last decade Turkey has been a pivotal country for international trade and commerce. Its proximity to the Middle East, Asia and Europe lends hand to the cultivation of a rich culture that borrows from the entire region. More so, Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city is the only city in the world situated in both


IN THE LAST DECADE TURKEY HAS BEEN A PIVOTAL COUNTRY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND COMMERCE.

Asia and Europe, making it an excellent hub for international business. If Americans begin and continue to study Turkish to a high enough proficiency, and across many academic fields, we may soon find American-Turkish business relations at an optimum high.

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BY REGINA LINDSEY

ONE OF THE BEST

BEAUMONT, TEXAS Setting the stage for growth and opportunity Southeast Texas is culturally rich and economically diverse. The region is a melting pot of Cajun influence, Texas flair and Hispanic undertones. In the last year, the region has seen an influx of entrepreneurs and was recognized by Forbes as one of “The Best Places for Starting a Business In 2015.” Beaumont-Port Arthur businesses recognize 155% more revenue than any of the other locations recognized by Forbes. The region has quietly been earning superpower status on a national and global scale through innovative technologies and newsworthy initiatives that are setting the stage for rapid growth and expansion in manufacturing, industry, real estate, and technology sectors. 20

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BEAUMONT-PORT ARTHUR BUSINESSES RECOGNIZE 155% MORE


THE REGION HAS SEEN AN INFLUX OF ENTREPRENEURS AND WAS RECOGNIZED BY FORBES AS ONE OF

“THE BEST PLACES FOR STARTING A BUSINESS IN 2015.”

REVENUE THAN ANY OF THE OTHER LOCATIONS RECOGNIZED BY FORBES.


WORKFORCE

HOUSE BILL 100 WILL PROVIDE

Higher education is booming in Beaumont.

$200,000,000 $60,000,000

THROUGH THE BILL, LAMAR UNIVERSITY WILL RECEIVE

to the Texas State University System, which includes Lamar campuses.

These funds will be used for expansions, upgrades and new construction. 22

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Starting in Fall 2015, Lamar University will take steps into uncharted territory with the offering of a Port Management Degree, the first of its kind in the


PORT OF BEAUMONT Port activities generate $4.6 trillion in economic activity annually and support more than 23 million American workers, according to the American Association of Port Authorities (5). With new “green” initiatives underway, seaports are also providing new green jobs and will be able to do more with federal investment. Beaumont-Port Arthur has prime positioning for international trade and boasts one of the largest ports in the nation. The Port of Beaumont, located on a natural harbor 40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, is a global gateway and the fourth largest port in the nation in terms of tonnage. It is also the busiest military port in the world and the headquarter of the United States Army’s 842d Transportation Battalion, which specializes in

port logistical activity. A project that will significantly impact the Port of Beaumont is the deepening and widening of the Sabine Neches Waterway from 40 feet to 48 feet. This project will better manage waterway traffic, allow larger ships to reach our local port, take advantage of the Panama Canal expansion, maintain and create jobs locally, increase tax revenue, stimulate economic development and most importantly, keep southeast Texas competitive with other U.S. ports. This expansion will give southeast Texas a competitive advantage and will help secure the area’s future as America’s Energy Gateway and the nation’s largest military outload port.

LAMAR STATE COLLEGE ORANGE WILL RECEIVE

LAMAR STATE COLLEGE PORT ARTHUR WILL RECEIVE MORE THAN

LAMAR INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WILL RECEIVE

$10,000,000

$8,000,000

$12,500,000

United States. This step will solidify Beaumont-Port Arthur as a key player in port management education.

Beaumont-Port Arthur is also home to Kaplan College and VISTA College, which focuses on degree programs and career planning. 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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ONE OF THE BEST

TECHNOLOGY-CENTER FOR INNOVATION COMMERCIALIZATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP Lamar University will break ground on the Center for Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (CICE) in September 2015. THE CENTER will serve eastern and southeastern Texas by supporting the establishment of new technology based businesses, helping small technology based businesses grow and supporting efficient improvements in mature industries. The center will also serve as a soft landing for international firms. It will allow international firms to ease into the U.S. Market at markedly lower cost than purchasing or leasing traditional space. By establishing

regular, formal communication channels with local companies, CICE will be facilitating commercialization of university research that can advance economic diversification in the region. The center will be a valuable tool for entrepreneurs and an invaluable resource for the business community of southeast Texas. The CICE has the potential to promote and sustain economic growth in the region (7).

Workforce Higher education is booming in Beaumont. House Bill 100 will provide $200,00,000 to the Texas State University System, which includes Lamar campuses. Through the bill, Lamar University will receive $60,000,000, Lamar State College Orange will receive $10,000,000, Lamar State College Port Arthur will receive more than $8,000,000 and Lamar Institute of Technology will receive $12,500,000. These funds will be used for expansions, upgrades and new construction. Starting in Fall 2015, Lamar University will take steps into uncharted territory with the offering of a Port Management Degree, the first of its kind in the United States (4). This step will solidify Beaumont-Port Arthur as a key player in port management education. Beaumont-Port Arthur is also home to Kaplan College and VISTA College, which focuses on degree programs and career planning.

Recent Investments Southeast Texas has always placed emphasis on the petrochemical industry, and for good reason. In 2013, nondurable-goods manufacturing contributed 0.32 percentage point to the U.S. metropolitan area real GDP 24

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growth. Beaumont- Port Arthur, with the strong concentration in petroleum products, contributed 8.71 percentage points (2). In August 2015 Exxon Mobil announced a planned expansion that will increase production capacity by approximately 20,000 barrels per day. The expansion

will add flexibility to process light crudes at its Beaumont refinery. This expansion will further strengthen ExxonMobil’s integrated downstream portfolio in Southeast Texas. The increase in capacity at the Beaumont refinery is made possible in large part by abundant, affordable supplies of U.S. light crude from shale and demonstrates ExxonMobil’s long-term


view and disciplined approach toward advantaged business investments, and the company’s continuing commitment to American economic growth and job creation. Beaumont is well positioned to competitively supply high-demand growth markets around the U.S. (3). In addition to the Exxon Mobil expansion, Natgasoline LLC will begin production at the methanol production complex beginning in late 2016. NATGASOLINE LLC is a new wholly owned greenfield world-scale methanol production complex being developed in Beaumont, Texas. The plant is expected to have a capacity of up to approximately 1.75 million metric tons per year, and is expected to start production in late 2016. It will be one of the world’s largest methanol production facilities based on nameplate capacity.

The project will use state-of-the-art Lurgi MegaMethanol® technology and will incorporate best available environmental control technology. The plant will take up a portion of a 514 acre plot of land recently acquired by OCI N.V., adjacent to OCI Beaumont. The project has been awarded a grant of $2.1 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, as well as incentive commitments from local entities, including the city of Beaumont, Jefferson County, the Beaumont Independent School District, the Port of Beaumont and the SabineNeches Navigation District. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final greenhouse gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permit for Natgasoline on 29 September 2014, and construction at the site has begun.

Natgasoline LLC is estimated to create approximately 3,000 construction jobs and 240 permanent jobs (6). (1) http://www.forbes.com/sites/ kathryndill/2015/04/30/the-best-places-for-starting-abusiness-in-2015/ (2) http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_ metro/gdp_metro_newsrelease.htm (3) http://beaumont.chambermaster.com/news/ details/news-release-8-4-2015-exxonmobil-to-expandu-s-domestic-crude-processing-capacity-at-beaumontrefinery-08-04-2015 (4) http://www.eda.gov/tools/files/universitycenters/15-Lamar-U_UC.pdf (5) http://aapa.files.cms-plus.com/PDFs/U%20S%20 %20Seaports%20and%20Job%20Creation%205-122015.pdf (6) http://www.oci.nl/oci-fcg/our-facilities/natgasolinellc/ (7) http://www.eda.gov/tools/files/universitycenters/15-Lamar-U_UC.pdf

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BEAUMONT COUNTY BUSINESS INCENTIVES PROPERTY REDEVELOPMENT AND TAX ABATEMENT ACT The following types of enterprises are eligible to apply for tax abatement.

CONCLUSION The city of Beaumont is an economic hotbed for investors and entrepreneurs. With projected expansions, a multitude of large scale projects on deck and the low cost of living, it is easy to see why Beaumont-Port Arthur is one of the nation’s best places to start a business in 2015. 26

AMERICANTURKIC 3RD ISSUE

Industrial/Manufacturing - activities such as engaging in the mechanical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products; assembling component parts of manufactured products, if the new product is neither a structure nor other fixed improvement; and blending of materials, such as lubricating oils, plastic toxins or liquors. Other eligible activities include specialty resins and polymers, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and specialty foods.

Distribution - activities described as the wholesale distribution of durable and/or nondurable goods, such as motor vehicles, furniture, lumber and other construction materials, professional and commercial equipment, electrical goods, hardware and plumbing and heating equipment, paper and paper products, apparel and groceries.

Central administrative office services - examples include performing management, support services or telecommunication functions for related entities.

Properties subject to a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Voluntary Cleanup Program Agreement. Eligible property for which abatement may be granted includes nonresidential real property and/or tangible personal property located on the real property other than that personal property that was located on the real property at any time before the abatement agreement is executed.


