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INDEX PUBLISHER TurkofAmerica, Inc.

14 TURKISH DIVA SEZEN AKSU DELIGHTS CONCERT HALLS

CO-FOUNDER & GENERAL MANAGER Ömer Günefl – omer@turkofamerica.com

One of Turkey’s biggest pop music exports, Sezen Aksu, (born on July 13, 1954) is a pop music singer, songwriter and producer who has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. She filled North Bethesda’s Strathmore, New York’s Carnegie Hall and New Jersey’s NJ PAC for nights of nostalgia with almost 8,000 fans.

CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING EDITOR Cemil Özyurt – cemil@turkofamerica.com GENERAL COORDINATOR Tolga Ürkmezgil ART DIRECTOR Sinem Ertafl EDITOR Patricia Russo, DEPUTY PHOTO EDITOR Necdet Köseda¤ SENIOR ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR Ayhan Kay

25 SULEYMAN DEMIREL, 9TH PRESIDENT OF TURKEY

Suleyman Demirel, the ninth President of Turkey, had given a special interview to Turk of America during his stay in New York, in 2003. During the meeting, he had told the Turkish community in the US that “they should not be depressed nor feel any inferiority complex. We started this race 150 years behind, but now need 30 more years to reach the American standards.”

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WRITER-REPORTERS Ayfle Önal Zambo¤lu, Ali Ç›nar, Demet Cabbar, Duygu Uçkun, Maureen Ertürk, Melda Akansel.

26 FOLLOWING THE TRAILS OF TURKISH PIONEERS

CONTRIBUTORS Burcu Baykurt, Burcu Gündo¤an, Halim Özyurt.

Between 1860 and 1921, approximately 1.2 million people migrated to the U.S. and other parts of America from the Ottoman land. An estimated 15 percent of these people are thought to be Turkish or Muslims.

ADVISING COMMITTEE Ali Günertem, Egemen Ba¤›fl, Ekmel Anda, Ferhan Geylan, G. Lincoln McCurdy, Hakk› Akbulak, Mahmut Topal, Mehmet Çelebi, Osman (Oz) Bengür, U¤ur Terzio¤lu. MAIN OFFICE TURKOFAMERICA, Inc. 115 River Road, Suite 1206 Edgewater, NJ 07020 Tel: +1 (201) 917 5483 Fax: +1 (917) 322 2105 info@ turkofamerica. com www.turkofamerica.com

29 PM RECEP TAYYIP ERDO⁄AN SPOKE TO TURKOFAMERICA:

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CALIFORNIA (Los Angeles): Barbaros Tapan btapan@ turkofamerica. com Tel: +1 (213) 924 8027 A (San Fransisco): Ayfle Önal Zambo¤lu – CALIFORNIA aozamboglu@ turkofamerica. com Tel: +1 (650) 938 1764

MASSACHUSETTS Mustafa Aykaç – maykac@turkofamerica.com Tel: +1 (857) 205 8318

39 UNIQUE SETTINGS OF NEW YORK

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NEW YORK (Rochester) Ersoy Yildiz – eyildiz@turkofamerica.com Tel: +1 (585) 414 4300

Ekmel Anda, the founding partner of a series of companies among which is a mounter producer workshop in Long Island City, a design company called Diamond Plaza which addresses the tastes of people from the high income class, chair manufacturing says he is passionate about his work.

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EUROPE: Yasin Ya¤c› – yyagci@turkofamerica.com Tel: +31 (624) 66 92 23 TURKEY GENERAL CO OORDINATOR Nuri Özyurt – nozyurt@turkofamerica.com TURKEY REPRESENTATIVE Ertan Turhan - ertan@turkofamerica.com

TURKOFAMERICA is a member of Independent Press Association. TURKOFAMERICA is a member of Turkish American Chamber of Commerce Industry.

45 SEPTEMBER 11 THROUGH THE EYES OF THE TURKISH COMMUNITY

September 11, 2001 - 8:46 A.M. A plane hits the first tower of the World Trade Center at 1790 km per hour. Zuhtu Ibis, who works on the 103rd floor at Cantor FitzGerald, calls his wife and says, “Don’t worry, I am all right! I have to go now, the building’s being evacuated!” Turan Ayaz, who works on the 65th floor at Port Authority, reaches for his phone. His words are the same. “I am alive, don’t worry!”

60 GOVERNOR PATERSON WELCOMES TURKISH INVESTORS

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Since David Paterson became governor, New York State has faced enormous political challenges, from the state’s budget gap of more than $4 billion to the state’s worst fiscal crisis since the mid-1970s. In his first speech as Governor, on March 17, 2008, one of the crucial issues on which Governor Paterson led the charge for New York’s future was the putting forth of a statewide renewable energy strategy to harness the power of the sun and wind.

SUBSCRIPTION & DISTRIBUTION Park Plaza Kat:7 19/C Büyükdere Cad. 80670 Maslak / ‹stanbul Tel: +90 (212) 345 0345 Fax: +90 (216) 348 7910 PRINT: ‹maj ‹ç ve D›fl Ticaret A.fi. ‹maj Center Macun Mahallesi 3. Cadde No:2 (A Girifli) ‹stanbul Yolu 6. Km. Yenimahalle - Ankara - Turkey Telefon: + 90 (312) 397 91 40 Fax: + 90 (312) 397 41 52 E-Mail: info@imajas.com.tr

35 THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN TURKEY

This psychologist of the family, Ms. Guler Sabanci, has a very different character in the business world as one of its most powerful women. In 2004, Ms. Sabanci was ranked 20th among the 50 Most Powerful Women in a study of countries outside the US by Fortune Magazine, and 7th in the list of Most Powerful Women created by the Financial Times.

REPRESENTATIVES IN THE U.S.

CONNECTICUT Ali Ç›nar – acinar@turkofamerica.com Tel: +1 (203) 722 4339

During his visit to New York, Washington DC and Boston, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdo¤an spoke to TURKOFAMERICA about Turkish-American relations and the problems of Turkish associations as well as Turkish people in the US. Erdogan stated that Turkey and the US are indispensable partners for each other.

64 THE SECURITY OF THE INTERNET IS IN THE HANDS OF A TURK

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As the Internet continues to become an ever-bigger part of our lives, security concerns are increasing. The world’s second biggest Internet security company belongs to a Turkish businessman from Hatay, Melih Abdulhayo¤lu. He is the owner of Comodo, which has 700 employees in five offices around the world and an annual growth rate of 50%. We are proud and pleased that his first interview in the Turkish media has been given to TURKOFAMERICA.


FROM EDITOR

What An EIght Years! hen we decided to publish the first Turkish

WAmerican business magazine eight years

By Cemil Ozyurt

cemil@turkofamerica.com

ago, nobody believed that we would survive ever for three or four issues. Despite the doubters, the issues have followed each other and almost eight years have passed. When I think about what we have done in eight years, I am really proud of our team and their work.

TURKOFAMERICA has connected two countries with its unique source. We have reached people who had never been contacted before to cover their stories, have traveled over 200,000 miles in the U.S. and overseas, and have helped the voice of Turkish business people to be heard around the world.

We have reached people who had never been contacted before to cover their stories, have traveled over 200,000 miles in the U.S. and overseas, and have helped the voice of Turkish business people to be heard around the world.

When we started to publish the magazine, our main target was to serve as a bridge between the U.S. and Turkey to develop business relations. Now I have seen that we have accomplished many important things, but we still have a long way to go. One of the most important achievements of TURKOFAMERICA is helping New York State to open a trade office in Istanbul in 2010 for Turkish businessmen who want to invest in New York State. The other important development of the magazine is that for the last two years we have distributed the magazine on Delta Airlines business class Istanbul-New York flights. We are one of very rare ethnic publications which have such an agreement with one of the Fortune 500 companies. To celebrate our anniversary, we organized a U.S. concert tour for one of the most popular Turkish pop singers, the Queen of Turkish pop music, Sezen Aksu. I believe that it will be remembered for a very long time and it will be a very special night for her fans.

08 • TurkofAmerica

In addition to our teamwork, having unique content and reaching very niche markets are our key factors for success. In this period, we had many competitors. Each of them helped us to improve our quality and service but unfortunately none of them have survived. One of our important differences as a business publication is that we have introduced many nationally successful Turkish-American businessmen and professionals to the American public for the first time. TURKOFAMERICA has become a needed source for the Turkish media as well. They have reached many sources through the magazine. As journalists, we have interviewed many important figures, such as the President, Prime Minister, and many State Ministers of Turkey, U.S. Congressmen and mayors of famous cities, trade association executives, community leaders, activists, actresses, and academicians. We delivered their message to the Turkish-American public and the business community. Even though we heard many times from different people that is was impossible to survive in the publishing business as a ethnic publication in the U.S., the TURKOFAMERICA team has carried out the miracle. According to the U.S Dept. of Commerce and the Census Bureau, seven out of 10 new employer firms survive at least 2 years, half at least 5 years, a third at least 10 years, and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more. TURKOFAMERICA is running toward its 10th year and I hope it will be staying in the publishing business as long as Turkish- Americans live in the United States. I would like to thank all of our advertisers, subscribers, readers, contributors, editors, writers, and photographers. We couldn’t have done anything without your support. Happy eighth anniversary. !


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SEZEN AKSU

Turk›sh D›va Sezen Aksu Del›ghts Concert Halls for TURKOFAMERICA’s E›ghth Ann›versary When Sezen Aksu arrived at JFK International Airport on April 2, 2010, Turkish Americans were ready to listen to her after her ten-year absence from U.S. concert halls. Even though having gone through a 10-hour trip from Istanbul to New York, she was energetic and had a smiley face. She was happy to be in New York again to perform after 10 years.

Photo by Engin Tekin.

14 • TurkofAmerica


er close friend, artist Meltem Cumbul, and director Yasar Gaga

Hwere with her, and Aksu’s first comment about New York was

that the city was her favorite city in the world. She said she couldn’t live in a city where she wouldn’t be able to walk on its streets freely. When she compares New York to Los Angeles, she says, “I can’t live in Los Angeles.” Her first wish was that the concert series would have a great success for sides, organizers and her crew. Turkey's famous “Little Sparrow,” pop singer and composer Sezen Aksu, performed her concert series for TURKOFAMERICA Magazine’s eighth anniversary in the U.S. The concert series started on April 4th at Maryland’s Strathmore Hall, continued at New Jersey’s NJ PAC on April 6th and finished at New York’s Carnegie Hall on April 7, 2010. With an orchestra conducted by composer Fahir Atako¤lu, Aksu drew sustained applause from the crowd at all three halls. The present series marks the first time Aksu has embarked on a U.S. tour, having not played in the country since the "Moon and Stars Project" in 2000.

Sezen Aksu at backstage with the concert tour organizers.

THE BIGGEST TURKISH-AMERICAN CONCERT ORGANIZATION One of Turkey’s biggest pop music exports, Sezen Aksu, (born on July 13, 1954) is a pop music singer, songwriter and producer who has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her nicknames include the "Queen of Turkish Pop" and "Minik Serce" (Little Sparrow). She filled North Bethesda’s Strathmore, New York’s Carnegie Hall and New Jersey’s NJ PAC for nights of nostalgia with almost 8,000 fans. The series sold the largest number of tickets for any TurkishAmerican concert series.

TOUCHED ON DEMOCRATIC INITIATIIVE AS WELL At Carnegie Hall, speaking about Turkey’s democratic initiative, Aksu discussed the country’s Roma citizens, saying, “We don’t have any indication that any human is superior to any other.” With the words eliciting great applause from the audience, she said music and songs always bring people together in peace.

The Sezen Aksu Concert Series was organized by TURKOFAMERICA Magazine and GNL Entertainment, and sponsored by the Washington, DC-based Turkish Cultural Foundation, Pittsburg-based Vocelli Pizza, Delta Airlines, Istikbal Furniture, Turkon Line, Kismet Limousine, Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank, Turkish Kitchen, Ali Baba Restaurant, Toros Restaurant, Royal Auto, Mega Shipping, Pera Restaurant and Amerturk, Inc. The concerts have drawn great interest from Turks living in Maryland, New York and New Jersey, as well as the neighboring states Virginia, Washington, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and even Florida. Over 20 companies were the service sponsors for the concert series as well.

During the concert, Aksu also praised Atako¤lu, who played his own songs. His song, “Sar› Zeybek” (The Yellow Zeybek), was well received by the crowd and drew loud applause.

The series was the biggest concert organization in terms of spectators and budgets organized by Turkish-Americans in the U.S. The sponsorship of Delta Airlines was unique for the Turkish-American community in the U.S. because it was the first time in the community’s history that a Fortune 500 company sponsored a concert which was organized by Turkish-Americans. Performing along with composer and pianist Fahir Atako¤lu, Aksu was on stage for roughly two-and-a-half hours at the halls. After Sertab Erener, Sezen Aksu was the second Turkish singer who performed in Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium. Throughout the concert nights, Aksu maintained a warm rapport between herself and her fans, telling them how profoundly she appreciated their deep and heartfelt friendship. “I am very happy that I have had this experience.”

“I thank you all. I hope you will remember me as a nice person after I leave here,” she said.