SIMPLIFYING THE REAL ESTATE PROCESS

For more information, please contact

Nezir Lupic, Realtor速

Commercial | Residential | Property Management

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1776 Yorktown St., Suite 350 Houston, TX 77056 | Tel 281.741.7193 Fax 281.769.5030 | nlupic@usrealtytx.com | www.usrealtytx.com


BY JOHN CARSWELL

DOING BUSINESS IN TURKEY This article expresses one small business’ view of engaging in general trade with Turkey. I WAS BORN IN TEXAS AND IN FACT MY FAMILY HAS BEEN IN TEXAS FOR 7 GENERATIONS. Therefore, I would like to emphasize that this is a very “American” perspective. The goal of this writing is to provide some knowledge and experience that might help others to explore viable options for conducting business in or importing from Turkey. Therefore, this article intends to address some of the key factors businesses consider before moving an operation overseas. It is important as business owners in the US that we consider the economic strength and trade balance of this economy. That being said, there are many great mutual benefits to importing products from overseas. The World Industrial Reporter published an article in 2012 outlining key advantages to importing products from other countries. Obviously, introducing competition from overseas can help drive quality products and good prices. Governments that are serious about doing business in the US strive to make it easy for business owners. In short,

WHY TURKEY BECAUSE, Turkey is natural and geographic bridge between both East-West and North-South axes; 28

AMERICANTURKIC 3RD ISSUE

until you try you will never know what amazing advantage awaits you on foreign soil. I’m here to attest that any foreseen risks associated with Turkey are a false perception—at least that has been this business owner’s experience. First, let us consider some brief facts as it pertains to the trading business of Turkey. According to Observatory of Economic Complexity, Turkey has annual exports of $161 billion and imports of $205 billion. Turkey’s largest trade partner on both imports and exports is Germany. The US ranks 9th as a trade partner for Turkish products ($6 billion) and Turkey has the US 5th on its list of imports ($13 billion). Turkey’s largest export products are gold, cars, refined petroleum, raw iron bars, vehicle parts and delivery trucks. Turkey’s top imports are refined petroleum, scrap iron, gold, cars, petroleum gas and vehicle parts. However, this hardly describes Turkey’s rich resources. For example, Turkey is the largest apricot producer in the world almost doubling the next producing country. Turkey’s land mass ranks 35th in

That provides easy access to millions of consumers and multiple markets in Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa. Since 1995, Turkey is a part of the EU Customs Union and still having membership discussion with European Union.


the world with 780,580 square km and population ranks 18th with 77,695,904. Turkey is known to be rich in natural resources, producing some 60 different minerals. For example, Turkey contains 72% of the worlds boron salts. Turkey has a diverse economy with abundant natural resources. The company I founded is a very small business that largely engages in importing artistic items -handicrafts, pottery and other handmade items. We look for cultural expression from other countries that is unique and marketable in the American marketplace. Our company, Spero Trading Company, finds Turkey to be rich in cultural expression. If your business is built upon the arts or cultural richness, then few destinations will be as enticing as Turkey. However, even if your company does not depend upon these artistic qualities, you will find the culture to be engaging and the hospitality to be unmatched. This brings us to our first reason for doing business in Turkey.

Stability and Hospitality When Americans open a map to look up Turkey, they will find border countries such as Syria, Iraq and Iran and might have some travel concerns. However, not traveling to Turkey because of its border countries, is like not traveling to Texas because of security concerns in Mexico. Turkey is a very large country that depends upon tourism. Our company imports handmade copper trays from Gaziantep, Turkey - just a few miles from the Syrian border. I went there to meet with our artist and had a great time there. The people of Turkey are some of the most hospitable and helpful people on the planet. I remember walking the market in Malatya with some friends trying to find the coppersmiths. When my friend, who speaks Turkish, asked a man for help, the man stopped what he

BECAUSE, Turkish government provides various taxes and non-tax incentives... Corporate income tax is 20 percent and individual income tax varies from 15 percent to 35 percent in Turkey. Tax

was doing and walked with us about 1/4 of a mile to the coppersmiths. If you have been to Turkey, you too have experienced the “going well beyond duty” hospitality that they offer. Two years ago the article entitled “40 Incredible Secret Places Most Travelers Don’t Know About” found its way to Facebook. Turkey has two destinations featured on the list. Cappadocia ranked number 15 and the Rock Tombs at Myra was number 31. Having been to Cappadocia myself three times, I highly recommend it. In short, Turkey is a safe place to visit, extremely hospitable and has good infrastructure in which to conduct business.

Quality and Prices It is my opinion that Turkey does not strive to be the “low cost leader” for commodity items. Turkey is a developed country with excellent education and technology. Spero Trading Company is looking for high value on quality products. My experience with business in Turkey is that they provide quality products at good value prices. Additionally, although this is not my area of expertise, it seems they have the capability to produce a high level of complex products. For example, Turkey exports $106 million in Planes, Helicopters and Spacecraft. And although Turkey’s largest export category is textiles, a very close second is machines and machine parts—everything from insulated wire and video displays to gas turbines and navigation equipment. Turkey boasts 21 export categories with the smallest category being the one that Spero Trading engages—Art and Antiques. The full listing of export categories in order of dollar volume are Textiles, Machines, Metals, Transportation, Precious Metals, Mineral Products, Foodstuffs, Plastics, Stone and Glass,

benefits and incentives are available in Technology Development Zones, Industrial Zones and Free Trade Zones. Exemptions from customs duties, levies and VAT for imports of some machinery, equipments and a number of exemptions from income tax and social insurance contributions are defined under the 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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Miscellaneous, Paper Goods, Animal Hides, Instruments, Wood Products, Footwear and Headwear, Weapons, and Antiques and Arts. With so many product offerings, Turkey may be a great place for your company to explore. In my travels, I have engaged business men from the US that were engaged in Turkey in a multitude of businesses. I have met Americans who were participating in financial services, specialized engineering and architecture, oil and gas, and chemicals. My guess is Turkey has a product that can benefit your business in a significant way.

Ease of Travel & Logistics One of the things that I found shocking was how easy it is to get to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines has won “Best Airline in Europe” for four consecutive years (201130

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2014). They offer an abundance of direct flights from Houston to Istanbul at very reasonable prices. The planes are very comfortable and the service is excellent. Traveling inside the country is also efficient, whether you continue with Turkish Airlines or take advantage of Pegasus Airlines. Pegasus is much like Southwest Airlines, offering economical regional flights that can be purchased at short notice. They even provide flights to surrounding countries. Plane travel to and inside Turkey will be a pleasant surprise. They say “everything is bigger in Texas.” However, Texas has met its match when it comes to number of large cities. Yes, it is true - Istanbul is a giant metropolis and the population is very dense. This does cause congestion that can even top Houston at times. However, I have traveled to Istanbul three times in the last year and found all of my travels to be efficient

and pleasant. In fact, on one trip I was in Istanbul and six other cities for 14 days seeking out new art products. I made my travel arrangements and purchased my tickets in December for a March trip. Because of the ease of travel and because of the hospitality of the Turkish people (mainly not letting me pay for meals), I did the entire 2-week trip—including all airfare, car rental, hotels, etc., —for under $2,000 and with zero frustration. It was a joyful trip with many successes. In summary, Turkey is an amazing country that is rich in natural resources with a sizable and educated workforce. These factors offer a great opportunity for your company to add value by exploring what this country has to offer. Travel is easy and efficient and safety should not be a concern. The people, places, and Turkish culture make for an amazing experience. I highly recommend considering Turkey as a country in which to do business as well as to travel for pleasure. It will not disappoint.


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BY YUSA PARCALI

Dallas City FC the newest addition to soccer culture in the Unit ed States

Q&A with the head coach/founder of Dallas City FC, Rahim Zafer Achieving success in the first year of its creation, Dallas City FC (Soccer club), is the newest addition to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Founded in 2013 by Rahim Zafer, Dallas City FC had a very fruitful first year and managed to make it to the NPSL play-off in 2014. This triumph is thanks to the hard work of Rahim Zafer, Serdar Taygum, and Nicolas Ayala. Although the team is just starting, they have a bright future ahead of them. Being one of the key members of the team as the founder and head coach, Rahim Zafer’s passion for soccer started early in his childhood. He was born in 1971 in Adapazari, Turkey and attended Gazi University to study physical education. Following his passion, Mr. Zafer played in numerous professional soccer teams. Most notably he served in Beşiktaş, which is one of the best soccer teams in Turkey, for five years, and later played at the 1998 UEFA European Championship for the Turkish national soccer team. After his long and successful career in soccer, he decided to move to the United States to start a team of his own. He chose Dallas as his final destination to form his new soccer team. To have a better understanding of this new soccer club, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Rahim Zafer and talk about the team’s humble 32 AMERICANTURKIC 3RDbeginnings. ISSUE

the a team in t r a t s o t e re ou choos has a mo Why did y of a country that ad U.S. inste lture? soccer cu d e p lo e v de . was e the U.S s o s h c I n reaso portunitie g The main he educational op in v . After mo of t n e e s r u d a il c h e c b y and here for m make ends meet, available to o t d a way oney was n m fi e o k t a d a m Ih y to e best wa for me th r team. cce start a so


Can you tell us a bit about your soccer history?

s ited State n U e h t in allas? the cities come to D Out of all o t t n a w e you what mad oked into lo I s a ll a D ing to r, in Before com ichmond. Howeve me nd R ne to help o y n Orlando a a e v a d a bit didn’t h nd seeme o Orlando I m h ic R nd d m, an to Dallas a in d e start a tea k o lo ls to me. I reat schoo g unfriendly re e w re f at the resence o p a d realized th n a d that s to atten . I figured n for my kid io t ia c as re tic app ccer and w o s in t vast athle s re great inte n of many Dallas had kly with the creatio ar. The uic s every ye growing q m iu d a ok t s s and great outlo a e v a new team h s a sport. re in Dall reciate the p people he p a y ll a and re on soccer