At the end of the concert, Aksu returned to the stage for an encore and performed two more songs, including “Arkadafl” (Friend), for which she received a long standing ovation. Among the spectators at the concerts in Maryland, New Jersey and New York were Turkey’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ertu¤rul Apakan, and his wife, Lale Apakan, New York Consul General Mehmet Samsar and his wife, Feruze Samsar, as well as actress Meltem Cumbul. During the concerts, Aksu joked with her band members, especially with the famous composer and her orchestra chief Fahir Atakoglu. Atakoglu says: “In our musical journey, we wrote songs together. Sezen Aksu wrote lyrics to my melodies that have become hits in Turkey and all over Europe. I also wrote arrangements and produced albums for Sezen. In my career I have shared the stage with her many times; and for me every time has been a great honor and a musical privilege to play for her." After the concerts, Sezen Aksu thanked the organizers and met some of her lucky fans backstage. After the first concert in Maryland, Ayse Numan Bageant, one of Sezen Aksu fans from Hawaii, visited Sezen Aksu at backstage and gifted her Hawaiian traditional flowers necklace. Kavus Gokoglu, one of spectators who listened Sezen Aksu in 1983 her first concert in New York, says that listening her was a great pleasure for him and he adds: “After 27 years, I had a great night with her songs.” (Anatolia News Agency)! TurkofAmerica • 15


COVERS

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ISSUE 3

THE STARS OF GEORGETOWN

n the capital of the United States, Turkish businessmen

Their customers are executives of the IMF, the World Bank or the Pentagon, as well as White House staffers and senators and representatives from the US Congress. TURKOFAMERICA talked to the successful Turkish businessmen in the heart of Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

Iown hair salons that serve high society and some of the

best restaurants. Their customers are executives of the IMF, the World Bank or the Pentagon, as well as White House staffers and senators and representatives from the US Congress. Here are the successful Turkish businessmen in the heart of Georgetown: YURDUN ÖZTÜRK George is the oldest Turkish hairdresser’s in Georgetown and has been serving customers at the Four Seasons Hotel for 24 years. George is known as the ‘school’ for Turkish hairdressers who work in Georgetown or other regions of Washington, DC. Although Öztürk had won the opportunity to study political science, he preferred to be a hairdresser. He commemorates his first master in Ankara, Akay ‹smail. NUR‹ YURT Many Turks who have hair salons in Georgetown had their former experience in ‹stanbul Ba¤dat Caddesi, and Nuri Yurt, who owns Toka Salon, is one of them. Having started his working life at Kuaför Mustafa in Befliktafl Serencebey and having had experience in the famous neighborhoods of ‹stanbul, such as Etiler or Niflantafl›, Yurt came to the US 19 years ago.

THE FIRST TURKISH HOTEL IN WASHINTON, D.C. Cavit Öztürk is an entrepreneur and a former chef. After having had five years of experience in England, he has been in the US for almost 25 years. He owns Café Divan, which has been operating for eight years. When he first came to the US, he worked as a chef for ten years and then started working in renovating buildings. In his new place, he used one of the examples of renovation designs that he had utilized in construction for eight years. Café Divan has a modern look with its internal decoration and outer design. Öztürk renovated the upper floors of the restaurant and opened one of the boutique hotels of DC. BÜLENT BOZDEM‹R Located on Georgetown’s M Street, Tara Salon has been serving its customers for four years. The owner of the place, Bülent Bozdemir, is 44 years old and was trained as a hairdresser in ‹stanbul Ba¤dat Caddesi. He has been doing this job for 27 years. Among his famous customers are Princess Diana, Barbara Streisand and Monica Lewinski. Bozdemir has styled Monica’s hair for almost two years and has been covered in People Magazine as ‘Scandalous Stylist’. (Issue: 3, November 2002) ! TurkofAmerica • 17


ISSUE 4

GRAND BAZAAR IN MANHATTAN f you want to see Grand Bazaar (Kapal›çarfl›) in

IManhattan, we recommend that you to go to 46th

If you want to see Grand Bazaar (Kapal›çarfl›) in Manhattan, we recommend that you to go to 46th or 47th Streets.

or 47th Streets. With its stalls and workshops, the whole experience reminds people of the famous Kapal›çarfl›. Ali Ergifl, who is the first entrepreneur in the gold jewelry business in Manhattan and is also known as Exhange 33 Ali, is the first person to be contacted by those who want to do business in gold. He came to the United States in 1969. He was formerly a wrestler who won the Turkey and Balkan championship in the category of 75 kilos in 1966. Now he is running his business on 47th Street, where the heart of Manhattan’s gold market is located. After working in the jewelry business for 40 years, he currently owns a 5-floor department store. In the past, whoever arrived in Manhattan used to find Exhange 33 Ali. “I used to do my best to help everyone.” he says. There are 50 offices in the department store he owns and 31 ‘booths’, small sales points, in the entrance. (Issue: 4, December 2002) !

18 • TurkofAmerica


ISSUE 5

SPORTING BUSINESSMEN R›za Atafl from Malatya Wrestling Club, former Fenerbahçe soccer player Salim Görür, Turgay Kad›o¤lu from the Fenerbahçe Rowing Team, and Can Sonat, former basketball player of Efes Pilsen and Fenerbahçe.

URKOFAMERICA brought together four businessmen

Twho were transferred from wrestling mats, football

fields, boats and basketball courts: R›za Atafl from Malatya Wrestling Club, former Fenerbahçe soccer player Salim Görür, Turgay Kad›o¤lu from the Fenerbahçe Rowing Team, and Can Sonat, former basketball player of Efes Pilsen and Fenerbahçe. Former sportsmen are today’s successful businessmen.

Every young person who is involved in sports has to think about his or her post-sports life. No matter what kind of sports you are involved, in you can only make money for the next ten years of your life, taking an optimistic point of view. What about after ten years? How do these sportsmen earn their living once their sports careers end? Former Fenerbahçe, soccer player Salim Görür currently owns Dervish Restaurant on 47th Street in Manhattan. Can Sonat, whose team won the championship twice when he played on Efes Pilsen and who also played on Fenerbahçe’s basketball team in its first year as a champion during the 1990-91 season is now managing the US sales and international agency relations of Ata Freight Lane, a New York-based company which serves 81 countries worldwide in transportation. Turgay Kad›o¤lu, who won the championship several times on Fenerbahçe’s rowing team, now manages a gas station in New York. R›za Atafl, who was on wrestling mats for 11 years, now owns Istanbul Restaurant in Brooklyn and introduces Turkish cuisine to Brooklynites. (Issue: 5, January 2003)! TurkofAmerica • 19


ISSUE 7

Fahir Atako¤lu Is Sa›l›ng ›n the World ahir Atako¤lu always has a presence in our lives.

FHe is sometimes in the jingle of a news announce-

ment of a television channel, or sometimes in the jingle of a documentary, advertisement or movie soundtrack. He has been living in Maryland since the early 1990s. With his wife, Tülin, whom he married in 1995, and son O¤ulcan, Atako¤lu invited TURKOFAMERICA to his house.

Fahir Atako¤lu has been living in Maryland since the early 1990s. With his wife, Tülin, whom he married in 1995, and son O¤ulcan, Atako¤lu invited TURKOFAMERICA to his house. 20 • TurkofAmerica

Fahir Atako¤lu is a renowned Turkish pianist and composer who has worked with a wide range of artists across many genres of music, ranging in style from symphonic scoring to advertising jingles. He was born in Istanbul, Turkey. From the age of 7, Atako¤lu was interested in music and began playing piano and drums. Though his family intended for him to continue in the family business, his mother fostered his interest in music and through his music teacher Muzaffer Uz he was introduced to Cemal Reflit Rey, Turkey’s famous composer, pianist, script writer, and conductor. Atako¤lu studied under Rey from 1977-1979. He attended the Istanbul State Conservatory from 1978-1980. In 1980 he moved to London and for five years studied at both the London School of Music and Croydon College. He earned a degree in marketing and advertising from Croydon College in 1983 and returned to Istanbul to work as a jingle composer in the advertising sector. Atakoglu has created music for commercials, news segments, and documentaries via advertising agencies including Lintas, McCann Erickson, CDP Europe, Young & Rubicam, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Ogilvy & Mather. Atako¤lu acknowledges that his training in ad jingles honed his skill as a composer to create immediate context within his music. A major composer, arranger and pianist who is famous in his native Turkey and becoming increasingly well-known in the United States, Fahir Atakoglu’s latest album “Istanbul In Blue” is the “most added” and the most increased in air play album, according to Jazz Week and Media Guide. He has also composed music for Turkey's top bands and musicians, including Mazhar Fuat Özkan, Sezen Aksu, and Sertab Erener. He also composed music for the Greek musician Notis Sfakinakis, with Atako¤lu's song Telos Dios Telos going platinum with sales over 480,000 copies. Since 1994, Atako¤lu has recorded 10 albums which have sold over 2 million copies in 17 countries. (Issue: 6, March 2003)!


ISSUE 7

I’m Not a Temporary Player ›nthe NBA The first Turk in the NBA first told TURKOFAMERICA about his life in the US, his objectives and experience with the Sacramento Kings.

idayet Türko¤lu, a.k.a. Hedo, started playing in

Hthe NBA when he was 21 years old. Currently he

is playing in his 10th season. When we interviewed him in 2003 he was not a major player on the team but was hoping to be permanent. His biggest dream was to win the championship in Sacramento. He has not won any championship yet but has managed to leave a permanent mark in the NBA. In his first year, he had his first encounter with the leg-

endary Micheal Jordan: “When I first met Jordan, I was pretty nervous and shuddered with respect. Playing against someone that you have watched on TV for years, that you’ve been fond of. It is impactful.” The first Turk in the NBA first told TURKOFAMERICA about his life in the US, his objectives and experience with the Sacramento Kings. (Issue:7, May 2003)! TurkofAmerica • 21


ISSUE 8

Ar›f Mard›n Is ›n the Golden Age of H›s Career A

rif Mardin is one of the legendary names in the American music industry. Having won 7 Grammy Awards, his latest success was to introduce Norah Jones, whose albums sold in record numbers when she was 23. Arif Mardin, who was 71 years old at the time, was living the golden age of his career and not thinking about retiring.

The Grammy Awards have been presented 48 times. He was nominated 15 times as the best producer of the year; he won twelve times, most recently in 2003. Arif Mardin, one of the most important record producers and music arrangers of the 20th century, passed away on June 29, 2006 at age 74 in New York. He had talked to TURKOFAMERICA.

“After signing an agreement with the company, Jones prepared a demo album. However, the executives of Blue Note Records did not like it and they wanted her to work with me. When I first met Jones, she was afraid of me. She told me she was thinking to herself how she could discuss her music with someone who had worked with Aretha Franklin. I told her she was the boss and we started working.” Arif Mardin, producer of several famous musicians and winner of seven Grammy Awards, told TURKOFAMERICA about his new adventures after Atlantic Records. (Issue: 8, July 2003) !

22 • TurkofAmerica


ISSUE 9

The man who ›ntroduced Turk›sh TV to the US:

Alinur Velidedeo¤lu Alinur Velidedeo¤lu, who has achieved many projects both in Turkey and the US, Turks in the US can have access to what is going on in Turkey anytime during the day. Turkey is no longer miles away; it is as close as a TV button.

hanks to successful adman and entrepreneur

TAlinur Velidedeo¤lu, who has achieved many

projects both in Turkey and the US, Turks in the US can have access to what is going on in Turkey anytime during the day. Turkey is no longer miles away; it is as close as a TV button. 24 • TurkofAmerica

You are a passionate fan of Befliktafl with a big expectation of championship. Befliktafl is celebrating its 100th year and from fans to players, everyone in the team is fighting to be that year’s champion. Finally the long-awaited time comes and everyone is fixated on the outcome of the critical Galatasaray-Befliktafl game. Tickets are sold out, all coffee shops are booked and the Befliktafl neighborhood is full of fans. However, you are in the US. Instead of grabbing your flag and going out to shout ‘Champion Befliktafl’, you are miles away. How could you share that joy? You do not have to worry about it anymore. That dream can come true thanks to famous businessman/adman Alinur Velidedeo¤lu. He told TURKOFAMERICA how DFH Network started in the United States. (Issue: 9, August 2003) !


ISSUE 10

Suleyman Dem›rel, 9th Pres›dent of Turkey, spoke to TURKOFAMERICA: We Need 30 Years to Reach the Amer›can Standards uleyman Demirel, the ninth President of Turkey,

Shad given a special interview to Turk of America

When asked if he partly owes his nickname as the “Dam King” to his time in the US, Mr. Demirel replies, “Of course. We learned dam-building in the US.”

during his stay in New York, in 2003. During the meeting, he had told the Turkish community in the US that “they should not be depressed nor feel any inferiority complex. We started this race 150 years behind, but now need 30 more years to reach the American standards.” Suleyman Demirel said that there is a lot to learn from the US: “I came here in 1949 for the first time. At that time there were no real dams in Turkey. I saw what a dam is in the US. They call me the Dam King and what I learned here has a lot to do with it”. Mr. Demirel thinks that he learned a lot about his profession when he came to Denver in 1949. He says he had the opportunity to visit many dams, names of which he can recount. “At that time we had only three dams. One of them was the Porsuk Dam, which

was leaking through a serious crack on its body. The other two were the Gebere Dam in Nigde and the Bilecik Dam. But we learned about dams from the US. Later on, I sent 300 engineers to America, so that they can observe the latest developments and apply the same in Turkey.” When asked if he partly owes his nickname as the “Dam King” to his time in the US, Mr. Demirel replies, “Of course. We learned dam-building in the US.” In 1954-55, when he came here for the second time, his focus shifted to the electricity system. After citing a statistic that at that time only 13 out of 35 thousand villages in Turkey had electricity supply, Mr. Demirel remembers: “I examined the electricity policies of different states, I researched how the electricity system in Tennessee worked. Then I implemented what I learned in Turkey.” (Issue 10, November 2003)! TurkofAmerica • 25


ISSUE 10

Follow›ng the Tra›ls of Turk›sh P›oneers Between 1860 and 1921, approximately 1.2 million people migrated to the U.S. and other parts of America from the Ottoman land. An estimated 15 percent of these people are thought to be Turkish or Muslims. 26 • TurkofAmerica

rofessor Sedat Isci of Aegean University contin-

Pues to follow the trails of Turkish pioneers in

America. During his research under the project titled “First Turkish Settlers in America: 1860-1921'' he identified five cemeteries in Detroit, and one in New York that belongs to early comers. There are approximately 250 graves at the Rockville Cemetery in Lybrook, New York. Some of them have very interesting epitaphs. For example, one Turkish tombstone reads ‘I came here as a Turk and lived as a proud one.’ Mr. Isci located the first Turkish cemetery in Salem in 2000. He then focused his search on Detroit and conducted preliminary research on three of the five

cemeteries that were identified. In these three cemeteries, Mr. Isci identified between 500 and 1000 Turkish graves. Between 1860 and 1921, approximately 1.2 million people migrated to the U.S. and other parts of America from the Ottoman land. An estimated 15 percent of these people are thought to be Turkish or Muslims. According to Professor Isci, approximately 60 thousand Turks and/or Muslims came to the U.S. during this period. The total number of Muslim immigrants in the same timeframe is estimated to be around 150 thousand. (Issue 10, November 2003)!


ISSUE 11

From Dallas to Chicago, from New York to Washington, D.C., in every corner of the U.S., Turkish women successfully stand in the forefront with their success in business and professional life, and academics. Here are the Turkish women and their success stories.