I started playing soccer on the streets of Sakarya when I was about ten years old. I joined the Sakaryaspor junior team when I was about 14-15 years old. Later I transferred into Gençlerbirliği at the same time got accepted n. into Gazi University to study physical educatio the e wor I , About six years later I joined Beşiktaş Beşiktaş uniform for five years then transferred to Diyarbakırspor, where I played for one year. Afterwards I joined Sakaryaspor and played for another year then transferred to Daegu FC in South Korea and played for one year. After my return to Turkey I played in Adanaspor for one year and Kırıkkalespor for one more year. Lastly, I joined the Turkish National soccer team where I played in the European Champions (EUFA) in 1996. After I turned 35, I finished my soccer career, and opened a furniture store in Ankara and operated it for five years. However, the smell of furniture made me miss the smell of grass; this made me decide to return back to soccer as a coach. I got my coaching license and started working as an assistant coach in 2006 with numerous teams including: Kastamonuspor and Uşakspor in TFF league. Later, in 2010 I began working alone as head coach at many other Turkish , teams including: Van Büyükşehir Belediyespor Kahramanmaraşspor, İskenderunspor, and Adıyamanspor. Finally, I created Dallas City FC in 2013 and I’ve been coaching it for two years now. 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

33


What do you think the future of soc cer is in the U.S.? Although soccer culture in America started later than other countries, after the 1994 FIFA World Cup the American people’s inte rest in soccer grew quickly. I believe that the United States is developing a lot faster tha n most other countries in Europe at the mo ment. Kids start playing soccer in elementa ry school and continue to follow that passion well into high school. Many people outside of the states think that soccer doesn’t exist here. However, I trust that Americans are now more knowledgeable about soc cer than most other people around the world and the American schools are putting more focus on it as a valuable sport. From my obs ervations, America is developing a lot faster tha n many other countries at the moment. If you look at the average audience turn-out in soccer games, you will see that it is a lot gre ater than most other countries. The U.S. truly values athletics a lot more than other nation s and continues to develop every day.

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t ity FC wha C s a ll a D f d Coach o As the hea our duties? of y are some m, r main tea u o g in h c being was coa nsible for o Last year I p s re m up a now I nt age gro re e iff however, d r u are or for all o oach you c d the direct a e h s a rmally, ers, but teams. No g the play in in ra t r s le fo colleague y m responsib , ll a m I are re still s Ayala and since we a s la o ic nt N , gum any differe m g Serdar Tay in g a n to le for ma o our best d e responsib W . m a our te y and th mentall aspects of o b rs e y la ur p prepare o . physically


at ity FC wh C s a ll a D of ad Coach As the he your duties? of are some m, main tea r u o g in the as coach for being s. w I le r a ib s e n y o t Las resp team , now I am erent age group le however all our diff you are responsib r fo r o t c dire still coach ce we are , as head in y s ll t a u m b r , o s las N he player um, Nico t g y g a in T r in a a r for t s Serd g colleague sible for managin y m , ll a sm on I are resp team. We Ayala and nt aspects of our yers both ere many diff to prepare our pla st lly. do our be d physica n a y ll a t n me

What do you hope to accom plish with Dallas City FC ? Right now we want to train more players increase the si and ze of our team , we currently have two rese rve teams and also 13 teams for different a ge groups. In the next few years we wan t to move up one league an spread our na d me. If we can find more inv tors and spon essors we want to build a stad um of our ow in. Last year w e only had on sponsor and ri e ght now we h ave three and it is bound to increase as w e get our nam heard. The mo e re people we have in our te the more our am profits will incr ease because get a certain a we mount of pay ment from ea player’s famil ch y. We are also talking with S (Southern Me M U thodist Unive rsity) and oth colleges to ex er change playe rs. I truly belie that investing ve in a soccer clu b is low risk a very profitable nd .

avorite ur most f

ur

part of yo

o What is y gs new thin s r e y job la p to better hing my in c a p e lo t e e v v e I lo y em d seeing m essing th and witn o, of course, enjoy and win. ld als on the fie players. I ll e w m r erfo players p

How has your experience been so far with Dallas City FC? The first year was pretty tough for me because I was still getting adjusted to the United States, but thanks to my friend Serdar Taygum it was easier for me to get adjust ed. We worked really hard in our first year as we had to find players and search for stadiu ms to train in. Nicolas Ayala helped us a lot with his experience and networking skills. He helped us get a handful of players from Me xico. This also created many challenges for us because we had to find a place for these pla yers to stay, so they had to stay at our friend’ s house. I was responsible for driving them from home to training and back. There were tim es when I would drive approximately 250 mil es per day, going from one place to another. My superb colleagues and I had to work relentle ssly, but it was well worth it.

g part of

hallengin the most c

What is your job?

u have layer all yo p r e c c o s are a good When you yourself in g in p e e k oach n is , as head c o all d to focus o n a h r e h the ot yer wh shape, on r each pla fo le ib s ver, n spo ties. Howe li a n you are re o rs e p there, ifferent ’t just stop possess d n s e o d it le for eam responsib m a with this t I ll a quipre still sm ting the e t e since we a g e k li s d er task iforms, an n u e many oth h t g y, washin r balls. ment read g air into the socce pin even pum


Can you tell us a little bit about National Premier Soccer League (NPSL)? It’s a fairly new league created about five to six years ago. It is separated into different regions of the United States (North East, South, Mid-West, and West). It is a half amateur, half professional league that mainly consists of college players. In every region there is between eight to ten teams. Each region will have one champion team that will move on to the play-offs, the team that wins two play-off games moves onto the finals and the winner of the finals gets an opportunity to compete in U.S. Open Cup with other professional teams. NPSL is still a developing league that grows in number every day.

llas e to Da ts v i t a n s yer’ t par our pla rom differen y f o t s Are mo get players f States? d ou or do y be and Unite o lso l s, but a of the g a l l a D from xam players untries. For e m y n a m o We get r cities and c ers join us fro e h t lay o erse p from e had ery div rent v w r a a e e v y t ly ha diffe ple, las current s from many bae W . o im yer Mexic ave pla g Morocco, Z El h e w ; n ludi team , and ities inc ey, Colombia l a n o i t na urk exico, T bwe, M r. Salvado What is the mission

of Dallas City FC?

To train good play ers and guarantee them a promising future in soccer. We wan t to assist them in pursuing playing profession ally and helping them get recruited by m any wonderful teams worldwide.

y FC’s What are some of Dallas Cit accomplishments? t year, we Although last year was our firs y-offs. We managed to make it to the pla in River Cup played against Fort Worth FC rs to go play in and won. We sent three playe m went to play Germany and later two of the also sent one professionally in Armenia. We nally in Mexico. other player to play professio ership agreements We have also reached partn uar FC in with Liga MX club Chiapas Jag in Germany, and Mexico, Turkspor Augsburg This year we also with Altinordu FK in Turkey. m and creating worked on expanding our tea ond reserve team. our youth teams and our sec

How can our read ers learn more ab out Dallas City FC? You can visit our w ebsite dallascityfc . com or our Facebo ok page and find all the information yo u need. If you have any questions don’t he sitate to email us at info@dallascityfc. com

Conclusion Rahim Zafer possesses truly an impressive entrepreneurial spirit. The continuous hard work he and his colleagues put into this team is paying off without a doubt. Mr. Zafer believes that in the upcoming years his team has the ability to move up in the leagues and grow bigger and bring in more profit. He believes that investing in a soccer club truly pays off. He has plans to develop his team, construct fields and create more teams for different age groups. In the future as the number of sponsors and investors grow Mr. Zafer plans on acquiring fields and creating 30 teams amounting up to between 480500 players.


BY DR. AKIF ONER

STOCK NEWS

Stock Market News, Analyses It all started with China. STOCK MARKET TURMOIL IN LATE AUGUST It all started with China. Investors are trying to figure out just how badly China’s economy is doing -and how much it will reverberate elsewhere. China is the world’s second-largest economy. Its explosive growth in the last two decades has been an engine of growth for the world, especially its enormous appetite for raw materials. But that story has been completely derailed by China’s slowdown. The uncertainty has roiled China’s stock market and now markets around the world. HOW MUCH YOU CAN SAVE BY INVESTING IN THE STOCK MARKET? What if you invest $1,200 (only $100 a month) in stock market? Here’s how $1,200 a yearinvestment grows over time in four savings scenarios. So with $100 a month investment in stock market will yield to half a million dollars in 40 years. If you want your growth to reach a whooping 1 Million $, then increase your investment to $208 a month.

C. TERM OF THE MONTH: BULL MARKET VS. BEAR MARKET These are perhaps the two most common terms used when discussing the stock market, but that doesn’t mean prospective investors truly understand what they mean. By definition, a bull market is just a 20% (or greater) rise in stock market indexes from a recent low. It’s meant to signify a growing U.S. economy. Conversely, a bear market represents a downtrend of 20% or more from a recent high-water mark in the indexes, and could be indicative of an upcoming or current recession in the economy.

D. TIPS FOR STOCK MARKET: Because of all-time low oil and crude prices, the stock value of oil companies and alternative energy companies are very low. If you are considering getting into stock market soon, investing in such stocks with

AUG 24TH, MONDAY: HISTORIC 1,000-POINT PLUNGE Within minutes after the opening bell, the Dow plummeted an unprecedented 1,089 points on Monday. It was the largest point loss

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ever during a trading day, surpassing the Flash Crash of 2010. The Dow closed down 588 points, its worst decline since August 2011.


And Tips a diversified portfolio might turn out really good for you in mid and long term. Also once high-hyped 3D printing sector and the micro-blog giant Twitter are good options. Here are our picks (these are merely suggestions, please do your own DD-due diligence before investing)

RGS ENERGY, INC. (RGSE) RGSE 52wk high:34.80 52wk low:0.60 EPS:-9.04 Market Cap:$14.61m Real Goods Solar Inc. is a residential and commercial solar energy engineering, procurement, & construction firm. It offers services, including design, procurement, permitting, build-out, grid connection and warranty & customer satisfaction activities. Believe it or not, just a year ago, RGSE was trading at $35, and right now it trades around $1.20. This small but important company installs solar panels to residential properties. They have been having management problems and this reflects in their stock price. But according to many analyst, their turn around is possible and especially with Hawaii backup logs, they can easily take their SP to $4-$5 which is 200% profit margin.

BRITISH PETROL (BP) 52wk high: $48.11 52wk low: $30.53 EPS:-2.06 Market Cap:$102.36b Volume:16,955,778 BP has 52-week high of $48, which means if you invest now and oil prices start to increase, you have the potential gain of 50%. 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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3D SYSTEMS CORP. (DDD) 52wk high:53.70 52wk low:11.00 EPS:-0.20 Market Cap:$1.42b 3D Systems Corp through its subsidiaries is engaged in providing 3D printing centric solutions, including 3D printers, print materials and cloud sourced custom parts. DDD is industry leader in once very hyped 3D printing sector and at its highest days it was trading at $80s. Its current value of $11 to us is very undervalued and it is believed that it might skyrocket soon with any good news or development like a big contract with Office Depot or other vendors.

PLUG POWER, INC. (PLUG) 52wk high:5.58 52wk low:1.55 EPS:-0.20 Market Cap:$298.46m Volume:1,502,410 Plug Power Inc. provides alternative energy technology. The Company is engaged in the design, development, commercialization and manufacture of hydrogen fuel cell systems used for the industrial off-road market and the stationary power market.

TWITTER, INC. (TWTR) 52wk high:55.99 52wk low:21.01 EPS:-0.94 Market Cap:$19.04b Volume:13,537,888 Twitter needs no introduction. It is by far the most popular micro-blogging site and second most popular social media platform besides Facebook (FB). In fact TWTR is experiencing what Facebook went through with its investors. It is highly popular among its user base, leader in its sector, probably #1 news source for many people and even more influential than Facebook and from its IPO at $40, TWTR quickly hit $70. Now, it is at an all-time low, mingling with the mid-twenties because of concerns regarding monetizing all these popularity. Facebook went through same, after hitting $38, FB stock hit all time low $17 where many people were making dooms-day type scenario guesses, however, it managed to show that it can monetize its massive user base, grow in mobile ads and generate sustainable growth with its revenue model. Facebook is now at $80s. It would not be surprising to see TWTR at 60s-70s in less than a year, once they figure out the monetization issue.

THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY (DIS) 52wk high:122.08 52wk low:78.54 EPS:4.82 Market Cap:$170.42b Volume:9,213,799 DIS is great stock with the potential growth to 150+. Especially considering Star Wars fans anticipation for “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” – which will debut in 2016 and Wall Street investors are anticipating some big profits as well. 40

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US COMPANIES:

THE SOURCE OF HAPPINESS AND/ OR STRESS FOR FOREIGN WORKERS…

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Foreign workers with an H1B visa are individuals who seek employment in the United States without sponsorship from a firm in their home country and who hold temporary work visas in the United States. These workers have become increasingly important to the U.S. economy. But they are also more likely than permanent residents and citizens to experience workplace stress. Thus they are more subject to the problems that stress brings: physical exhaustion, reduced work performance, job withdrawal, and negative emotional states. 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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A growing number of people throughout the world are working in temporary and often insecure positions in other countries. It seems reasonable to assume that foreign workers experience even more stress than do domestic workers. Furthermore, it is likely that foreign employees respond to stressors differently than other workers, given that they are newcomers to the local culture and remain at least in part “outsiders.” Foreign worker status is defined operationally as holding the U.S. H1B visa. This is a non-immigrant visa, which allows a foreign national to be employed by a U.S. company for up to six years. The H1B visa is granted only to those who will be employed temporarily in a “specialty” occupation – one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Examples are architecture, engineering, mathematics, sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, and business. H1B status requires a sponsoring U.S. employer who will file a labor condition application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor attesting to payment of prevailing wages for the position and the working conditions offered. Since applying for a nonimmigration visa is generally quicker than applying for a U.S. Green Card, professionals required on long-term assignment in the U.S. are often initially brought in using such visas. In 2003, the United States limited the number of aliens who may be issued an H1B visa to 195,000. This decreased to 65,000 workers with college degrees and to in addition to 20,000 workers with graduate degrees in 2004.

FOREIGN WORKER STATUS AND STRESS

F

oreign workers are subject to stress from the temporary and potentially insecure nature of their visa status. The H1B grants an initial stay of up to three years, but it may be extended for an additional two years, and subsequently for one more, thus a maximum of six. Anyone wishing to stay longer than that may apply for permanent residency (the Green Card). If they do not gain permanent residence when the six-

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year period runs out, they must live outside the U.S. for at least one year before an application can be made to re-enter on a temporary visa. H1B visa holders have the right to remain in the United States only as long as they have a job here. Furthermore, neither they nor the company can be sure if they will be allowed to remain beyond the initial three-year period. As a result, they will have a temporary and quite likely marginal status within their organization. Foreign workers are also stressed by the process of acculturating to American culture and the culture of their workplace. While these situations are somewhat different from that

of foreign workers, they are alike in that the individual must deal with the problems and contradictions of trying to accommodate to an unfamiliar culture and set of institutions. Stress arises from the difficulty in fitting one’s national self-identity with the needs and expectations of life in the new country. Presumably, acculturation demands learning about and identifying with the new culture well enough to function well in it. But it also requires retaining a strong enough identification with the former culture to maintain an integrated sense of self. According to research, greater linguistic and associational acculturation reduces stress and


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negative emotions, but they also tended to encourage abandoning one’s national identity, and this may contribute to depression. Further, one of the major effects of excessive stress is reduced job performance. For a foreign worker, poor performance can be a reason for job loss and fear of job loss is likely to generate more stress. Thus, there is the possibility of foreign workers becoming involved in a downward spiral that could end in job loss and possibly an unwanted departure from this country.

T

RESIDENTIAL INSECURITY

he effect of residential uncertainty on employees has not been researched, but it seems likely to be a source of stress. Insecurity constantly threatens the ability to remain in one’s position and require constant vigilance to deal with them. Foreign workers will be hyper-attuned to the possibility of a poor performance evaluation that might lead to relocation or dismissal. Maintaining residency requires keeping abreast of paperwork and avoiding infractions that could threaten one’s visa status. Constant vigilance and worry about threat’s to one’s status drains energy. This eventually leads to stress reactions.

G

JOB INSECURITY

iven their uncertain job tenure and probable unfamiliarity with company politics, foreign employees are likely to experience insecurity in the broad sense. They may face job restructuring done without their input, or they may be reassigned to positions or units that other employees seek to avoid. They will not be plugged into informal communication networks and thus are less likely to hear in advance about possible changes and threats. Indeed, it seems likely that a cloud of uncertainty will hang over their position in their company. Employees normally attempt to deal with employment uncertainty by working harder and gaining the favor of their managers. Or they may become resigned and repress

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the feelings of insecurity. Either response requires time and energy and if kept up long enough will generate fatigue and psychological distress.

SEPARATION FROM SOCIAL AND FAMILY NETWORKS

A

nother reason that foreign workers will experience greater stress is separation from familiar interpersonal contacts with families, friends, and communities. Family and social networks of foreign employees will be

less extensive and established than those of permanent residents and citizens. Close social ties are a source of emotional support, useful information, referrals, recommendations, loans, and services such as child care, transportation, loan of household implements, etc. The evidence shows that social support helps reduce stress. Foreign employees will be torn from their accustomed support networks when they move to the host country. They will likely have less extensive social networks available to them in their new location, and thus they are more likely to experience stress.


F

EMPOWERMENT

oreign employees will tend to have less power and control in the work place given their status as newcomers and outsiders. They will have fewer resources to wage political struggles with their supervisors or other employees. They are less aware of the appropriate “rules” for politicking, have less knowledge of the organization’s culture, and have limited access to communication and friendship networks. Collectivist cultures tend to value harmony more than conflict. Thus collectivists may find it more difficult to engage in the rough-and-tumble of political negotiation. Furthermore, acquiring influence depends on have welldeveloped network ties with the right people. Collectivists are used in forming networks based on familial and community ties, and may be less ready to make contacts merely to promote their political position in the organization.

F

ROLE AMBIGUITY

oreign workers will experience role ambiguity for several reasons. First, they are less familiar with host country culture and workplace practices. Thus, they are less able to understand the informal or cultural rules that guide work. Many of these rules are tacit and therefore not formulated. Because foreigners are unfamiliar with the culture, they will be less able to pick up these tacit cues. Because they may be less competent with the national language they may not fully understand directives regarding work duties and expectations. As newcomers they will tend to be less included in informal workgroups where work practices and values are often learned. Thus, foreign employees will tend to experience greater role ambiguity than do their host country counterparts. The option of quitting and going to another company is slim. Therefore, neither fight nor flight fully resolves the problem, and either response is likely to bring further consequences that drain energy and create new problems.