WOMEN WHO WROTE THEIR NAMES ON THE TOP ome are doctors, others academicians, busi-

Snesswomen, musicians… either in leading U.S. cities like New York, Dallas, Chicago, Washington, D.C., or nationwide, they are on the spotlight because of their accomplishments. Their names are on the top of the lists of most successful doctors, academicians, and managers. The astrophysicist Feryal Özel, whose name is listed in the “Big Ideas” list next to John Nash and Einstein, Fatofl Gül, who was elected several times as the most successful physiotherapist by six thousand doctors, Emel Singer, owner of

Banner Personnel, Inc., which is in the top 25 of women-owned businesses in Chicago, Sevin Ötgünç, vice-president of Picasso Travel, which is, one of the top 10 travel agencies; Bengi Mayone, the first Turkish soprano of New York Metropolitan Opera, Asl› Demirgüç Kunt, who diagnosed the financial crises with her report to the World Bank, S›dd›ka Demir, who was selected as the Young Engineer of the Year, are some of the names in this issue. Here are the women in the forefront and their stories… (Issue: 11, February 2004)! TurkofAmerica • 27


ISSUE 12

projects in five continents as well as being the architect of many buildings in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Manila, London, and San Paulo. New York City’s skyscrapers offer a spectacular view to the city viewers. Even if you walk down the Manhattan streets every day, you cannot help yourself but admire buildings laddering high into the sky. Building a skyscraper in NYC means leaving a permanent impression on the city’s architecture. One of those impressions belongs to Architect Mustafa Kemal Abadan. Along with co-designer Architect David Childs, he is one of the two chief architects of the 55-story twin towers that belong to AOL Time Warner Center rising high in the sky at Columbus Circle. The 210 meter tall structures cost approximately 1.8 billion U.S. dollars. This represents the largest credit line to date received from a bank to be used for a building construction. Naturally, our meeting location with Mustafa Kemal Abadan was the AOL Time Warner Center. Considering the photo opportunities that NYC’s sunrise offers, he requested to meet with us early in the morning. We weren’t going to disagree with the master architect who drew this skyscraper design and met with him at 9:30 in the morning. The entrance of the building facing the Columbus Circle has a huge window face.

partner of one of the world’s largest architect

The ground floor mall is one of NYC’s most popular. First, we ask Mr. Abadan “How does it feel to leave such a mark on a city like NYC?” With a light smile he says, “In some businesses you deal with intangible items. However, that doesn't leave anything tangible to you or to next generations. But designing, such a structure, is so honorable and it is something that I can proudly present to coming generations.”

Architect Mustafa Kemal Abadan is one of the two designers of the 55- story AOL Time Warner Center building. Mr. Abadan put his signature on dozens of

(Note: After this article, Abadan designed a building in Australia and the continents number reached six) (Issue: 12, May 2004)!

One of those impressions belongs to Architect Mustafa Kemal Abadan. Along with co-designer Architect David Childs, he is one of the two chief architects of the 55-story twin towers that belong to AOL Time Warner Center rising high in the sky at Columbus Circle. 28 • TurkofAmerica

Afirms Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM),

PLACING SIGNATURES ON SIX CONTINENTS


Pr›me M›n›ster Recep Tayy›p Erdo¤an spoke to TURKOFAMERICA: “Turkey’s Success Is Important for the Stab›l›ty ›n the Reg›on” uring his visit to New York, Washington DC and

DBoston, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdo¤an spoke to

TURKOFAMERICA about Turkish-American relations and the problems of Turkish associations as well as Turkish people in the US. Erdogan stated that Turkey and the US are indispensable partners for each other. “We would like to see our cooperation to improve and to include cooperation in economic areas and reconstruction of Iraq”, said the Prime Minister. He also emphasized that Turkey’s success is very important for the stability in the region.

"My government has a strong will to improve our relations and cooperation with the US to the highest possible point for the

- How appropriate is it to categorize the TurkishAmerican relations into pre-Iraq war and post--Iraq war eras? What implications would your government’s policy have on the future of relations? What do you think about the idea that strategic partnership with the US is over and a new strategy should be formulated under new conditions? Although there were difficult times, the fundamental strategic and political realities define the relations between Turkey and the US as a relationship between two allies. The alliance between the two countries has a strong base. Therefore there cannot be any pre-war and past-war periods. Iraq cannot be defining factor for our relations; they extend over much longer term and cover a wide range. During the Iraq war, we had different perceptions of the cri-

sis and adopted different approaches. This is normal. The world is changing fast, and it is natural for every country with its own system to evaluate developments according to its own political position. Turkey and the US are indispensable partners for each other in this region. This relationship comes from the past and will continue in the future. My government has a strong will to improve our relations and cooperation with the US to the highest possible point for the benefit of the Turkish and American people and in a way in which the cooperation contributes to the stability in the region. In addition to strategic partnership, we would like our relations to expand into new horizons such as economic cooperation and the reconstruction of Iraq. One of our fundamental objectives is to bring commercial and economic relations to be as important as political and military relations. As the only Muslim country in the region with a free market economy and secular democracy, Turkey has many values to offer. Turkey sets an exemplary model for other countries in the region. The success of this model is very important for the future of these countries as well as the stability in the region. (Issue: 12, May 2004)!

benefit of the Turkish and American people."

TurkofAmerica • 29


ISSUE 13

Gilan chose New York City as a spot to become an international brand name. Their designs convey an authentic breeze from Anatolia. Apart from New York, Gilan has customers from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas and. In five years, the exquisite jeweler plans to open stores in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. 32 • TurkofAmerica

THE FIFTH-AVENUE ANATOLIAN JEWELRY MOTIF: GILAN he Crown Building is one of the well-known build-

Tings on Fifth Avenue in New York City in that it hosts

offices of internationally renowned trade marks. The Crown Building, featured as the building with “the best Central Park view in Manhattan in New York city guides, was the only building with rising office rents despite an overall 20 percent depreciation in the mid-90s. The purpose of our visit to the 1921-built Crown Building is not to get acquainted with its history. We are there to hear the story of Gilan, one of the tenants who aims to become an international trade mark in jewelry. As natural as it seems, the road Gilan took to reach this success is a rather long one. Gilan opened its first store in the Covered Bazaar in Bursa in 1981. After graduating from the Civil

Engineering Department at Y›ld›z Technical University, Ferhan Geylan returned to his home town and decided to pursue a career in the jewelry sector, rather than running the food wholesale business his family had been in since 1937. The first store he opened in Bursa with his brother Muharrem Geylan was the first step towards the formation of Gilan as a trademark in the jewelry sector. The name “Gilan” comes from the roots of the family that reaches to the Gilan village in Kosovo, Yugoslavia. Although the family left the Balkans many years ago, they keep their village’s name alive by naming their jewelry after it. (Gilan opened its first flagship store on Fifth Avenue next to Louis Vuitton in 2005) (Issue: 13, July 2004)!


ISSUE 14

From Anatol›a to Appalach›a

Melungeons not only live in Tennessee but also in the region called the Appalachia that encompasses 13 of the US states. There are 75 thousand people who view themselves as Melungeon but their true numbers those who are descended from the original settlers are believed to be in millions.

he roots of the Melungeons who are believed to be

Tbrought to the American continent by the Spanish

sailors around 1500’s lie in Caucasia, the Mediterranean region and to Anatolia. Prof. Dr. Brent Kennedy is the most known and the staunchest defenders of the Ottoman connection of the Melungeons. Prof. Kennedy, because of an ill- ness that he could make no sense of and one that his doctors could not diagnose has become ill on 1988. He could not walk and he had difficulty making movements. At a time when he said his farewells to his wife and children and awaited death, his doctor has diagnosed Brent with sarcoidosis. Later he was also diagnosed with familial Mediterranean fever. But that is where the oddities began. How could Brent, who up until that day was taught that his ancestors were from Ireland and England and nowhere else, develop a genetic disease that Mediterranean people were inclined to have? The question that he used to ask his mother as a child of “How come my brother is dark skinned and my other relatives look more like eastern people rather than Irish or British people?” has started

to weigh in more. He had DNA tests done and convinced people he knew on getting DNA tests. The results were surprising. The DNA results showed that their roots went as far as Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, India and Eastern Africa. Native American results also showed up. The blood tests performed on 177 Melungeonsshowed that somehow at least some of them had diseases seen in people from the Mediterranean region such as sarcoidosis, thalassemia, and Behcet’s disease. The interest in Brent for Turks began in 1988 with a disease adventure and for the first time in 1995, though people were telling him not to, he went to a trip to Turkey. Brent Kennedy says that although he cannot prove his theories and ideas to a 100 percent, in his heart, he feels himself to be of Turkish descent. (Note: After a short period of the interview, Prof. Kennedy got stroke. He was undergoing outpatient therapy. He was not able to talk or walk but he traveled by bus from Tennessee to New York to participateIstanbul University Alumni meeting in 2007.) (Issue: 14, October 2004)! TurkofAmerica • 33


ISSUE 15

Appra›s›ngCompan›es

Sanli Pastore & Hill is known for its skill in evaluating the value of companies. The experts at the Company also act as witnesses in cases involving firms in disagreement. Nevin Sanli, who has appraised over 1500 companies in his career, is the founder and principal owner of Sanli Pastore & Hill, the largest business appraisal firm in California.

nearly 25 employees, SP&H is the largest appraisal firm in California and one of the five largest firms in the US in this industry.

P&H is known for its skill in evaluating the value

With his current partners Thomas Pastore and Clinton Hill, Mr. Sanli established his own company in 1992, in which he holds 66% of the shares. Although Clinton Hill left the firm later on, his name remained on the company’s masthead.

Sof companies. The experts at Sanli Pastore & Hill

also act as witnesses in cases involving firms in disagreement. They appraise nearly more than 150 companies each year, acting as expert witnesses in courts throughout the US. The firm’s expert witnesses have appeared in over 250 court cases. With 34 • TurkofAmerica

The name Sanli comes from Nevin Sanli’s last name, the founder and principal shareholder of the company. Born in Izmir, Sanli received his economics degree at the University of California in Irvine. It was his idea to set up a professional company that would specialize in assessing the value of firms.

(Issue: 15, December 2004) !


ISSUE 16

The Most Powerful Woman ›n Turkey

“Guler is the first child of my elder brother, she is the first niece, grandchild, cousin. She charms everybody with her bright intelligence, charisma, and entrepreneurship. She might be my niece, but she is not different from my own children. In our family, whoever is in trouble or gets sick knows that Guler is there for them…”

hese worlds are quoted from the last book by Mr.

TSakip Sabanci, the beloved Turkish businessman.

Sakip Aga, in his book “Health Before Everything”, describes Ms. Guler Sabanci as the psychologist of the family. Ms. Guler Sabanci was elected president of the Board of Directors in May 2004, after the death of Mr. Sakip Sabanci. This psychologist of the family, Ms. Guler Sabanci, has a very different character in the business world as one of its most powerful women. In 2004, Ms. Sabanci was ranked 20th among the 50 Most Powerful Women in a study of countries outside the US by Fortune Magazine, and 7th in the list of Most Powerful Women created by the Financial Times. TURKOFAMERICA had spoken with the Sabanci Holding’s President of the

Board of Directors, Ms. Sabanci, at Sabanci Holding’s headquarters in Levent. It must be a difficult task to fill the position of Mr. Sakip Sabanci, who had a very colorrful personality? Did you have any concerns about not being able to fill his shoes? How did you feel?? Mr. Sabanci was a great person and he had a lot of different qualities at the same time. And he was successful in all of them. I only took over the presidency of the board of directors. I cannot fill the place he had in the society, in the hearts of people, nor can I assume his roles. I can never take on all his responsibilities. I worked with Mr. Sabanci for 27 years. I understood how great a teacher he was, after starting my job. I realized the importance of many things afterwards. (Issue: 16, April 2005) ! TurkofAmerica • 35


ISSUE 17

Carry›ng the World ›n a Cell elenity is located in Monroe, Connecticut, but the

Treal production comes from brains in the Istanbul Telenity, established by four Turks, is providing professional software solutions and globally selling them to telecom operators.

36 • TurkofAmerica

Free Trade Zone. The company has 172 employees, 20 of these in the US. They have offices in India, Singapore and London, and their headquarters in Monroe is a working environment more like a villa than a business office. Behind Telenity’s history is the story of four old friends. The story of three of the owners starts back in 1988. After Alcatel’s decision to close the research center in Shelton, Connecticut with the acquisition of ITT, Bekir Serbetcioglu, Ilhan Bagoren and Esref Ozulkulu became unemployed. These three friends, who worked for a while as engineers and managers in different companies, founded EBS in 1998 and brought the SS7 signalization system, which was considered the basic component of digital communications in the telephone switchboards, to standard computers. The company changed its name to NewNet and was sold to ADC Telecommunications in 1997. After a 3 year standstill, they founded Telenity to continue their journey in the telecommunication sector. Along with Hakan Dincerler, these three names are in the forefront of the company.

The founders of Telenity were awarded with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for 2003, the Hewlett Packard Software Partner of the Year Award for 2004, and repeated this success in 2004 by being awarded the Software Channel Excellence prize. When explaining the reasons why they preferred to open a research and development office in Turkey instead of India, Mr. Esref Ozulkulu stated that Turkey has better patent and software protection laws in the software sector than India. Worldwide, the average monthly bill per cell phone user is US$50. To increase this amount by US$10, the operators have to try out 500 new services. Telenity’s CEO Mr. Serbetcioglu estimates that about 10% of these 500 will be successful. Cell phone use is very widespread in Turkey; there are 40 million cell phone users and only 5 million Internet users in Turkey. In the US market Internet usage is predominant; Internet access is around 95%. This is the reason why cell phone technology lags behind in the US. (Issue: 17, July 2005)!


ISSUE 18

P›zza Eng›neers ocelli Pizza owes its fame to family solidarity and

It is hard to come across Turks in the history of pizza either before Christ or in the 20th century. But it is inevitable to talk about Vocelli Pizza while conducting research on the position of Turks in the pizza market in America.

38 • TurkofAmerica

Vambition. The journey of Hayri Ablak, father of

company president Varol Ablak, from his mining engineering days in Zonguldak to Germany, Canada and to the USA is as interesting as Vocelli Pizza's own story.