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It seems likely that foreign workers will have similar experiences. Many come from nonEuropean countries and thus have racial or religious characteristics that fit one or more of the “protected” classes recognized as potential targets of discriminatory actions. Their different nationality will be obvious. They may also experience discrimination aimed at their marginal status in the organization. For instance, strong self-esteem or extensive social support may reduce or eliminate the harmful consequences of an objectively stressful situation. We suggest that residential status moderates the relationship between potential stressors and their outcomes. As outsiders and newcomers both to American culture and to their companies, foreign employees will, in general, have less knowledge of how to respond to demands and less access to resources needed. Therefore, the same stressful situations will cause greater stress to them than to permanent residents or U.S. citizens. Employees may respond to job insecurity by trying to appear indispensable towards the organization. This involves knowing what managers see as important and

understanding how to present oneself to them. Foreigners are less likely to have this kind of knowledge. When faced with actual or potential job loss, American employees can come to accept it and to begin efforts to find a new job. Job loss for foreign employees is more distressful because it threatens the employee’s ability to remain in the country. Role ambiguity increases stress because it makes it unclear what the job requires and therefore what is needed for adequate or superior performance. Not only does this decrease intrinsic job satisfaction, but it means workers are never sure if they have performed adequately. This is especially disturbing to foreign employees because poor evaluations can impact their job tenure and thus residency status. American citizens can respond to work role ambiguity in several ways. Their more secure status may mean that they are less averse to admitting to a supervisor that they need guidance. They have more developed collegial networks, which can be used to seek advice on what the job “really” requires. They may have better knowledge of written documents that clarify job requirements. Thus ambiguous role expectations will tend to


create more problems for foreign than for host-country employees. National culture may have a direct effect on experienced stress; that is, aggregate levels of stress may vary by country. National culture may also be a moderator of the relationship between potential “stressors” and experienced stress. That is, looking across cultures, what is stressful in one culture might not be stressful in another one. Europeans may cope with stressful situations in different ways than Americans do. It is likely they will retain their national cultural values while working here during the relatively small time allowed by the H1B visa. Collectivist cultures put great emphasis on inclusion in larger entities such as families, organizations, and communities. These attachments entail obligations, mutual dependence, and support. People in collectivist cultures are imbued with the sense that they owe allegiance to these groups and that their personal goals should be based on what is good for the group.

People from individualist and collectivist cultures should experience stress differently. Collectivist cultures tend to value long-term security. Thus collectivists will find the residential and job insecurity associated with foreign worker status to be unfamiliar, out of balance, and therefore upsetting. They measured one dimension of the individualismcollectivism construct and found that the impact of job insecurity on stress was significantly stronger among those with collectivist values. Given this orientation, it is likely that foreign employees from collectivist cultures are more likely to feel distress when separated from their familiar groups, and more bereft when encountering demands and problems in new locations, since their appropriate sources of support are not easily available. Individualists, on the other hand, will see insecurity as mildly upsetting, but will immediately set to work dealing with the causes of this insecurity. Collectivists are more likely to be upset by their exclusion from influence networks. They may come from a situation in

which their status and prerogatives in an organization or a professional school were well known and accepted. In their new organization they will be relatively powerless and may find it demeaning to have to compete to find a role. Collectivists are more likely to be distressed by role ambiguity. Collectivist cultures tend to derive operative rules from tradition and long-standing networks of interpersonal relationships. One knows how to perform one’s job because of great familiarity both with the job and with managers and fellow workers who can give directions and feedback. The collectivist will thus attempt to respond to work role ambiguity by attempting to become familiar with the traditional culture of the organization and work unit. This requires a great deal of communication with managers and other employees, during which the foreign worker displays uncertainty and a certain lack of knowledge, which can be upsetting in collectivist cultures that value “face.” The individualist will also be bothered by work role ambiguity, but her reaction will typically be that it is an expected problem for a newcomer and that it is entirely appropriate to seek direction and clarification. Furthermore, individualist cultures tend also to be more universalistic, meaning that work role instructions are more likely to be codified in job descriptions and instructions. Individualists are more used to using written sources to clarify their work expectations. Finally, collectivists are more likely to be distressed by the experience of discrimination. Their response to such problems in their home countries would be to go to established networks for support, but ,here, they will be less able to do so. They may be less likely to challenge discrimination since they see it as part of the accepted informal rules of the organization. They will feel more defenseless and thus more likely to experience a stress response. Individualists, on the other hand, will be upset by discrimination, but will have more tendencies to see it as a problem of one or a few individuals. These effects of stress are stronger for foreign employees than for residents or citizens. Stress itself is difficult to deal with, but foreign workers are less likely to have the tools and resources to do so for the reasons mentioned above.

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BY MARK LACOUR WITH MODALPOINT.COM

OIL & GAS:

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE IN OIL AND GAS;

5

REASONS IT IS NEEDED Something is about to become a major business driver in Oil and Gas, and it’s called Operational Excellence. And it’s a real game changer. Ponder this for a second, 69% of Oil and Gas organizations don’t link budget and resource planning to strategy. Can you imagine what would happen if they did? Well, with an operational excellence program in place, budget, strategy and resources are intrinsically linked - driving world class performance.

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Now, operational excellence is not new, but it is somewhat new to the oil and gas industry. Operational excellence first came to light in a book authored by Michael Treacy and Fred Weirsema. It was a research book based on what sets market leaders apart from the pack, titled “The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market”. And what their research showed is that market leaders in the business world could excel if they concentrate their efforts on one of three buckets. The first bucket is product leadership. So companies that excel in product leadership will lead the pack and the company that comes to my mind first is of course Apple, they dominate their niche by being the product leaders. Regardless if you are an Apple fan or not, pick upon their devices, walk into one of their stores or simply look at all the copycats they have spawned, you can realize that they are the product leader in their market. The next is customer intimacy. That’s another bucket that their research determined could help companies come out on top. When I think of customer intimacy, I think of companies like Neiman Marcus or Brooks Brothers. Not only do their front line staff know you by name, but their back office systems are set up to know YOU. Sizes, favorite colors, cuts and styles all tracked so that you are given concierge treatment every time you set foot in one of their locations, anywhere in the world.

NUMBER

1

NUMBER

2

And finally, there is operational excellence. FedEx best exemplifies operational excellence. Think about what they’re able to accomplish, over 11 million packages a day delivered to over 220 countries and they do it without a hitch, achieving an on time delivery of 99.45%. Every piece of FedEx’s business has to function together as one cohesive unit to make this possible, from HR to accounts payable, from fleet maintenance to IT, and from supply chain to marketing. All on top of a culture of continuous improvement. Operational excellence was a popular discussion in the oil and gas industry in the 90’s and then it kind of disappeared, because quite frankly profits went up based upon the global price of crude. Well those high crude prices are gone, and are not coming back anytime soon. So I think we’re in the perfect point in history for operational excellence to become a major business driver in the Oil & Gas industry for five reasons. (go here if you don’t know the differences between upstream, midstream downstream & service. This is 3 minutes of quick education that will help a lot before you read further; http://bit.ly/1PfgVXO )

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UPSTREAM

MIDSTREAM

much costlier and higher risk

rethink capacity, routes and opposition

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NUMBER

3

NUMBER

UPSTREAM We’re in a long term low crude price market which means the upstream companies have to wring costs out of their processes. And in some cases a lot of costs. Also, they’re doing stuff they’ve never done before, think of unconventional, deep water, arctic drilling, high pressure high temperature, all which are much costlier and higher risk. The perfect solution? Operational excellence.

MIDSTREAM Midstream companies have to rethink capacity, routes and opposition. The routes used to be easy to figure out, build pipelines to bring all the oil and gas from the Gulf Coast that was delivered by supertankers, to all of the refineries scattered around the country. Well, that’s almost reversed itself. Now we need to bring oil and gas from the rest of the country due to the shale plays, down to the Gulf Coast for refining. And most of those other refineries scattered around the country are now gone. So not only is the old way of doing business disappearing, but in that process pipeline companies are now blending in the pipe, which is driving the need for storage. On top of all that new and dynamic business (new & dynamic is usually not associated with midstream), the pipeline companies are facing the worse opposition to new construction projects in their history; all a driver for operational excellence.

DOWNSTREAM Downstream is in a unique position. They’ve being spurred by growth because the cost of their raw feed stock has been cut by 40%. And they are entering new markets like LNG and exports of refined goods. But right smack in the middle of all this growth potential, they’re fighting state and federal policy which has become increasingly more complex and requires much greater attention to detail to implement. Operational excellence is the perfect solution.


NUMBER

4

NUMBER

5

SERVICE The poor service companies are being hammered. They quite frankly are getting beat up by all of their customers to lower their prices, to do more for less, and get things done quicker. Once again, operational excellence is the key for them to accomplish all of that and still maintain profitability.

Now when I say operational excellence, a lot of people don’t understand what I mean. And unfortunately because the oil and gas industry has a ton of engineers, when I say operational excellence most people think process excellence. Two totally different things. You need process excellence to successfully implement an operational excellence program, but you don’t need operational excellence to implement a process excellence program. Process excellence is a way to wring out inefficiencies in a process. Think Six Sigma, Lean, Agile, and Business Process Management. They all address improving the process in some fashion, but they do not look at the entire organization from top to bottom. Nor do they address culture, change management, leadership or continuous improvement.

TALENT And then the entire industry is fighting this thing we call “The Great Crew Change”. This phoneme means that a high percentage of senior people with experience are going to retire and at the same time. And it’s going to happen in the next 10 years. And when I say a lot of people, it’s huge. 57% of all mid-level managers and above will be retiring from the oil and gas industry in the next decade. Combine that with an overall shortage of talent in the oil and gas industry, and a severe shortage of craft labor and you get the perfect storm that I think only operational excellence can address in oil and gas.