The fifty-year adventure of the Ablak family in foreign lands started in Zonguldak. Hayri Ablak, who was born in the city of Dimetoka in Greece, graduated from Zonguldak Mining Technical School in 1956. Varol, the first child of Ablak, was born in Zonguldak while his father was working there as a mining engineer. After leaving Zonguldak, their first stop in foreign lands was the city of Essen in Germany. So the second child Seckin was born in Germany. The decision of the head of the family to immigrate to Canada after Germany dragged them to new discoveries. Hayri Ablak received a master's degree from McGill University and moved to the US in 1969. Upon arrival, the family lived in Virginia and Ohio, and then they moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1974. San, the third child of the family, was born there in 1976. The three children of the family, born in the

continents of Asia, Europe, and North America, reflect the immigrant spirit of the family. THEY STARTED IN A PIZZA OUTLET Ablak, who got into pizza business at the age of 24, opened his first pizza restaurant in New Orleans with a budget of 20 thousand dollars. When Hayri Ablak lost his job at the company where he worked due to a financial crisis, he started his own pizza business with his son Varol. For a while, the father and son managed two restaurants but soon sold them and returned to Pittsburgh without finding what they hoped for in New Orleans. Varol Ablak, relying on his earlier experience, decided to start his own brand. He focused on home delivery. "Thirty years ago the home delivery system was not a popular marketing strategy,” he says. The family opened its own pizza restaurant, Pizza Outlet, in 1988. With the inclusion of Seckin, one year later they started to grow in the pizza business. (Note: Today Vocelli has 120 branch and employs 2500 people.) (Issue: 18, November 2005)!


ISSUE 18

Un›que Sett›ngs of New York lot has changed since 1989, when he first set foot

Ekmel Anda, the founding partner of a series of companies among which is a mounter producer workshop in Long Island City, a design company called Diamond Plaza which addresses the tastes of people from the high income class, chair manufacturing says he is passionate about his work.

Ain New Jersey on the advice of his father, who had retired from Ziraat Bank. He had only 1000 dollars in his pocket when he came to see an acquaintance with whom he had conversed briefly for an hour back in Turkey. First, he worked as a petrol station attendant.

HELLO 47th STREET An acquaintance called Yusuf Degirmencioglu helped him and some of his friends to get work permits by taking advantage of a law in Las Vegas. "Uncle Yusuf was a milestone in my life. The moment I met Uncle Yusuf, my star shone in the U.S.,” he says. Today, Degirmencioglu is a like a grandfather to Anda’a children. When Anda obtained the right to live and work in the U.S.A. in the 1994 green card lottery, he quit his job in the gas station in Orange, New Jersey and started working as a sales agent in a book store. He was introduced to the gold business through the brother of the owner of the bookstore, who was a goldsmith. On the weekends, he started working as an assistant in a jewelry store in Woodbridge. Then he opened up his own store with a capital of 7,000 dollars.

CROSSING ROADS WITH PARTNERS In 1993, the biggest shop of the mall, which consisted of 20 stores, was put up for sale for 300,000 dollars. Anda, the owner of the smallest shop in the mall, applied for the store with a friend called Italian Ernie. They both gave 25,000 dollars. Anda borrowed his share of the 25,000 from Yusuf Demircioglu, who helped him every time he was hard up for money. With the arrival of Maurice Payami, who had decided to sell his store and move Los Angeles, to New Jersey, they became three partners. In the same year, Anda, Ernie, and Maurice bought another shop in the mall for 40,000 dollars. The three partners bought 5 stores within the next three years. From 1993 to 2001 the partners lived quite wealthily. When Anda found out that his countryman Dursun Kocak, who gave him access to unlimited credit in their trade, had closed his business, he looked for a new partnership. The adventure of Unique Settings of New York, which was on the verge of closing down, began in 1999. Ekmel Anda grasped the opportunity to address a very wide circle with 4 partners. (Issue: 18, November 2005) ! TurkofAmerica • 39


ISSUE 18

K›ng of the Luxury C›gar L›ght›ng Up ›n Nashv›lle ashville, the home of American country music, is almost burning because of the hot weather. Driving from the airport, the silhouette of the city emerges. The Bell South Building which became very famous with the movie Batman is one of the buildings that are often pointed out to tourists. Well, our main subject is not country music or the ethnic structure of Nashville of course. Our main goal is to meet with the heirs of the C.A.O. International which has been using the city as their headquarters since 1968. Although the company was established by Cano Ozgener, his son Murat’s (everybody knows him as Tim) and his daughter Aylin’s roles have been very important in enlarging the company and turning it into a brand. C.A.O.’s new building looks like a museum more than a business place. Even though the exterior gives you the feeling that this is a big storage facility, there is a different world inside. The building has been designed according to the Feng Shui philosophy. There are paintings of the lands in Nicaragua on which the tobacco grows that is used in C.A.O cigars on the right side of the hallway in the entrance. On the left side, old Eskisehir meerschaums, pipe boxes, the first C.A.O cigars which are a part of the company’s history are exhibited. The father’s, Cano Ozgener’s, name started to be known in the industry first by the meerschaums that he

N Cano A. Ozgener’s work experience, which started with the meerschaum and continued with cigar boxes, shifted to cigar business in 1995.

40 • TurkofAmerica

imported from Eskisehir and marketed. The pipe which ranks as the most expensive meerschaum ever made and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records still belongs to Cano Ozgener. It is worth around $50.000. Cano A. Ozgener’s work experience, which started with the meerschaum and continued with cigar boxes, shifted to cigar business in 1995. “How many meerschaum pipes can a man buy in a life time? Or how many cigar boxes can he have?” and he started working on creating a cigar label. C.A.O. made its rise with the label Maduro in 1998. Since it was rated very high in the cigar lovers’ magazine, Cigar Aficionado, it got the attention of everybody instantly. C.A.O., which employs a total of 400 people at two factories in Nicaragua and Honduras, sells around 8 million cigars a year. (Note: C.A.O. International Inc., was acquired by Henri Wintermans Cigars. Wintermans, which is based in Holland, is a unit of ST Cigar Group Holdings Inc., one of the word's largest cigar producers in January 2007. Murat Ozgener, CEO of CAO signed a five-year contract and remained as company president.) (Issue: 22, September 2006) !


ISSUE 19

Inter›or Des›gner Who Br›ngs Cultures Together On a recent trip to New York to gather political support, Oz Bengur introduced his sister Sara to the crowd gathered in the room by saying: “I am sure you know more about my famous interior designer sister than you know about me.”

owever many miles Oz Bengur has come in politics, Sara has traveled still further in her career. While Oz is not yet one of the 100 elected to enter the senate, Sara, is one of the country’s top 100 interior decorators, according to evaluations made by House Beautiful Magazine. Sara Bengur was one of four children of an economist father who worked for the IMF. Her father grew up in Samsun where his father (and Sara’s grandfather) was the Mayor. He came to the U.S. 65 years ago from Turkey.

H

FAMILY’S PRIDES Sara Bengur, was born in 1965 in Washington D.C. and lived in one of the most famous neighborhoods of Istanbul, Bebek, for almost seven years. She went to school at Robert College. Once they completed their education, Sara’s older siblings, also became well known in their own professions. Belkiz, a therapist who uses yoga in her practice, Osman, a politician, and Resai, a doctor at Rainbow Babies in Cleveland, Ohio, are the pride of their parents from Samsun. Sara Bengur’s success on the New York Design scene is not surprising considering that she comes from a family of overachievers. Her brother Osman (Oz) Bengur has devo-

ted his years to politics in the halls of Washington. In fact, Oz is the first Turkish candidate to run for the U.S. Congress. Sara returned to the U.S. after living in Istanbul and studied Economics at Colby College in Maine. Although she started her career as a financer, she soon decided to utilize her knowledge of business and creative instinct as an Interior Designer. In her formative years she worked for the wellknown New York design firm Stephen Sills. This creative training helped her to develop a keen knowledge of the business and of her own aesthetic. Bengur, who started her own company 14 years ago, became famous by giving her office her name: Sara Bengur Interiors, Inc. A young decorator who still has a very highclass clientele, Bengur emphasizes that the cost of the decor depends on the material she uses and the size of the area. Bengur’s design projects spans anywhere from one to four years. She rarely uses new furniture when designing and prefers to mix antiques with interesting contemporary pieces. One of her goals is to create her own line of products. (Issue: 17, July 2005)! TurkofAmerica • 41


ISSUE 20

Secret Dynamo of the European Economy ermany, not being able to meet the labor needs of

Gits growing economy after the Second World War,

The importance of these figures is that 32% of the Turks living in Germany are German citizens.

opened its borders to Turkish workers with the “labor recruitment agreement” of October 30, 1961. Following this agreement, thousands of Turkish workers arrived in Germany, starting the Turkish immigration to Europe. When, after an oil crisis and economic recession, Germany stopped the recruitment in November 1973, after 12 years, the number of Turkish immigrants had reached 900 thousand. Immigration, meant to be halted after this date, continued through family unification. THIRD GENERATION EUROPEAN TURKS As time passed, it became more obvious that this immigration, considered to be temporary not only by Turkey and the immigration-accepting countries, but even by the immigrants themselves, was turning out to be a permanent one. This permanency in Europe represented structural changes in the lifestyles of immigrants. The first workers arriving in 1961 were mostly men. These “expatriates” were hoping to return to their

42 • TurkofAmerica

country after a short period and invest their savings in their towns and villages, and enhance their social status. As the years followed each other the men did not go back, but instead brought their families over. TURKISH BUSINESSES IN EUROPE Since its establishment in 1985, the Center for Studies on Turkey (TAM) has been investigating the investment dynamics of Turks in Europe. A scientific survey of 846 businessmen conducted in June-July 2005 is an example of the Center’s important research in this area. According to the study, the number of Turkish immigrants who have obtained German citizenship, either by birth or by naturalization, is about 840,000. As of 2004, also taking into account the 1.8 million Turkish citizens living in Germany, the number of people of Turkish origin exceeded 2.6 million. The importance of these figures is that 32% of the Turks living in Germany are German citizens, and they are part of German society, passing beyond any discussion of adaptation. (Issue: 20, April 2006)!


ISSUE 21

Connect County Is Connect›ng Cont›nents 11 years of entrepreneurial and operational experience in electronic design and manufacturing in China and South East Asia, Turker Hidirlar has graduated from Staffordshire University 44 • TurkofAmerica

he September 11 attacks occurred six months

Tafter the foundation of Rapid Conn, Inc. in Orange

County / Foothill Ranch, California, to specialize in the design, manufacturing and trading of cable and connectors. To overcome the difficulties they foresaw in the future, the management of the company had to make fast decisions, and they announced their decision: “Either four people would be fired, or everybody had to sacrifice 20% of their salary.” When the newly hired design manager Robert Jean Tondreault packed his belongings and was traveling from New York, he did not know that his salary had been cut by 20%. But as a New Yorker, who understood what had happened, he agreed to the cut like all the others. Today, he is research and development manager and one of the partners of the company. While companies owned by brothers sometimes have difficulties in management, the parent compa-

ny of Rapid Conn, the Connect County Group, is managed like a family company among its American, Singaporean and Turkish owners. Hidirlar states that the secret behind the harmony can be found in the 2000-year-old Chinese philosophy of business. He attributes the harmony to the partnership structure in which the partners never lie or cheat each other and always in trust each other and work with honesty. As old-Chinese philosophy, The Art of War (Sunzi bingfa/Sun-tzu ping fa) has these rules in He describes Ang Chuang Juay, his partner for 20 years in this way: “Probably he didn’t spend time with his son as much as he spends with me.” (Note: Turker Hidirlar quit Rapid Conn and founded iCon Inc., Orange County, California area in 2008. iConn is a manufacturing and engineering services provider of electrical components and complex assemblies/ sub-assemblies for EMS, CM and OEM companies.)!


ISSUE 22

September 11

Through the Eyes of the Turk›sh Commun›ty uran Ayaz, who works on the 65th floor at Port

September 11, 2001 - 8:46 A.M. A plane hits the first tower of the World Trade Center at 1790 km per hour. Zuhtu Ibis, who works on the 103rd floor at Cantor FitzGerald, calls his wife and says, “Don’t worry, I am all right! I have to go now, the building’s being evacuated!”

TAuthority, reaches for his phone. His words are the same. “I am alive, don’t worry!”

When Turan Ayaz reaches home 13 hours later his wife looks calm. Ayaz asks his wife later that night, “Everybody came here worried about me and you are passing around glasses of tea as if nothing has happened. Didn’t you worry about me at all?” His wife’s brief reply still makes him burst into tears even after 5 years: “You told me that you would come home no matter what!” The 38 floors in between is a matter of life and death... Nobody hears from Zuhtu Ibis after that phone call! But his wife Leyla Uyar also waits hopefully. After all, he had whispered the same words in haste: “Don’t worry, I will come!” Leyla Uyar waits for him patiently for five months. She waited for years; what is five months compared to that? Both Leyla Uyar and Zühtü ‹bifl were born in the village of Sari Yaprak in Yozgat and attended the same primary and high school. When Zuhtu Ibis came to the U.S. along with his father to get a college education, Leyla Uyar

waited for him patiently. Zuhtu would return to Yellow Leaf and marry Leyla after graduating from college and starting to work as a programmer at one of the big companies in the World Trade Center. Zuhtu was 25 years old and he had kept all his promises so far! He also said he would come home on September 11. When she was informed five months later that parts of his husband’s body had been found, she and her 2 year old son Mert were still keeping their spirits up… The only Turkish citizen who lost his life on September 11, Zuhtu Ibis’s body parts were taken to his village Yellow Leaf and buried there... Five years later, the Turkish people living in and around New York, in response to the unfair treatment against the Muslims and the change of attitude against the immigrants by the U.S. as well as other countries of the world say with reproach “We were there on September 11 and we also suffer from material and spritual losses.” (Issue: 22, September 2006) ! TurkofAmerica • 45


ISSUE 23

New Strategy:

6 States, $20 BIllIon, In 3 Years or Turkey’s $100 billion export target for the year

F2010, the US economy is an important market,

Turkey has announced 2006 as “The USA year” and within the following two-year period the government will organize special activities in the six target states

46 • TurkofAmerica

with its capacity of $12 trillion. However, Turkey’s share from this market is currently 3 per thousand. Turkey has announced 2006 as “The USA year” and within the following two-year period the government will organize special activities in the six target states (New York, Texas, California, Illinois, Georgia and Florida.) State Minister Kursad Tuzmen spoke about Turkey’s new strategy to TURKOFAMERICA.

Considering the mutual relations with the USA starting from the period of the Ottoman Empire, it is difficult to observe any remarkable development. What are the reasons for this? The geographical distance, tough competition, and the unique characteristics of the US market, and also the fact that the companies which wanted to enter the market didn’t determine long term strategies led to the development of these relations falling behind the desired level. The US market is a speciali-

zed market which requires long term policies in marketing and has tough competition conditions. Also because of the fact that the country is made up of states, each with its own economic, social and legal structure, we haven’t had trade relations on the level we desired. Moreover, for a long time only textile and ready-made clothing industries saw the US market as a target; only recently have industries like ceramics, iron and steel, or jewelry been approaching the US market. Our aim is to increase the number of such examples, put the US among our target markets, and open the way for our companies. For this purpose we announced 2006 as the “American year” and our activity program, which aims to acquire the portion we desire from the US market, primarily covers the period 2006 – 2008. Our strategy is focused on increases in export and it is “state-based” and “sector-focused”. We believe this approach will bring important openings to our exporters in the US market. (Issue: 23, January 2007)!


ISSUE 24

Luca Luca:

The Moment That A Star Shone ustrian writer Stefan Zweig's book "Moments When

Athe Star Shone" focuses on twelve names in world The decision not to use Yildiz Blackstone’s return ticket was the moment that "Luca Luca"'s star began to shine.

history and how certain moments affected the generally important roles they played in the past, no matter how short their times on "center stage" were. Zweig, who looks at such figures as Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Handel, Dostoyevski, Tolstoy, and Lenin, examines the moments which were decisive in making these names great. Zweig asserts that one such moment for Sultan Mehmet II, who conquered Istanbul, was when the Kerkaporta gates were left open by mistake, allowing the Ottoman soldiers to climb the ramparts into the city. Everyone has a moment in their life when their star must shine. Just like in Yildiz Yuksek Blackstone's life. Yildiz Yuksek Blackstone (Blackstone being her married name) was born in Alsancak, outside of Izmir, and graduated from Izmir's Dokuz Eylul University. She had always dreamed of living in America, and this dream came true when she went to the US, after graduating from university, to do master's work. She attended the New York Fashion Institute of Technology, taking classes in fashion. After graduating, she began to look for a job, but

when she couldn't find anything like what she had hoped for, she made plans to return to Turkey, where she would work with her family, who represented the famous Italian brand Benetton in Izmir. So, Blackstone packed up, sold her things, and even bought a plane ticket. But on the day her plane was meant to take off, she received a call from the Leslie Fey company, where she had earlier sent her resume. At the meeting, Blackstone said, "I have a flight to catch today, can you let me know your decision within the next two hours?" She got the job, and postponed her return to Turkey. The decision not to use her return ticket was the moment that "Luca Luca"'s star began to shine. For it was that moment that the future road was paved for the brand name of Luca Luca, which would go on to become a high end women's clothing and accessory line, with eight stores in four different states across the US. (Note: May 2008, Luca Orlandi, the founder and designer of Luca Luca, sold the business to a boutique investment firm, the Equitium Group. Y›ld›z Blackstone is still CEO & President of the company.) (Issue: 24, March 2007)! TurkofAmerica • 47


ISSUE 24

An Izm›r› Camel Herder ›n The W›ld West he US, which was victorious in the Mexican War bet-

Tween 1846-1848, added what are now the states of Sultan Abdulmecid II did in fact give Wayne and Parker two camels as a gift, arranging for the Ottoman side to pay for the two animals.

Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico to its lands. These new lands, which measured 529 thousand square miles, gained even more in importance when, in 1849, gold was discovered in the West. A whole new set of difficulties were presented to the federal government, in terms of new research groups to head out to the West, tranportation problems, and matters of land protection. Also, it was now necessary to be able to reach California from Texas. An idea on how to reach the West which had never occured to anyone before came to the mind of Defense Secretary Jefferson Davis: Camels. Davis managed to convince the US Congress to approve a 30 thousand dollar budget for the purchase of camels. It was decided that the "Camel Military Corps" would then be formed. But there were no camels at that time in the US. How would these desert animals be procured then? On

48 • TurkofAmerica

this front, the Ottoman Empire, which had fought the Russians during the 1850's in the Crimea, came to mind. And so in 1855, the US ship "Supply" set sail, with David Dixon Parker at its helm. Joining him was military Major Henry Wayne, who was to head up the brigade that would be formed with the camels to be purchased. Wayne and Parker examined the camels that had been used by the Ottomand in the Crimean War. They asked the Ottoman Sultan at the time, Abdulmecid II, to give them permission to buy the camels, and to donate them two camels as a gift. Sultan Abdulmecid II did in fact give Wayne and Parker two camels as a gift, arranging for the Ottoman side to pay for the two animals. The US delegation, having bought 33 camels in total from Turkey, returned to the US, landing at in February 1856 at the Texas Port of Indianola. On that day, nearly 100 camels, from Egypt, Mongolia, and Anatolia, set foot on US soil. (Issue 24 – March 2007)!


ISSUE 25

In the 1840s Cincinnati emerged as the soap-making capital of the US, primarily because the city was the center of the market of animal products, which were then key ingredients in the manufacturing of soap. By the year 1837 there were 17 companies, including Procter and Gamble, active in the city as soap producers. 50 • TurkofAmerica

A Tete-a-tete w›th the G›ants n 1893 Procter and Gamble spent $125,000 on the

Ipromotion of their new soap brand “Ivory”. In

1940, the so-called “big three” of Colgate, Lever, and Proctor and Gamble controlled 75 percent of the soap and detergent market. In 1962 the soap firms found themselves spending approximately $250 million in advertising. Turkey's first soap brand was Hac› fiakir, first produced in the second part of the 19th century in Crimea. In 1915 Hac› Ali Bey immigrated from Crimea to the Ottoman region, thereby transporting his soap-making company also. In 1987, Hac› fiakir passed from family ownership to a domestic business group. After a four-year period of such management, 67 per cent of the firm was initially sold in 1991 to the American company Colgate-Palmolive, followed later by the total sale of the company. Colgate, the company that bought out the Turkish brand Hac› fiakir, was formed by William Colgate in

1806 in New York, with the purpose of producing candles and soap. In 1906 Colgate attained a capacity of 300 different kinds of soap. In 1928 Colgate combined with Palmolive to become Colgate-Palmolive. In the second of half of the 20th century three soap brands were especially famous in Turkey: Hac› fiakir, Evyap, and Komili. Still the biggest independent soap maker in the world, Evyap is a giant of Turkish business, with 100 percent of domestic capital and ranking as a serious competitor on both domestic and international markets. Evyap was formed by Mehmet R›fat Evyap in the eastern province of Erzurum in 1927. Evyap moved his production to Istanbul in 1943. Evyap, which carries out the 70 % of the total soap exportation of Turkey, is among the top 100 Turkish industrial companies and is today run by a member of the third-generation, Mehmed Evyap. (Issue: 25, June 2007)!


ISSUE 26

Cologne- Müslüm Balaban is one Turkish restauranteur in Germany who will be remembered for a long time to come. Having lived in Germany for 40 years, Balaban opened his first restaurant in 1979, then opened “Bosphorus” in Cologne in 1982, followed by “Bongut” in 1985. Bosphorus is still run by Balaban's sibling.

The Grand Master of Gastronomy pon the wish of Hochtief, one of Germany's preconstruction companies, Balaban opened a restaurant named “Opera” in 1988 in Germany's then-capital Bonn. He sold the three previous restaurants and is preparing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Opera's opening. The restaurant still maintains a spot in the top five best restaurants of Bonn. When Bonn was the capital, Opera was the center of the political, artistic, and high-society scenes.

Ueminent

Balaban currently operates a beer garden in Leverkusen, the bar in the opera house of Bonn, the canteen in that building, and a 4200 square-meter relaxation center in the same city. He employs nearly 50 people in these endeavors. FROM SPITZ CAFE TO A MODERN RESTAURANT He is getting ready to open a new place with a 2.5 million Euro investment on Eren, one of Cologne's high

streets. The street, which has an 800-year history, spent 760 years of that time as home to the city's prostitutes. The street gained its modern-day status in the 1960s and the 870 square-meter location of Cafe Spitz has served well for 19 years as one of the important places to meet and be seen. Born in 1955, Balaban is an entrepreneur who has closely researched the practices of restaurants from around the world. Having witnessed the use of an open kitchen in New York, he implemented the same thing in his restaurant. He bought the furniture for the restaurant from famous French and Italian designers. With these modern tendencies, Balaban has contributed a certain type of air to the restaurant, which he summarizes by stating, “We have been living in Europe for forty years and we have to be modern.” (Issue: 26, August 2007)! TurkofAmerica • 51


ISSUE 27

Askew Makes Manufactur›ng Compan›es More Eff›c›ent ou could have the greatest product in the world,

Ybut if your company doesn’t have an effective In 1999, Turan Kahraman took over the management of Askew Industrial Corporation of which he is currently co-owner.

52 • TurkofAmerica

supply solution or inventory management systems, you could be losing out. Askew Industrial Corporation (US company) is a company that designs and implements inventory management systems and point-of-use supply solutions for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Askew helps its customers reduce their total cost of ownership while improving their manufacturing efficiencies and increasing their profitability. In 1999 Turan Kahraman took over the management of Askew Industrial. He spent much of his early career as a consultant for a large international corporation as well as many middle market companies. He currently serves as President and CEO of Askew Industrial Corp., an industrial production hardware distributor. Kahraman answered TURKOFAMERICA’s questions.

When did you come to the U.S. and what was the reason? In 1977, I graduated from Galatasaray Lisesi (one of the most renowned and influential high schools of modern Turkey.) At that time I was very much interested in studying abroad and furthering my athletic career as I had just broken the Turkish National Record for Discus the prior year. In the 1970s many world-class discus throwers were Americans. Through the assistance of American teachers from Robert College (which is the most selective independent private high school in Turkey), I was able to contact American universities and ultimately receive an athletic scholarship from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. (Issue: 27, December 2007)!


ISSUE 28

s a Californian clothing designer in my thirties, I’d

Atraveled alone on business to at least 40 coun-

tries worldwide. When I announced that I intended to travel solo in Turkey in 1998, however, I was bombarded with warnings from concerned friends about the danger inherent in my plan. I had been to ‹stanbul once before, and it had enthralled me. The city seemed to be San Francisco’s geographic twin with its proximity to the water, tall narrow wooden houses, precariously inclined streets, and modern bridges spanning windblown water. Opulent Ottoman palaces and mosques commanded the view, a sea of diverse faces bustled in colorful open air markets, and the ethereal call to prayer floated overhead while the beat of traffic pulsated on the streets. Visiting ancient landmarks, wandering narrow streets of the historic Sultanahmet neighborhood still nestled within crumbling Byzantine walls, I glimpsed the multitude of civilizations, the richness of cultures and the variety of people that had occupied this land bridging Europe and Asia. I felt compelled to return to ‹stanbul to explore both this former capital of empires, and the rest of Turkey which lay beyond in Anatolia, the peninsula of Asia Minor.

‘’I had been to ‹stanbul once before, and it had enthralled me. The city seemed to be San

So when I had the time to return to explore more of Turkey years later, I planned a month-long journey: arriving in ‹stanbul, but heading first to Konya, the origin of the Whirling Dervishes and burial place of Sufi poet Rumi, then farther south to the Mediterranean resort town of Antalya, and the nearby Taurus Mountains. There I would visit the legendary home of the Greek gods, a mountain once known as Olympus, before following the white cliffs of Pamukkale to the Aegean coast’s ancient GrecoRoman sites of Didyma, Ephesus, and Troy. Finally I’d travel though Bursa, center of the Ottoman Empire’s silk production, leaving a week to reacquaint myself with ‹stanbul.

Francisco’s geographic twin with its proximity to the water, tall narrow wooden houses, precariously inclined streets, and modern bridges spanning windblown water.’’

DANGERS OF TURKISH TRAVEL ©2007 by Catherine Salter Bayar. It first appeared in TALES FROM THE EXPAT HAREM: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey, ©2005 by Anastasia M. Ashman and Jennifer Eaton Gökmen. Published in English in Turkey (Dogan Kitap, 2005) and North America (Seal Press, 2006).

Dangers of Turk›sh Travel (Issue: 28, March 2008) !

TurkofAmerica • 53


ISSUE 29

The Three Horsemen of S›l›con Valley

nvestors were less reluctant to invest in early stage

Icompanies (start-ups). Many of the start-up companiTURKOFAMERICA bring together three important figures of the venture capital community in Silicon Valley: Bar›fl Karado¤an, George Nuray U¤rafl, and Ayd›n fienkut.

54 • TurkofAmerica

es changed and shaped the future of high tech industry; making venture capital the most crucial part of technology advancement and financing. Even though venture capital as an investment is growing virtually everywhere in the world, Silicon Valley has been in the lead since the 70’s. In 2007, venture capitalists invested $7.6 billion in San Jose and another $2.5 billion in the San Francisco/Berkeley area. In this special California issue TURKOFAMERICA will get insider information from three important figures of the venture capital community in Silicon Valley: Bar›fl Karado¤an, George Nuray U¤rafl, and Ayd›n fienkut. Bar›fl Karado¤an is a partner at Velocity Interactive Group who focuses on the internet and digital media investments. N. George U¤rafl joined Adams Capital Management in 1999 as a General Partner, from Apax Partners, a private equity firm in New York. Prior to joining Apax Partners, he was a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Co. in New York, working closely with clients in the telecommunications and media industries on strategic and operational issues for media and technology clients. Among the three gentlemen Ayd›n fienkut is the one

most frequently featured by the media in the US. He joined Google in 1999 as a Product Manager (he was employee number 37 – his official number is 63 but 37 is the actual number) to launch Google's first 10 international sites, its first online search licensing products and its first Safe Search. He then became the first International Sales Manager at Google, eventually closing deals with all of Google's strategic syndication partners in Asia. After Google’s IPO, fienkut cashed in his options and took some time off to rest and to decide what to work on next. He entertained other options in retail and the restaurant business only to come back to what he knew - the high tech industry. He founded Felicis Ventures, an angel investment firm in 2005. He has invested in over 30 companies, including Buzzlogic, Disqus, Dogster, Meraki, Mint, Shopittome, Yapta, Yume Networks, Venturebeat, Webs.com, and Weebly since then, pitching in between $25,000 to $100,000 at a time. I met with Bar›fl Karado¤an, George Nuray U¤rafl and Ayd›n fienkut for lunch at a restaurant in Palo Alto; we continued our conversation at Bar›fl’s office two blocks down on University Avenue. (Issue: 29, May 2008) !