Operational excellence is exponentially more impactful to an organization. Wikipedia best describes operational excellence as “a philosophy of leadership, teamwork, and problem solving resulting in a continuous improvement throughout the organization by focusing on the needs of the customers, empowering employees, and optimizing existing activities in the process”. Now operational excellence is in its infancy in oil and gas, but a couple of companies have embraced operational excellence and are on their voyage. If you’re a Chevron fan or if you work at Chevron, you have heard of the Chevron Way. The Chevron Way is “we’ll complete every task, the right way, every time”. That folks is operational excellence. And big old ship ExxonMobil is out there implementing operational excellence, which is allowing them a return on their operations three or four points higher than their competitors. This means Exxon can go places and either make more money than anybody else, or in places where other companies can’t make money, they can. All because of operational excellence. Dow, DuPont and ConocoPhillips all have started down this path. And companies like McKinsey, Accenture and Bain & Company all have consulting practices around operational excellence in Oil and Gas.

When you think of deploying operational excellence, it’s really a simple thing to figure out. It’s really just two main parts: 1. Where do you want to take your business? 2. Building and implementing the road map to actually get there.

DOWNSTREAM

SERVICE

TALENT

raw feed stock has been cut by 40%.

do more for less, and get things done quicker

“The Great Crew Change” 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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The first thing I rattled off is where do you want to take your business? That sounds simple, but the answer is actually more strategic than you would think. You need to look at your entire organization, at all the opportunities in the market, your competitors, your company’s strengths and weaknesses, your existing talent pool, leadership and constraints, and then figure out with this identified sets of assets… where do you want to go? What makes the most logical sense as a destination when looking into the future? As Stephen Covey said, begin with the end in mind. The next part is that once you know where you want to go, how do you build and implement a roadmap to get there? Now this is where it gets much more complex, and coincidently where most companies fail. The first question you have to answer is, can you picture your mission critical operating processes, like accounts receivable? Can you literally visualize the moment that you send one of your clients a bill, what actually happens on their side? What paper trails, what systems does it have to be key punched in, what processes does that bill go through until you actually get your money? And then once you receive it, what keypunching and paper trails have to take place on your side for you to actually recognize that revenue? What is that process? And that’s one process in a company. Imagine if you take a large enterprise organization in oil and gas, somebody has multiple business units. You can see the complexity of just that one process multiplied by 1,000. But until you can map out and picture your critical operating processes, it will be impossible to look at efficiencies and improvement synergistically. Once you have that done, then you have to figure out functionally how do you operate? What parts of your business are key and most important which ones are less important so you have an order of progression. Once you can picture your mission critical operating process and you have an order of progression, the next question you need to answer is, what tasks or workflows need to be tweaked or changed to improve those operating processes? And then once you have that done, you need to implement a system to track and measure the progress (or lack thereof). And then (and this is part of the process excellence that a lot of people miss out on), you have to drive continuous 54

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improvement. So this whole thing that we’re building doesn’t have an end game. It’s continuously being improved and it has to be improved by the people that have their feet on the street, the people that run your day to day business. Which means your leadership team has to build and then support your employees adopting this culture of continuous improvement. This is not an easy thing to pull off. You’ll hear it a lot in HS&E in oil and gas where people say, well, anybody in the line can pull the trigger. Stop whatever is going on because of a safety risk. The reality is that’s not 100% accurate. What happens is if you’re that guy in the line and you pull that stop lever- you better have a really good reason why you did or you

get your chops busted. That’s not the right way to think about continuous improvement. You need to have the key people in the organization being able to stop and reassess the process to see if it can be improved. Now I’m not saying that everybody in the organization can pull the stop lever for any reason. You don’t want a first year engineer right out of school to pull the trigger and stop $85 billion deep-water project. But he may have found something that your senior engineers didn’t see. So what you need is a change matrix in place, so that if something needs to be changed, the right people can verify it’s valid and then you can go ahead and improve the process. Once again, that needs to be an evolution of continuous improvement in the entire organization.


So, once you build and you’re able to deploy that roadmap, now you come to the hard part especially in oil and gas. How do you change the business culture to ensure success with operational excellence? That’s a tough one, but it starts with leadership. Senior leadership has to buy into this lock, stock, and barrel. If they don’t, this will never be successful. And trust me, it will not happen if it’s an “order from the ivory tower”. It has to be authentic with 100% buy in by the executive team, and eventually every single person in the organization. Once senior leadership has total buy in, corporate communications strategies can be developed to speed up the process for the rest of the organization. FedEx pulled it off, so I see no reason that the Oil & Gas companies cannot do the same.

Finally change management. You’ve got to figure out a change management process that works for your business, your culture, and your company. And then you can start thinking about things like high performance work teams, how do you get your people to do more and be happy to do so? Do more accurate work with less mistakes. That’s performance management and it’s a vital piece that comes in towards the end of your operational excellence journey. In the very beginning I gave 5 reasons operational excellence is going to be a major business driver in the Oil & Gas industry. But it’s also the perfect time in history for this to happen. The oil and gas industry is starting to embrace new technologies faster than I’ve ever seen

it before. Our industry is facing global competition like its never have, because of the NOCs, the nationalized oil companies, big companies like Shell, Exxon and Chevron, are running out of places to drill. Geopolitics are also playing a major part in this. One of the things I’m most proud of our industry, if you look at the efficiencies as being driven in the frac fields because of low crude prices, they figured it out. The good guys have figured out that they can actually make money at $50 a barrel. Two years ago they were barely making any profits unless oil was above $90 a barrel. Think about how far they had to come in 24 months in terms of operational excellence. We need to spread operational excellence throughout the entire industry and I think now is the time it’s going to happen. 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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Gottsches in Turkey A snapshot of life and recreation in Turkey through the lens of two Americans

Written by Laynie Gottsch

Our Turkey Timeline July 2008

I made my first visit to several cities in the western half of Turkey with my parents

Why Turkey? My name is Laynie Gottsch and I am honored to have the opportunity to share with you a bit about why my husband and I love Turkey so much.

May 2014

Ben and I travelled to Turkey together for Ben’s business trip

My husband Ben and I moved to Turkey in August 2014, shortly after our one-year anniversary. Ben is a sports guru and I am an adventurer, so when he told me he wanted to move to Ankara to coach American football at a local university, I packed my bags.

August 2014

Shortly after our first anniversary, we moved to Ankara, Turkey

As you can imagine, coaching American football outside of America does not offer a livable salary. In order to supplement income, we each obtained Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certifications and applied for teaching jobs in Ankara. Private schools here are thirsty for native English speakers, so finding jobs was not too difficult. And just like that, we were living and working in Ankara.

Left: Me with my family on my first trip to Turkey (July 2008) Right: Ben with his football players during his first visit to Turkey (May 2014)

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l Istanbu

Cappadocia

Ankara

Bodrum

Working, Travelling and Living Making our way through Turkey one vacation at a time with the best people you will ever meet My husband and I absolutely love working in Turkey. We are privileged to be part of Turkey’s education system and to have the opportunity to further enrich Turkey’s thriving culture through American football. Even more than working in Turkey, we love playing in Turkey! The beautiful country offers a wide variety of scenery, climate, and history.

At the top of the page, you can see pictures from the views we’ve been fortunate enough to see in our short year of living in Turkey. The pictures include our adventures in Istanbul, Cappadocia, on the rooftop of our place of work, and our most recent trip to Bodrum – if you look closely you can see me swimming! These are the amazing views we have already seen, and we are only getting started! We are looking forward to continue travelling through Turkey in the coming years.

If you can believe it, even more than reasonably-priced travelling, my husband and I love the Turkish people! The relationships we have built with our Turkish friends are some of the deepest and most genuine relationships we have ever known. If you’re reading this magazine, then you probably already know this, but Turks are incredibly welcoming, helpful, dependable and loving people. It is an honor to do life with all of our Turkish friends.

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Introducing a Global Mindset

Few management districts approach foreign direct investment like the Greenspoint District in North Houston. We have proven success assisting companies that are entering the Houston market. From rules, regulations and permitting to simple cultural differences, the Greenspoint District can help navigate the process and make beneficial introductions. We look forward to helping you. 16945 Northchase Dr. Ste 1900 Houston, TX 77060 281-874-2131 greenspoint.org 58

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Avoid Costly Mistakes When Buying Real Estate! Today’s low property prices and historically low interest rates make this a great time to invest in real estate. As I always like to say, “Don’t wait to buy Real Estate, buy Real Estate and then wait!”

Nedim Austin Oztan, MBA REALTOR® & INVESTOR Multi-Million Dollar Producer

Austin@OztanRealty.com

713.962.0355

Nedim Austin Oztan, MBA, The Reyna Group

Real Estate remains as one of the best investment options available. The dream of home ownership is still one of the most important goals for many citizens. Owning one’s own home or business is not only a source of pride and security but also provides an opportunity for financial growth. Unfortunately, real estate fraud scams or a simple mistake can steal these dreams. Let’s see some of the costly mistakes made when buying real estate. •

Failing to have a detailed and up-to-date market analysis on the value of the subject property and current market trends in the area.

For commercial properties and businesses, NOT gathering enough information about city permits, regulations, and restrictions.

Not getting pre-qualified for a loan/financing prior to making a purchase offer.

Failing to have a new or acceptable survey of the property.

In order to save a few dollars, neglecting to get a comprehensive inspection on the property by a licensed professional.

Purchasing real estate without the use of a real estate professional or attorney.