ISSUE 29

Park›ng Lots ›n the Heart of the Bay Area here are 450,000 official vehicles in San Fran-

San Francisco – Those living in San Francisco face the same problem as residents living in

Tcisco, a city of 740,000 residents and 126.9 mil-

lion square meters (49 square miles). The San Francisco Transportation Agency owns 40 parking lots and 24,000 meters, which bring in a combined 30 million dollars a year. There are also privatelyowned parking lots. These publicly- and privatelyowned lots struggle to meet the parking needs of the city.

other expensive cities such as New York, Chicago, and Boston: finding that elusive parking space...

56 • TurkofAmerica

Businessman Cihat Eflrefo¤lu’s U.S. Parking, Inc. operates 30 parking lots and provides nearly 15,000 parking spaces for the city's downtown, which has 50,000 spaces in all (outside of the spaces large hotels provide). Eflrefo¤lu's American adventure began in 1989, when he followed his girlfriend from Turkey to the US. He was engaged to her for ten years, after which he married her in 1999.

STATTED WITH 80 CAR CAPASITY Using money from his family, Eflrefo¤lu began his parking lot business with a bid for a prime location in the center of the city. Within time, the 80-car capacity parking lot he bought in 1993 became too small for his needs. He increased the capacity to 250 cars. After 15 years and bid upon bid, he now owns more than thirty lots in the San Francisco Bay Area. The following are all parking lots operated by U.S. Parking, Inc.: CalTrans Transbay Terminal, San Francisco´s Financial District, Moscone Center, AT&T Park, San Francisco Giftcenter and Jewelrymart, the Federal Building, Golden Gate University, San Francisco Department of Public Works, Alliant International University, San Francisco Shopping Center, Westfield Shopping Center, and Momo´s Restaurant Valet Service. (Issue: 29, May 2008)!


ISSUE 30

Vienna – The story of the Macro Group began in a small grocery store. Hüseyin Ünal from Yozgat, who came to Austria as a worker, met the halal meat needs of various neighborhoods in Vienna. The adventure, which started by selling the meat of 30 lambs per week, has now turned into a company with a revenue of 90 million Euro.

The Largest Turk›sh Food Company ›n Austr›a:

The Macro Group

nal, with seven friends, started the wholesale

Üfood and marketing business in 1985 under the name of Aksoy. When his friends gradually quit the business the company was left to Ünal.

He started the halal meat business in Austria in 1990, first by buying around 300 live lambs per week from Czechoslovakia and Poland to sell only in his own markets. When demand increased, he began importing 1500-2000 lambs per week from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Rumania, Bulgria, England and Ireland for halal slaughtering by his own butchers In 1991, after getting authorization for halal slaughtering, he initiated it for livestock in the Vienna Municipality Slaughterhouse. He began to produce halal meat products in 1992. The Macro Group buys livestock, slaughters and sells to wholesale markets and also produces Etsan salami, frankfurters and sucuk (spicy sausages).

Since their wholesale food space in Vienna’s No. 10 district was small, the Macro Group bought a building with about 3000 square meters of usage area in Vienna’s wholesale market and became the largest wholesale food company in Austria. Ünal, in addition to the wholesale food business, opened the first supermarket under the name of Etsan in 10th District Vienna in 1997. Presently, the Group has 13 supermarkets in Vienna, varying between 600-1200 square meters in size, as well as three furniture stores. Hüseyin Ünal, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Macro Group, which has 150 employees in wholesale food, meat production and marketing sectors, plans to raise the Group’s 90 million Euro revenues to a total of 130 million Euro by the end of 2008. (Issue: 30, September 2008)! TurkofAmerica • 57


ISSUE 31

TURKOFAMERICA asked Turkish businessmen, who feel this crisis very closely, about their expectations for 2009, the effects of the election of Barack Obama as president, and the precautions taken in their companies.

58 • TurkofAmerica

How W›ll Bus›nessmen Surv›ve Dur›ng the Global Cr›s›s? n February 7, 2007, the Reuters News Agency

Osent its subscribers a seven sentence news

item. The news item said that the subprime and risky loans of British-based HSBC Holdings had reached 10.5 billion dollars in 2006, and that this was more than 20 percent over what the analysts had been expecting. HSBC was the first bank to announce such a high loss. Subprime mortgage credits triggered the global crisis. Following this, New Century Financial, which was one of the biggest lenders of subprime mortgages in the USA, declared bankruptcy. As the crisis that had begun in February

2007 began to grow with a snow ball effect, financial institutions like Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual Bank, and Wachovia were wiped off the board. How has this crisis that has enveloped the world affected the businessmen living in the USA and in Europe? TURKOFAMERICA asked Turkish businessmen, who feel this crisis very closely, about their expectations for 2009, the effects of the election of Barack Obama as president, and the precautions taken in their companies. (Issue: 31, January 2009) !


ISSUE 32

mong the immigrant ethnic groups in the U.S.,

Athere have always been people who dedicated

themselves to the people of their home countries. They become worried when their compatriots are worried, they become sad when they are sad. They help without any expectations in return. They are concerned about helping their people, not their own benefit, despite the capitalist system. They could adapt to the cycle and make millions to have a comfortable and trouble-free way of life, just like many of their co-workers. Instead they choose to conquer the hearts of their people. They do not play cheap games like getting a “Lifetime Achievement Award” award after donating a couple of thousand dollars to some businessman’s foundation. They are not in the media aimlessly. They do not have their pictures published in magazines. One of these people is Zeki Uygur, whose name is mentioned with respect and gratitude by many Turks in New York. We had been planning to tell his life story after the interview we would have with him. Melda Akansel, who helped a lot with this edition, arranged an appointment and saw Zeki Uygur in his office. Dr. Uygur politely refused Melda’s interview request. He had thought she was one of the Turks in need of help. He said, “Let’s sit down, I will talk, we can chat but you are not allowed to use it in the magazine.” Zeki Uygur does not like talking about himself.

As we felt it was a binding duty to tell about the national treasure of the Turks in the U.S., this gentleman of Istanbul, TURKOFAMERICA asked his close friends and fellows about Dr. Zeki Uygur.

As we felt it was a binding duty to tell about the national treasure of the Turks in the U.S., this gentleman of Istanbul, TURKOFAMERICA asked his close friends and fellows about Dr. Uygur. As they told us about him, we enjoyed the opportunity to get to know this great treasure of Turks in New York. (Issue: 32, March 2009) !

Dr. Zeki Uygur:

A Treasure for Turks ›n New York TurkofAmerica • 59


ISSUE 33

Governor Paterson Welcomes Turk›sh Investors Iof the crucial issues on which Governor Paterson led

University of New York has a very strong relationship with Turkish universities and 1700 Turkish students are studying at SUNY campuses. The Turkish students alone who study at SUNY contribute approximately $50 million to the New York State economy yearly.

To accomplish his strategy, Governor Paterson pays a great deal of attention to New York State’s lag behind other regions. Under Governor Paterson’s leadership, Albany, Buffalo and Niagara Falls met with the largest foreign trade mission in New York's history, 60 representatives from 39 different countries. Another trade delegation will be visiting Long Island next fall.

Due to the business and educational potential of Turkey, the relation between Turkey and New York States keep growing warmer. Last January, Governor Paterson sent his senior advisor for international commerce, Sam Natapoff, to Adana, Turkey to explore its business potential. Governor Paterson has long been aware of the importance of Turkey’s business potential, but this needs to be improved upon by Turkish organizations and businesses.

n his first speech as Governor, on March 17, 2008, one

Since David Paterson became governor, New York State has faced enormous political challenges, from the state’s budget gap of more than $4 billion to the state’s worst

the charge for New York’s future was the putting forth of a statewide renewable energy strategy to harness the power of the sun and wind.

To make New York more open to foreign-based companies, Governor Paterson desires to bring more international companies to New York State and he wants to welcome more Turkish companies to New York State as well.

fiscal crisis since the mid-1970s.

60 • TurkofAmerica

New York State is not only important for Turkish companies for doing business, but also a good market for Turkish students. As Governor Paterson stressed, the State

Governor Paterson wrote an open letter to Turkish investors in which he stated, “Our links with Turkey are strong and long-standing. We work closely with the Turkish Consulate in New York City to help new Turkish firms succeed here.” (Issue: 33. June 2009)!


ISSUE 33

Hakki Akbulak found out that his brother Erdogan had a malignant tumor. He asked him to come to the U.S. for treatment. When he persuaded him,

A Bless›ng ›n D›sgu›se

ridgeport, CT - “A blessing in disguise,” is the

Bbest phrase to describe Hakki Akbulak’s busi-

ness adventures in the U.S. Akbulak, a Turkish born businessman, left Turkey when he was 17 to attend a college in Germany, become a CPA, then started to work for KMPG, a global network of professional services firms providing audit, tax and advisory services. He moved to the U.S. to work for KMPG’s U.S. branch. While he was building his career, he felt something was missing. When he moved to Germany, his brother Erdogan was 12 years old and they were not able to spend time together as he wished.

he made a promise as well: “If he recovered, I would quit my career as a CPA and start a new company with him.” 62 • TurkofAmerica

Everything started to change in 1990. Hakki Akbulak found out that his brother Erdogan had a malignant tumor. He asked him to come to the U.S. for treatment. When he persuaded him, he made a promise as well: “If he recovered, I would quit my career as a CPA and start a new company with him.” Erdogan survived and Hakki kept his promise and founded AKDO in 1990.

They decided to work together, but what could they do as a business? The Akbulak brothers researched what products they could import from Turkey to the United States. Hakki Akbulak settled on natural stone and within a short while granite, marble, limestone, travertine and slate became the brothers’ passion – imported not only from Turkey but from 25 other countries as well. He remembers those first two years of business by saying that “The stone industry was in the Stone Age and dealing with people was not easy.” (Issue:33, June 2009)!


ISSUE 34

The present size of the Jewish community is estimated to be around 22,000. The vast majority live in Istanbul, with a community of about 500 in Izmir and other smaller groups located in Adana, Ankara, Antakya, Bursa, Canakkale, Kirklareli etc.

The 517-Year-Old Journey of Turk›sh Jewsfrom the Iber›an Pen›nsula to the Present t midnight on August 2, 1492, when Columbus

Aembarked on what would become his most famo-

us expedition to the New World, his fleet departed from the relatively unknown seaport of Palos because the shipping lanes of Cadiz and Seville were clogged with Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain by the Edict of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain. The Jews forced either to convert to Christianity or to "leave" the country under menace "dare not return... not so much as to take a step on them not trespass upon them in any manner whatsoever" left their land, their property, their belongings, all that was theirs and familiar to them rather than abandon their beliefs, their traditions, their heritage. In the faraway Ottoman Empire, one ruler extended an immediate welcome to the persecuted Jews of Spain, the Sephardim. He was the Sultan Bayazid II. In 1992, the Discovery Year for all those connected to the American continents - North, Central and South world Jewry was concerned with commemorating not only the expulsion, but also seven centuries of the Jewish life in Spain, flourishing under Muslim rule, and the 500th anniversary of the official welcome ex-

tended by the Ottoman Empire in 1492. This humanitarianism demonstrated at that time was consistent with the beneficence and good will traditionally displayed by the Turkish government and people towards those of different creeds, cultures and backgrounds. Indeed, Turkey could serve as a model to be emulated by any nation which finds refugees from any of the four corners of the world standing at its doors. In 1992, Turkish Jewry celebrated not only the anniversary of this gracious welcome, but also the remarkable spirit of tolerance and acceptance which has characterized the whole Jewish experience in Turkey. The events that were planned - symposiums, conferences, concerts, exhibitions, films and books, restoration of ancient synagogues, etc - commemorated the longevity and prosperity of the Jewish community. As a whole, the celebration aimed to demonstrate the richness and security of life Jews have found in the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic over seven centuries, and showed that indeed it is not impossible for people of different creeds to live together peacefully under one flag. (Issue: 34, October 2009)! TurkofAmerica • 63


MELIH ABDULHAYOGLU

The Secur›ty of the Internet Is ›n the Hands of A Turk

“You can’t promote a safer online environment if you sell $60 antivirus programs to users who have $300 computers. It sounds like selling a car and then asking for $3000 a year to change its oil,” said Abdulhayo¤lu.

Melih Abdulhayoglu, the owner of Comodo.

64 • TurkofAmerica


s the Internet continues to become an ever-bigger part of our

Alives, security concerns are increasing. The world’s second

biggest Internet security company belongs to a Turkish businessman from Hatay, Melih Abdulhayo¤lu. He is the owner of Comodo, which has 700 employees in five offices around the world and an annual growth rate of 50%. We are proud and pleased that his first interview in the Turkish media has been given to TURKOFAMERICA. The company he started in 1998 in a small office in England is now listed right after Verisign as the second biggest digital SSL certificate provider. Unlike most players in the antivirus products market like Norton, Panda, McAfee, TrendMicro or Kaspersky, he offers Internet users a free anti-virus product, Comodo, arguing that you cannnot set up a successful business enterprise without establishing Internet security. Abdulhayo¤lu studied in Hatay until university and went to college in England after his below average performance at high school. He studied Electrical Engineering at Brandon University and said, “My biggest dream was to be an electrical engineer and now my hobby is actually my job.” THE BIGGEST TURKISH EMPLOYER He constructed his first electrical circuit at the age of 13 and he started Comodo in 1998. The company name was inspired by the komodo dragon, a reptile that attacks its preys through strategic thinking. Currently, Comodo now operates in China, Romania, India, Britain, and the USA, with more than 700 employees, and Abdulhayo¤lu is the biggest employer among Turkish businessmen in the US. Having an idealistic approach to Internet security, he offers free anti-virus programs and reaches one million new users each month. Unlike McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, TrendMicro or Panda that are sold at a certain price, the free Comodo program aims to create a secure online environment for everyone with its slogan,

“Creating Trust Online.” Abdulhayo¤lu created a business model that he profited from by selling anti-virus programs to corporate entities so that he could offer free programs to individual users. “You can’t promote a safer online environment if you sell $60 antivirus programs to users who have $300 computers. It sounds like selling a car and then asking for $3000 a year to change its oil,” said Abdulhayo¤lu. He said his company’s yearly 50% growth was a unique success in the online market and they planned to grow further by acquiring various European firms that specialize in Internet security. Comodo does not have an office in Turkey but operates in Romania, which has one of the most rapidly-expanding Central European economies. Married with two children, Abdulhayo¤lu and his wife are expecting their third child. He loves football and supports Arsenal in England and Besiktafl in Turkey. He was chosen as “The Enterpreneur of the Year” by Ernst&Young in 2008 and is not interested in selling his company. According to him, success depends on one’s decision to give up and move on when necessary. His advice to young people who would like to start their own online business is to be insistent on their objectives and never give up. He explains why the company headquarter is in New Jersey, rather than Silicon Valley, based on two reasons: “First, companies that are based in Silicon Valley are in need of the technology produced there. However we produce our own technology. Second, New York is the center of the world right now. But you can’t have such a beautiful view in New York. So we ended up in New Jersey.” !

“Fast and reliable accounting, tax and audit” Dr. NEVZAT YILMAZ, YMM OZAN BACAK, CPA

3 Hudson St. (Corner of 565 Clifton Ave.) Clifton, NJ 07011 All kinds of corporate establishment, business consulting and tax return Book keeping – payroll

I N C O M E

T A X

Tel : (973) 777 7723 Fax : (973) 777 7783 Cell : (201) 918 0207

Our office in Turkey is available.

P r e p a r a t i o n

TurkofAmerica • 65


‹ST‹KBAL

The F›rst Turk›sh Shopp›ng Mall ›n the US new shopping mall in the United States will bring to-

Agether many Turkish companies from various sec-

The shopping mall can include almost ten stores in its 100,000 square foot space. Once it is launched, the project will offer employment opportunities for 50-100 people.

tors in one place. The project has been planned since 1999, and the proposed shopping mall will have a 35,000 square foot Istikbal furniture showroom, as well as nearly ten different Turkish stores and companies in the food, textile, souvenirs and medical/law categories. According to the project manager, Mehmet Bilici, the shopping mall, which is named Turkish Mall, is 100,000 square feet in size and will be opened soon. It is planned to be located in an area that is highly populated by Turks as well as various European ethnic groups. “Istikbal stores are visited not only by Turkish people, but also Europeans (Polish, Ukraine, Albanian), Russian and Middle Eastern (Arab, Jewish, Assyrian) customers. Therefore, other entrepreneurs at the shopping mall can benefit from our potential customers and we are happy to provide them this opportunity,” said Bilici. He said it would be convenient for customers to find all the Turkish stores they needed in one place. He said currently Istikbal products were sold at almost one thousand sales points in the United States. He answered some of TURKOFAMERICA’s questions. Can you give us a brief history of Istikbal in the US? We first introduced Istikbal products to American consumers in 1999 through a partly retail network. In 2001, Sunset company and Istikbal brand came together for a serious, professional and modern distribution network in the US. Istikbal first presented its living room arrangements and couches to American consumers. Soon the Turkish couch, known as ‘Click Clack’ in the US, replaced the American futon.

Are you distributing your products throu ugh your own store or using other distribution channels? Our products are sold online through the biggest retail outlets in the US, such as Walmart, Target, and JCPenny. Therefore we rely on them for distribution. 66 • TurkofAmerica

In how many different sales points can Isstikbal be found in the US? You can find Istikbal products in more than one thousand different points in the US, from Miami to Boston, Chicago (Illinois) to California. Additionally, in Clifton, New Jersey where there is a big Turkish community, we have a 35,000 sq. ft. store and serve our consumers the richest collection of Istikbal products. Finally, everyone in the US can use our website, www.Istikbalusa.com. In Paterson, New Jersey we have another company called Sunset International that manages the wholesale operations in a 20,000 square meter warehouse and office building. From this point, we distribute to seven states, mainly New York and New Jersey, through our transportation facilities. Our two main selling lines are “Next Day Delivery” and “Customer Satisfaction is the Biggest Value”. Can you talk more about your target group and their consumption patte erns? This is the most important issue we are dealing with right now. The United States is a huge country and densely populated. The majority of the population is composed of ‘White Americans’, which is not a homogenous group in taste and shopping patterns. Additionally, the consumption behavior of Americans is completely different than that of Europeans and Turks. Unlike Turkish taste, Americans prefer bigger, more comfortable, softer and more highly designed products. Therefore it is critical to analyze the market and define the right needs of the consumers. In a market with various preferences on the consumer side, it is important to offer different colors and designs customized to different habits to stay competitive. Can you tell us more about your new investment in Clifton? In this shopping mall, located in the busiest street of Clifton and Paterson, where Main Avenue and Number


46 highway intersect, we offer consumers every Istikbal product that can be found in Turkey. We are also renovating the building to create a ‘Turkish Mall’ in which Turkish companies can start their businesses in food, restaurants, textiles, etc. The shopping mall can include almost ten stores in its 100,000 square foot space. Once it is launched, the project will offer employment opportunities for 50-100 people. To learn more about the shopping mall project, please call 201-315-0646 or 973-772-8500 or email info@mainplaza46.com What should be expected in the US furniture sector in 2010 in the aftermath of the crisis? Since mid-2007, we have seen the most severe economic crisis of the last 30 years. Although its visible impact was in the real estate and finance sectors, the furniture sector was affected as well. Following the crisis, Americans’ consumption habits were transformed and the Consumer Confidence Index dropped dramatically. Therefore, consumers started spending more carefully. Instead of luxury products, there is an emerging tendency to prefer functional products that can be bought on sale.

What is your future objective in the US market? Despite the economic crisis, the US is the biggest exporter in the world. In fifteen years, the population is estimated to be four hundred million and there is an established consumption culture. Therefore it is an important market for us. Now that we are more familiar with that market, we plan to produce the right products to meet consumer needs, thereby increasing our market share. What is your advice for survival in a highly compettitive market? In the US, 80% of durable consumer products are exported mainly from China because of its lower costs. Therefore the market is very competitive because it is very easy to see cheap copies of your products on the market. However, the quality cannot be copied, and we constantly renovate our products, so we managed to survive in the market. Additionally, the key to success and healthy growth is to have a good, professional and qualified group of people who are keen on teamwork. Moreover, it is critical to adapt to changing conditions in the market following the crisis. To increase efficiency and to minimize cost are key elements in survival. !

Mehmet Bilici in Istikbal’s New Jersey showroom.

TurkofAmerica • 67


THE MARMARA MANHATTAN

The Iron Lady of The Marmara ›n New York

here are 420 hotels that are in New York and ranked by TripAdvisor. The Marmara Manhattan, which had initially been opened in 1989 as a condo and been providing extended stay services since 1998, is on the 64th place of these 420 hotels. (October 27th, 2010) Even if this ranking were to change, The Marmara always maintains it place within the first seventy. Eighty seven percent of those who stay in the hotel are willing to recommend it and fifty percent describe it as a ‘perfect’ place to stay; the Marmara Manhattan is located on the intersection of 2nd Avenue and 94th Streets and since its rooms are larger than the average hotel in New York, it is able to provide its customers a larger and more comfortable place to stay in. The total sizes of the 109 rooms of this hotel is larger, in camparison, than the total of 334 hotel rooms in New York’s standards. The one room units are 600820 square feet, two rooms units are 1100 square feet, and the three rooms units are 1450 square feet large; the average size of the hotel rooms in New York ranges between 225 square feet and 265 square feet. Although the Marmara Manhattan have opened its doors to short term stayers recently, eighty percent of its customers are long-timers.The reason for each customer’s long stay is different than the other. Among them, some are traveling for work or visiting the city while others stay here due to other reasons such as renovating their house; having a flood or fire in their house in New York; staying away from home during a divorce phase; coming to New York for receiving health care or for giving birth.

T

The TripAdvisor.com, one of the most well known websites in the world, is used by travelers to get information about restaurants, hotels, flights, and housing; and it also ranks the firms through voting.

Some of the special promotions that the Hotel provided have been covered in the media many times and also been broadcasted national television channels such as ABC. Two of such special promotions were designed for those who were to stay in the hotel due to a divorce or to give birth in the city. SHE HAD STARTED HER CAREER 18 YEARS AGO The General Director of the Marmara Manhattan Nur Ercan Magden is a 1986 graduate of Ankara Kolej and she has been a team member of the Marmara for 18 years. Mentioning that their most important goal is to be able to show the hotel’s visitors the hospitality of Turkish culture, Magden says their hotel is full seventy percent throughout the year. A graduate of the Hacettepe University’s English Language

68 • TurkofAmerica

and Literature department, Magden also received acceptence for graduate school in a university in Los Angeles. Magden had started his career 18 years ago a representative at the Marmara Hotel in Taksim, Istanbul and her position then was a temporary position for three weeks. As the three weeks long position turned into a five years long work experience, Magden’s next stop in her career was with Kiska, a partner firm of the Marmara Group with headquarters in Ankara. She was transferred to Kiska in order to develop new projects in the Southeastern provinces of Turkey under the framework of the Southeastern Anatolian Project and she opened the first ancient hotel of Urfa, Edassa, as the General Director. She was then assigned to open the Marmara Bodrum. Megden came to the US in the year of 2000 and for some time she did research to see possible job opportunities. In the year 2003 she took the responsibility of marketing and sales of Marmara Manhattan in North and South America. And in 2008 she began her position as the general director. Concentrating more on online marketing of the hotel, Magden says they will continue to grow in New York. The Kiska Group is planning to build a second hotel in the place of the seven building on Lexington Avenue, which were bought prior to being demolished. COMMENTS ABOUT THE HOTEL From Cinnaminson, New Jersey, Mort Rubinstein, MD says ‘This is a very nice suit having all of the necessary kitchen appliances from refrigirator to dishwasher and the pots. It also has a large living room with a TV and a large bathroom. You can have all of these for a very reasonable price in New York. We will definitely come back and recommend it to others as well’ ‘This hotel with its affordable prices and high quality of service, is a great opportunity for those traveling. With our two young kids, we stayed in a large room of the Marmara. The service was very friendly and geniune. The hotel also has a great advantage of location since it’s close to the museums, Central Park, restaurants, and shopping centers’ ‘I am a New Yorker who was born in New York and I now live in China. I come to New York often to visit. The Marmara is a real home for me since I am away from my house. I can not stay in another city in New York.’ !


ADVERTISERS

TURKOFAMERICA ADVERTISERS IN EIGHT YEARS Apparel & Carpets & Money Stores Arcade Currency Palace – Tarpon Springs, FL Asia Minor Carpets – New York, NY Fenerium – Istanbul, Turkey Sarar – New York, NY Associations & Institutions & Organizations American Turkish Associations Assemble – Washington, DC Business Center Dortmund – Dortmund, Germany Hazelnut Promotion Group – Istanbul, Turkey IMMIB – Istanbul ,Turkey Istanbul Chamber of Commerce – Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency Izmir Chamber of Commerce – Izmir, Turkey Izmir Development Agency – Izmir, Turkey Turkish American Business Association AmCham – Istanbul, Turkey Turkish Coalition of America – Washington, DC Turkish Cultural Center – New York, NY Turkish Cultural Foundation – Washington, DC Turkish Exporters Assembly – Istanbul, Turkey Turkish Leather Council – Istanbul, Turkey Turkish Textile Employers’ Association – Istanbul, Turkey Automotive Dealerrs BCG Motors - Arlington, VA King Motors – Little Ferry, NJ Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich - Greenwich, CT Rosental Jaguar - Vienna, VA VOB BMW - Rockville, MD Automotive Repair & Services Gibraltar Transmissions - Staten Island, NY Tip-Top Autoaufbereitung - Neuss, Germany Banking & Financial Services Cowan Financial Group – New York, NY Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank - Fort Lee, NJ J.P. Turner & Company - Melville, NY Money Gram T.C. Ziraat Bank New York Branch – New York, NY Western Union – Montvale, NJ Vakifbank International AG - Vienna, Austria Vakifbank New York – New York, NY Beauty and Personal Care George Four Seasons SPA Salon – Washington, DC Gural Sapanca Wellness Park – Kutahya, Turkey O Salon – Washington, DC Taylife Detox & Wellness Center Tara Salon – Washington, DC Consttruction & Manufacturing & Building CN Wire - Norwalk, CT Florida Quality Group of Companies Pompano Beach, FL S.A. Halac Iron Works, Inc. - Sterling, VA Say Yapi Teknoloji - Silivri, Tekirdag TAV Airports – Istanbul, Turkey Educational Services Bahcesehir University – Istanbul, Turkey Ugur Education – Istanbul,Turkey 70 • TurkofAmerica

Electronic & Liqudiation Amerturk, Inc. - Santa Clara, CA Rapid Conn - Foothill, CA Food Ari Edible Oil Processing Balikesir, Turkey Avrasya Doner Kebap – Koln, Germany Baktat - Mannheim, Germany Bey Doner GmbH – Essen, Germany Ece Olives – Vienna, Austria Efe Firat Etnich & Organic Foods Karmez Doner - Frankfurt am Main, Germany The Rücker Company - Aurich, GermanyOnur Group – Vienna, Austria Orkide Olive Oil – Izmir, Turkey Oz Kayseri Pastirami - Hofheim, Germany Yurt Konserve - Istanbul, Turkey d Stores Food Ak Market - Paterson, NJ Amish Fine Food - New York, NY Amity Grocery - Fairfax, VA Foodies - New York, NY Oliva Bar - New York, NY Ta-Ze Olives & Olive Oil – Chicago, IL Zeytinia N.Y. Gourmet Choice – Atlantic City, NJ Zeytuna - New York, NY Free Zones ESBAS - Izmir, Turkey Evyap Port – Körfez , Kocaeli Port Isbi – Famagusta, Cyprus ISBI – Istanbul, Turkey Government Tourism Ministry of Turkey – Ankara, Turkey State of Indiana – Indianapolis, IN State of New York – Albany, NY Health Services Accurate Diagnostic Labs - Edison, NJ Balancee Physiotherapie – Dortmund, Germany Capital Health – Trenton, NJ Dr. Huseyin Tuncel – Brooklyn, NY Dr. Taner Turkes – Carry, NJ Dr. Ulas Bozdogan – Hackensack, NJ Hospital For Special Surgery – New York, NY Park East Gynecology & Surgery – New York, NY Pflegezentrum Cakir Health Center - Bönen, Germany Semra Coskuntuna, Psychotherapy – New York, NY Holdings Celebi Holding – Istanbul, Turkey Evyap – Istanbul, Turkey Ece Banyo – Corum, Turkey Macro Group – Vienna, Austria Sanko Pazarlama – Istanbul, Turkey Silkar Group – Istanbul, Turkey Home Furniture, Furnishings, nd Equipment an Cilek Furniture – Istanbul, Turkey Meyan Furniture – Carlstadt, NJ Istikbal Furniture – Clifton, NJ