Discouraging Seller from negotiating with you due to lack of negotiation skills and market knowledge and trends.

Not allocating sufficient time for due diligence for building and title examinations, inspections, deed restrictions, city permits and regulations.

Buying real estate with-out obtaining title insurance.

The items listed above are NOT a full and comprehensive list of mistakes buyers can make when purchasing real estate. There might be other issues that come up from time to time, but you can avoid making such mistakes, which might cost you thousands of dollars and lots of headache, simply by consulting a licensed real estate professional.

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BY DR. OSMAN NAL

TURKEY’S POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO TTIP:

SHOULD

TURKEY JOIN

TTIP? The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a series of trade negotiations between EU and US that began in 2014.

BY LUTFI SUN MURAT HUDAVENDIGAR UNIVERSITY, TURKEY, DR. OSMAN NAL NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, HOUSTON, TX

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The main objective of the negotiations and ultimately the trade and partnership agreement is to lower the regulatory barriers to trade by providing common framework for companies. However, is TTIP an economic, or military or just another political entity? According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative the T-TIP is “intended to be an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement that significantly expands trade and investment between the United States and the EU, increases economic growth, jobs, and international competitiveness, and addresses global issues of common


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concern.” The US Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the economic impact of this proposed agreement in terms of national growth and also in regards to prospects of new jobs by saying “TTIP is something that can help lift the economy of Europe, strengthen our economy and create jobs for Americans, for Germans, for all Europeans.’’ That is to say, the targeted regions include US and EU and these regions are implied to grow faster and have unemployment decrease as a result of the implementation of this potential agreement. The partnership converges two large actors in world economy today and is destined to have huge sociopolitical and economic impact for the rest of the world. To begin with, it might be reasonable to question why such a trade agreement between these two sides of the Atlantic. US and EU are part of the so-called Western culture. They have deep historical connections and currently dominate world political and economic forum as they in general move and act together in world affairs. Some of the more recent events in which these regions acted in accordance include the response to the conflict in Crimea and Ukraine; the action taken to contain the turmoil in the Middle East and particularly in Syria. So it is no coincidence that these “partners” would want to get even closer in the face of adversaries that are in the rise. The new competition arising in Asia is certainly a threat to the hegemony of the West and it makes perfect sense to foster partnership agreements between US and EU to reduce trade costs. But how about Turkey? A country which has turned its face to the West for the last half a century? Currently, Turkey, as an OECD member and an EU candidate which signed the 1995 EU Customs Union, is not part of the agreement and I propose in the rest of the article the benefits and risks, if any, of including Turkey in TTIP. With its dynamic population of over 75 million, a GDP of $800 billion and land area of over 300 thousand square miles, slightly larger than Texas in size, Turkey is a great marketplace for companies within the TTIP region in terms of potential trading partnership. Not only is Turkey situated at the junction of Europe 62

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and Asia, but it also has significant historical ties with countries in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Turkey has access to numerous natural resources either in its own right or through trading partnerships in the region. For example, multiple oil and gas pipelines run through Turkey to reach European markets. These oil and gas pipelines through Turkey have proven to be of increased importance given the unstable nature of alternate routes, such as the one through Ukraine. In addition, Turkey is a country which is full of investment opportunities with special industrial zones including many valuable minerals, relatively lower labor cost than TTIP countries, and more than 75 million consumers. Present day trade between US and Turkey is well below its potential according to the US Department of State: “Although overall U.S.-Turkey trade jumped from $10.8 billion in 2009 to $19.1 billion in 2014, it remains modest compared to its potential.” In 2013 the top five US imports from Turkey in terms of categories were: (1) Vehicles, (2) Machinery, (3) Iron and Steel, (4) Iron and Steel Products, and (5) Stone, Plaster, Cement (Travertine and Marble). I would like to make a special note of the iron-steel and iron-steel products. Together they account for $859 million of the bilateral trade; however, that is very low if we consider the fact that Turkey is the world’s fourth-largest producer of chromium and eighthlargest producer of iron and steel. A trade agreement between Turkey and US will make these key products more affordable, for example, to US automobile companies. Consequently, this will significantly boost the sectors in the US, like automobile and machinery, which are dependent on iron and steel. As we all know US companies are lagging behind Japanese and German automobile companies over the recent years and this might provide a cost saving advantage for these companies. In addition to steel and chromium, Turkey produces 47% of the world’s demand of boron. As the leader of the industry, Turkey has 72% of the world’s known deposits of this strategic mineral that is applicable to many sectors: production of


fiber glasses and display panel glasses (like LCD), laundry and cleaning products, the shielding of nuclear reactors, F-1 engines, production of superstrong magnets that are used in smartphones and computer HDDs (hard disk drives) etc. Should Turkey be included in the trade agreement, these aforementioned sectors in US will ultimately benefit from cheaper boron and boron products as well. Besides its valuable minerals, Turkey is a profitable place for energy investment. Turkey ranks the fifth in the world in terms of direct utilization and capacity of geothermal power. Also it has the second highest potential in the Europe, after Norway, with regard to its hydroelectric power production capacity. In addition, Turkey is a bridge between the TTIP area and the oil rich Middle East and gas rich Central Asia and Iran. Including Turkey in an intercontinental agreement can lower the price of fuel and natural gas, as a result, enhance the economic growth of the US. US and obviously Turkey would benefit from the TTIP trade agreement. Ultimately though, any discussion regarding the inclusion of Turkey in the agreement bounces to the following key question of whether Turkey can be considered as a reliable partner that would act in accordance with Western governments and interests during political and economic crises and conflicts. Why should Turkey be rewarded with the benefits that would follow its inclusion in the TTIP trade agreement? Or put it differently, is Turkey part of the West? To address this deep question, the reader should be reminded of the pro-Western stance of Turkish governments since the early Cold War. Turkey has acted together with the West on many occasions, including for example, during Gulf Wars in 1990s, War on Terrorism in 2000s, etc. Yet in recent years Turkey is redefining itself in the Middle East and at times feels the challenges of being far from the US. In recent years for example, some Turkish government entities have chosen to look for alternative alliances in the region and that may hurt Turkey’s strategic partnership with US and the West in general. For example, Turkey has recently sought after closer strategic relations with China and Russia in strategic industries which might conflict with Western policies. The inclusion of Turkey in the TTIP agreement would make Turkey and EU/US closer to each other as the trade agreement delivers potential reduction in trade costs for Turkish companies challenged by increased competition overseas. It will put pressure on the Turkish government to reconcile differences with the West and continue its EU bid in upcoming decades. It will support the Turkish government in terms of not abandoning their Western pro-democracy and pro-liberalism policies. Turkey should not be left alone in the region and be constantly reminded of the principles it aspires to achieve, of which so much overlaps with the West, not the North or Middle East. 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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Figure 2: Top Trading Partners and Top Trading Products of Turkey All-in-all, including Turkey in the proposed TTIP trade agreement should benefit key US manufacturing industries and Turkish steeliron industries among other sectors. Turkey proves to be a large market for Western products that it should not be omitted. EU and US technological products having access to this large market will make EU/US companies better off. Finally, Turkey needs to be reminded of its alliance with the West and the TTIP trade partnership should prove of great value in that regard as well.

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Source: The Observatory of Economic Complexity, MIT


Figure 3(a): Sectorial Composition of Turkish Exports 2013 Source: Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity

Figure 3(b): Sectorial Composition of Turkish Imports 2013 Source: Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity

Figure 4(a): Turkish International Trade over the Last Decade (2005-2014) Source: Republic of Turkey Customs and Trade Ministry 3RD ISSUE AMERICANTURKIC

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Figure 4(b): U.S. Share of Turkish Imports and Exports (2005-2014) Source: Republic of Turkey Customs and Trade Ministry

Figure 5(a): Turkish Exports to Top 6 Trading Partners (2005-2014) Source: Republic of Turkey Customs and Trade Ministry

Figure 5(b): Turkish Imports from Top 6 Trading Partners (2005-2014) Source: Republic of Turkey Customs and Trade Ministry 66

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LUNCHEONS

Diversity: A Fort Bend County Asset in the Global Economy

A

merican Turkic Business Council and Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce hosted a Luncheon Forum “Diversity: A Fort Bend County Asset in the Global Economy” in its headquarters in Houston, TX. Fort Bend County Judge Honorable Robert Hebert was the keynote speaker.

Judge Hebert is a former business owner and a U.S. Navy Veteran. Before taking office as County Judge in 2003, he served on several boards, including Alief ISD, the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council, and as director and president for the Brazos River Authority. Fort Bend County develops to be the most family friendly community in Texas. Among other counties, Fort Bend County is known as “The Modern American County”; it is also one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. With the expansion in population, education, as well as economic growth, Fort Bend County has achieved its global initiative mission of enhancing the quality of life.

Education Investment is noticeable by creating advantages in return. During his speech, Judge Robert emphasized “Student exchange programs in Taiwan, China, and India has brought a great value in culture and diversity to the community. People use diversity to learn, work, and build the community together as well as improve leadership skill.” According to Judge Robert Hebert, it is crucial to “stay on top of the massive growth the county has experienced so the quality of life does not deteriorate. Keeping the cost of living and tax rates low all while building the necessary infrastructure.” Fort Bend County comes with many solutions in order to improve citizen’s quality of life. Along with the ease of accessibility in location, Fort Bend County provides many advantages for investors and entrepreneurs as well. After the forum, guests had the chance to query and discuss with our speaker.

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LUNCHEONS

How Important Are Small Businesses To Local Economies & How Congress Can Boost Small Business In 2015

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merican Turkic Business Council DBA Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce hosted a Luncheon Forum titled “How important are small businesses to local Economies” & “How Congress can boost small business in 2015”. SBA Houston new director Mr. Tim Jeffcoat and Congressman Randy Weber were the speakers at the event

Mr. Jeffcoat mentioned that a small business is defined as a business with 500 employees or less. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms. Since 1995, small businesses have generated 64 percent of new jobs, and paid 44 percent of the total United States private payroll, according to the SBA. Small businesses contribute to local economies by bringing growth and innovation to the community in which the business is established. Small businesses also help stimulate economic growth by providing employment opportunities to people who may not be employable by larger corporations. Small businesses tend to attract talent who invent new products or implement new solutions for existing ideas. Larger businesses also often benefit from small businesses within the same local community, as many large corporations depend on small businesses for the completion of various business functions through outsourcing.

Congressman Randy Weber mentioned that he is also a small business owner and he believes that small businesses are the engine that drives our economy. Congress must enact policies that will increase small business’s access to capital and remove government impediments to growth. About 100 small business owners, officials, and community leaders attended the luncheon that was held at the Turquoise Center. The event honored two individuals for their contribution to community and local economy. Mr. Detlev Simonis president for American petroleum association received his award from Congressman Weber and Mr. Ayaz Nasser founder for Zenith real-estate received his award from SBA director Mr. Jeffcoat To wrap up the luncheon, Orhan Kucukosman, President for Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce presented Congressman Weber an award that recognized him for his work in supporting American workers and small businesses through policies that encourage private sector investment and growth. 70

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LUNCHEONS

Texas Economy and Its Future; Facts, Figures, and Trends Fueling the Texas Economy

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merican Turkic Business Council and Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce hosted a Luncheon Forum “Texas Economy and Its Future; Facts, Figures, and Trends Fueling the Texas Economy” at the Turquoise Center in Houston, TX.

American Turkic Business Council President Orhan Kucukosman welcomed the audience and shared the increasing number of Turkish companies’ investments in Texas. He stated that there are more investors interested in investing in Texas. The main sponsor of the luncheon was BBVA Compass. The Houston market CEO Mr. Mark Montgomery shared his remarks and introduced the guest speaker Honorable Glenn Hegar.

Hon. Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, was a Republican member of the Texas Senate representing the 18th District West of Houston. He serves as the chief revenue estimator, treasurer, and tax collector including oil/gas revenue estimates, the Rainy Day Fund, and how programs may be affected with the removal of diversions from revenuegenerating programs. Despite of the possibility of recession in the Texas Economy due to tumbling oil prices, Hon. Glenn Hegar states lawmakers will have $113 billion to haggle over in crafting the next two-year budget (2016-2017). That is a sizable $18 billion more than general revenue spending in the current two-year budget cycle, which ends Aug. 31. He predicted that Texas will take in $110.4 billion in revenue from taxes, fees, and other income during the 20152016 biennium. Therefore, Texas will be a promising opportunity for investors based on its stable economy. Thanks to tumbling oil prices, other sectors including construction, professional and business services continue to experience growth. Hon. Glenn Hegar said, “Strength in the broader economy, such as in construction and professional and business sector services, should help counterbalance a marked slowdown in the Texas energy sector.” However, there are difficulties of collecting tax. According to state records, “Oil and mineral-related revenue makes up 10 percent of the state’s total tax collections but less than 5 percent of the Texas budget.” Overall, Hon. Glenn Hegar concludes his speech with Texas’ job growth while maintaining state’s current level of services. Mr. Osman ended the luncheon by thanking sponsor companies: BBVA Compass, Harvest Natural Market, Omar Kasani (CPA), Greens Point District Houston TX, Wells Fargo, Civitas- EB-5 Capital Wealth Management Alternative Investments, DOW Healthcare Inc, and ZNA Design. With the appearance of 100 guests, ATBC and TTACC had a successful event.

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LUNCHEONS

How the Expansion of Panama Canal will impact Texas Economy

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merican Turkic Business Council DBA Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce hosted a Luncheon Forum titled “How the Expansion of Panama Canal will impact Texas Economy”. The Consul General of Panama in Houston, Ambassador Sosa and Senior Director of Trade Development at Port of Houston, John Moseley were the speakers at the luncheon that housed many important individuals like consul generals and major company executives.

Ambassador Sosa began his speech by highlighting the importance of Panama serving as the new hub for Turkish Airlines. He mentioned the strategic importance of this step as an opportunity for establishing a connection between Turkey and the rest of the Americas. The Ambassador reminded the audience of Houston’s growing stance in the business world, as it has become the number 1 trading partner and a full-service city that is positioned as the gateway to the Americas. With 130 million consumers that will use Houston as the port of entry, Ambassador Sosa indicated that there is great potential.

Houston recognizes the important role and relationship that it has with the Americas, and the Panama Canal, plays a key role in that. There are two key reasons for the advantage that this relationship provides. The first being the strait connectivity, while the second reason being that the expansion of the canal will allow ships with newer and bigger measurements to pass through and reach Houston. With that being said, the larger the ships, the more containers and general cargo that can go through with even lower costs. Ambassador Sosa emphasized that with the existence of labor problems in the western coast, the expansion of the Panama Canal makes Houston and the rest of the far east much more accessible to the United States and the mid-America region. The important step at this point is getting Houston ready so that it can meet its full potential.

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Ambassador Sosa mentioned that the crucial factor for success is “realization that something important for Houston and Panama is going to happen”. He gave examples for ways that Houston and Panama can expand their potential by going above and beyond that of the existing businesses they currently conduct. For example, energy, comparing the potential of energy fleets of the far eastern countries of Japan, China, and Vietnam, the Ambassador said although we can have energy fleets that can go through the Panama Canal, we are not able to utilize that potential because of the lack of safety measures. With the expansion, about 90 percent of the energy fleets can safely go through the canal. When we look at the competitive advantages, this will not only help with the growth of Houston’s potential for oil and gas, but also help Panama become a distribution center. Mr. John Moseley continued the discussion regarding the impact and readiness of the port of Houston as a result of the Panama Canal expansion. Mr. Moseley mentioned the growth of ships in today’s international business endeavors. With that being said, he indicated that this growth is making the use of the canal a challenge, therefore

demanding the expansion of the canal. With the completion of the project in April 2016, Mr. Moseley said the port of Houston is getting ready by acquiring equipment and deepening and widening the ports so that the newly sized ships that pass through the expanded canal can be successfully supported and retrofitted. According to Mr. Moseley, the partnership Houston has established with the Panama authority helps create mutual benefits. With this expansion, both parties hope to increase business activities in the Asian markets along with emergence into untapped markets. He said both Panama and Houston’s strategic location in their respective areas help these both of these regions to serve as a connector and handle demand from various parts of the world like Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Asia, creating room for opportunities that go beyond that of just Latin America and Asia. The luncheon ended with a quick Q&A session and closing remarks by TTACC President Orhan Kucukosman.

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BUSINESS TRIPS

Turkish Investors Explore Investment Opportunities in Beaumont

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merican Turkic Business Council DBA Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce and a group of Turkish origin investors took a trip to Beaumont, Texas. The trip provided opportunities for the investors to get information about what the Beaumont region offers and the next steps that need to be taken to assure its growth.

Beaumont offers a lot of opportunities and is experiencing growth in the petrochemical, shipbuilding, construction, healthcare, and many other sectors. The area not only houses big corporations like ExxonMobil, but also Lamar University. The stable growth of the economy due to the L&D refinery in the area is seen as a positive indicator for investors looking to build apartments, lofts, and hotels. The lack of corporate housing in the area provides investors an increased chance to build near downtown. With many historical sites and buildings, there are increased incentives and tax abatement opportunities from the government. With its tight niche community, Beaumont and its officials are dedicated to getting things done quickly. Beaumont is a place where residents can get more for their money. With lower costs compared to a city life, raising a family becomes much easier.

The trip started with a meeting hosted by Regina Lindsey, the President & CEO of Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Regina provided an overview of the current state Beaumont economy is in along with the changes in cost and availability of living that is happening because of changes in petrochemical prices in the area. Our investors had the opportunity to hear about Beaumont’s future plans from Lenny Caballero, General Manager & Director of Event Facilities and Christopher Boone, Director of Planning and Community Development. During lunch at the Beaumont Club, our members had the opportunity to learn more about SBA opportunities from Jessica Hill, VP of Economic Development at the Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation. To learn more about the available areas for development, our investors sat down with Coldwell Banker Commercial Arnold and Associates, Sheri Arnold and Debbie Cowart. This session was followed by a meeting with Lamar University President Dr. Kenneth Evans. Lamar University is experiencing growth in the number of students and has set a mission to increase in-resident student population on campus. Although growth is a positive opportunity, it does come with costs in regards to housing. Our investors had the chance to hear about possible future plans of expansion and the opportunities for development from President Evans. The meeting was followed by a trip to the dormitories, led by Norman Bellard, Assistant to the President, to experience first-hand the type of housing that is being offered to students. Overall, for businessmen looking for project and investment opportunities in various areas, this trip became a very productive one. Especially for investors who are interested in real-estate, residential development, and hospitality, the trip was enough to show the need for these types of projects in the Beaumont area. The networks and relationships established throughout the trip has allowed the start of communication regarding the next step in the process. As American Turkic Business Council & Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce, we are certain that trips like these will end with fruitful results. 76

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The legacy of leadership

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American Turkic Business Journal Third Issue  

With the third issue of the journal, I’m proud to say that we have come a long way thanks to the great positive feedback we have received fr...

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