Hotels & Resort Charisma Hotel - Kusadasi, Izmir IC Hotels – Antalya, Turkey Kum Beach - Cesme, Turkey Movenpick Hotel Istanbul – Istanbul, Turkey Orient Express Hotel – Istanbul, Turkey Ritz-Carlton Hotel – Istanbul, Turkey The Marmara Manhattan – New York, NY The Sofa Hotels & Residences - Istanbul, Turkey Jewelry – Diamond Benchmark - Tuscaloosa, AL Gilan – New York, NY Goldas – Istanbul, Turkey Halach Gold – New York, NY Istor – Istanbul, Turkey Marlboro Diamond Plaza – Marlboro, NJ Polat Gold – Istanbul, Turkey Sade Is Jewellery – Istanbul, Turkey Unique Settings of New York – New York, NY Law Firms Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP – New York, NY Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C. – New York, NY Elkhalil & Associates, LLC - Atlanta, GA Ellis, Ged & Bodden P.A. - Boca Raton, FL Gur Law Firm – Istanbul, Turkey Haker & Ozisik LLP – New York, NY Iskender Cemaletin Law Firm – New York, NY KLF Law Firm – New York, NY Marouf Law Group, PLC - Los Angeles, CA Nizamian & Nizamian Law Firm - Los Angeles, CA Limo & Car Services Kismet Limo – Teaneck, NJ Teaneck Car Service – Teaneck, NJ Media & Media Marketing DFH Network - Santa Ana, CA Turkavenue.com – Edgewater, NJ Turkishny.com – Brooklyn, NY Direct Media Marketing - Los Angeles, CA Natural Stone, Marble, Granite, Glass AKDO - Bridgeport, CT Graniser Tile Kitchen Bath - Alexandria, VA Lucky Glass - Astoria, NY MHFS Group - Miami, FL Ravini Marble - Aventura, FL Sefa Stone - Miami, FL Tremertas – Life’stile UTA-USA LLC - Jersey City, NJ Online Stores & Portal Best Turkish Food - East Dundee, IL Mega Bakkal – Santa Ana, CA Mezun Cicek Mezun Group - Hallandale Beach, FL Istanbul.com – Istanbul, Turkey Tulumba Online Store - Brooklyn, NY Performance Art & Visual Arts Pera Museum – Istanbul, Turkey May Fest – New York, NY Dunya Music Inc – Boston, MA


Duygu Kivanc – Alexandria, VA Fire of Anatolia – Istanbul, Turkey Printing, Publishing, And Allied Industries Nettlebery Publishing – Istanbul, Turkey Promat Printing House – Istanbul, Turkey Professional Services onsulting, etc) (Translations, Accounting, Co Ajans Press Media Monitoring – Istanbul, Turkey Askew Industrial Corp. Los Angeles, CA Bacak LLC – Clifton, NJ Firmam ABD’de – New York, NY Islamic Funeral Services – Brooklyn, NY Royal Cert Belgelendirme – Istanbul, Turkey Turkish Link - New York, NY Real Estate Acar Enterprises, LLC – Miami, FL Loan Star Mortgage, Inc. – Boston, MA Atakan Camadan, Realtor – Miami Beach, FL Century 21. Realty, Yesim Ozel – Cliffside Park, NJ Turan Tombul Realtor - Falls Church, VA Fairmont Funding - Staten Island, NY MMC Mortgage & Refinance - NJ Restaurant – Café – Bar Ali Baba Restaurant – New York, NY Bistro Med - Washington, DC Hammerstein’s Café-Restaurant-Bar-Köln, Germany Kofte House – Fairview, NJ Istanbul Restaurant – Brooklyn, NY Maksim Mediterranean Cuisine - Hempstead, NY Masal Café – Brooklyn, NY

Pera Restaurant – New York, NY Pita House - Patchogue, NY Samdan Restaurant - Creskill, NJ Star Restaurant - Fairview, NJ Tablo Restaurant - Essen, Germany Toros Restaurant – Clifton, NJ Turkish Kitchen – New York, NY Turkish Cuisine & Bakery - Chicago, IL Turkish Cuisine - Cliffside Park, NJ Uncle’s Place – Cliffside Park, NJ Veranda Turkish Cuisine - Brooklyn, NY Tobacco Products CAO Cigars - Nashville, TN Transportation By Airr Delta Airlines – Atlanta, GA Turkish Airlines – Istanbul, Turkey Lufthansa – New York, NY Transportation Services Asik International - Howard Beach, NY EMS Internationale Speditons Transport GmbH Dormagen, Germany Gokbora Air & Ground World Transport – Istanbul, Turkey MTS Logistics – New York, NY Nex Worldwide Express - New York, NY Tulair International Corp. - Jamaica, NY Turkish Airlines Cargo – Istanbul, Turkey Turkon Line - Secaucus, NJ Travel Agencies & Yachting Agency Alp Travel – Paterson, NJ

Cornucopia Princess - Port Amboy, NJ Club America Travel – New York, NY Hatsail Tourism & Yachting Agency - Istanbul, Turkey Mavi Travel – Cliffside Park, NJ Picasso Travel – New York, NY TGI Vacations – Cliffside Park, NJ VIP Tourism – Istanbul, Turkey Telecom & Telecommunications & Software Development Avea – Istanbul, Turkey AMS Voice – Edgewater, NJ AIT Telecom – Albany, NY AT & T – New York, NY Better World Telecom - McLean, VA Dunya Telekom - Wind Gap, PA GlobalTel GmbH – Köln, Germany Mezun Calling Card - Hallandale Beach, FL Rhxo – Edgewater, NJ Telenity - Monroe, CT Turkiyem Video – Paterson, NJ Textile & Apperal Calik Denim – New York, NY Coach Leatherware – New York, NY Exsa Americas, Inc New York, NY HoneyBee & Me – New York, NY Macin Tekstil - Istanbul, Turkey Sentefil Textile – Gaziantep, Turkey Wholesale PGI Prestige Group – Passaic, NJ Juice & Cheese, Inc - NJ

TurkofAmerica • 71


SUCCESS STORY

The Turk›sh K›ng of L›mous›nes eaneck, NJ - After learning the secrets of Turkish

Tcuisine, his dream was always to open a restau-

rant. He was a very talented and hard working man who looked for a bright future for himself. After working eight years in various Turkish restaurants as a head cook, he changed his career from the culinary arts to the sea. Being a sailor was joyful job as a young man and he worked 10 years from port to port in different countries. He traveled to over 40 countries, even though he did not like any of them, and experienced diverse cultures, but he was still seeking a challenge.

Currently Kayhao¤lu has 88 limousines in his fleet. Operating out of a 5000 square foot facility, Kismet Limousine serves the corporate market in the New York metropolitan area.

72 • TurkofAmerica

When he was a 26-year-old man, his mother encouraged him to go to the United States. Most mothers want their children to keep close to them but his case was different. “She was concerned about my life. She did not want me to work as a sailor at sea,” he says. The story of Emin Kahyao¤lu, owner of one of the biggest limousine companies owned by a Turkish American on the East Cost of the United States, started in 1986. When he learned that a pizza delivery boy made $250 a week in Philadelphia, he changed his mind and back to his ship. “I was making much more money. Why should I waste my time in a pizza job,” he says. After 8 months, his second visit to Philadelphia he decided to move to New York with his friends. “I traveled to New York on a cold winter night by train.”

Every new job was more difficult than the previous one. Kahyao¤lu’s next job was in a bakery. He used to work every day from 3am to 12am for $290 weekly. Once again, his working experience at this job was not more than a year. BORROWING MONEY FOR DRIVER’S LICENSE FEE At that time, he finally got his driver’s license. He still remembers that he had no money to pay the driver’s license fee to the Motor Vehicles Bureau. He borrowed $20 from someone whom he did not know. With a driver’s license, he started to work for a bakery as a driver. After tireless days and nights, it was time to visit his family and he went to Turkey. When he came back to the U.S., his new job was in a gas station, as many newcomers have done, and his new life began with a new career in New Jersey. After working a couple of weeks, he said to his boss: “Working as a gas boy is not my job. I will look around for another job. If I do not find anything, I will come back.” His boss smiled and said: “You will come back.” He was irritated and replied, “I will not.” Kahyao¤lu worked for an Italian sanitation company and collected garbage but his destiny was the same, he had to quit the job.

In the first days of his New York adventure, he made a job appointment with a relative who had gas stations in Long Island but the owner of the stations did not show up. He stayed with seven roommates in Kings Highway, Brooklyn for a while. “I had to find my own way. I found a job in Brooklyn as a butcher,” Kahyao¤lu tells us.

“THEY FORCED ME TO DO LIMO BUSINESS” In those days, a shopping center was looking for employees for its food section. He filled out the form and applied as a dishwasher. When the manager reviewed his resume, he asked why he was applying for a dishwasher position, as he could do better. “First give me a chance to work as a dishwasher. If you like my work, you can promote me,” he replied.

He had butcher experiences in Istanbul and used to sell meat to ships. He only worked for a month as a butcher since he had a fight with his colleagues.

He became head cook of the food section in six months. When he worked as a cook, he bought a 1992 model town car for working part time. He got


Emin Kahyaoglu, President of Kismet Limousine, has 88 limousines in his fleet.

involved with the limo business and the company offered him a full time job, but later they changed their mind. If had started to full time work for the company, he probably would never have had his own limo company. Kahyao¤lu smiles and says, “They forced me to do limo business.” He started to transport hotel customers. His first corporate client was Clinton Inn Hotel in Tenafly, NJ. “With the help of my friend at the hotel, I start to serve famous people.” While watching Jeopardy, the world-famous American television quiz program, he saw a contestant give Kismet as the answer to a question, and the word Kismet inspired Kahyao¤lu. He named his

company Kismet Executive Limo in 1993. Kismet Limo made a big leap in the 2000’s. In 2001, the company had 52 cars in its fleet but the September 11 attacks shook the company. The company got back on its feet quickly. Currently Kahyao¤lu has 88 limousines in his fleet. When he is asked that there is any other big Turkish owned limousine company in New York metropolitan area, he says Pegasus Limousine, founded by Cengiz Tafldemir in 1995. Operating out of a 5000 square foot facility, Kismet serves the corporate market in the New York metropolitan area. Kahyao¤lu adds with a smile,: “If you see Kismet Turkey soon, don’t be surprised.”! TurkofAmerica • 73


FORT LEE FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK

A Bank Born Out of Turk›sh-Greek Love:

Fort Lee Federal Sav›ngs Bank

Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank’s three story building on Main Avenue, Clifton in New Jersey.

Having started their endeavor with a moderate size bank in Fort Lee ten years ago, Kostakopoulos couple says that they owe their strength in the face of economic crisis and mortgage crises to a planned and conscious strategy. 74 • TurkofAmerica

ort Lee Federal Savings Bank’s second office is

Fopening in Clifton, New Jersey. Operating in Fort

Lee, New Jersey for the past ten years, the Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank will have the official opening of its three story building on Main Avenue, Clifton within the following days. The Bank is also preparing to transfer its first office to a new building they bought in Fort Lee.

Yasemin Koyunoglu, the only Turk owning a bank in the US, and her husband Dr. Haralambos (Bob) S. Kostakopoulos opened the doors of their new center to the Turk Avenue. Decorating their new office with nearly sixty marbling art pieces selected from the collection of marbling artist Kubilay Dincer of Turkey, the Kostakopoulos couple designed their floors with Turkish rugs. Having started their endeavor with a moderate size bank in Fort Lee ten years ago, Kostakopoulos coup-

le says that they owe their strength in the face of economic crisis and mortgage crises to a planned and conscious strategy. The co-president of the Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank Yasemin Koyunoglu Kostakopoulos says, ‘What is important is not the number of banks; how much business you do. We took our steps slowly but sustainably.’ Not being impacted by the ‘subprime mortgage’ crisis that has spread all around the world due to the fact that they did not have these types of investments, Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank have been able to grow their business through the credits they loan to many Turkish businessmen in New York and New Jersey. Mentioning that they will present the credits that are supported by the Federal Housing Administration to customers wanting to buy a house, Dr. Haralambos S. Kostakopoulos asserts that these credits, which


are supported by the state 97%, are ideal for those who would like to own a house.

Dr. Haralambos (Bob) S.Kostakopoulos.

THE JOURNEY THAT BEGAN IN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Gaining a respected reputation in the banking sector, the Kostakopoulos couple’s paths have met at Columbia University. Koyunoglu had studied International Relations in graduate school and received a M.Phil in Economics and an A.B.D; and she also was the founder and first president of Turkish Students Organization of Columbia University. Her dream was to complete her doctorate degree and become a professor. She completed all preparation for her thesis however when marriage with her spouse, whom she met with at school, came into place, she postponed her plans. Kostakopoulos says ‘I thought I could attend school and raise my children at the same time but my children Defne and Can have become my Ph.D thesis.’ The family tree of Yasemin Koyunoglu is full of names that have marked great successes from Ottoman times to today’s Turkey. Yusuf Pasha, who is the grandfather of Koyunoglu’s mother, is a Sufi coming from Mevlana’s family. Yusuf Pasha used to compose Classical Turkish Segah music; he was one of the viziers of Sultan Abulaziz and also his reed flute instructor. Yusuf Pasha had chosen his spouse Emine from among the girls that were in the Harem, with the permission of the Sultan. The father of Koyunoglu’s grandmother Sadiye Hanim had been a Mullah in Egypt during the Ottoman era. He was brought to Istanbul to translate the Quran and made married to the fourteen years old Bulgarian migran Safiye Hanim. Koyunoglu’s grandmother from her dad’s side was Fatma Koroglu, who came from the Koroglu family and was one of the first woman graduates of the Istanbul University. Another elder family member of Koyunoglu who was interested in music was her grandfather Celalettin Iyison. The orchestral conductor and the virtuoso, the grandfather was also the first music instructor in Istanbul giving violin, piano, harmonica, and reed lessons. The grandfather of Koyunoglu, Ibrahim Koyunoglu, was among the successful businessmen of Turkey. He was one of the first entrepreneurs who came to Istanbul from Eregli, Blacksea, and built the first harbor in Halic for his own cargo ships. When Ibrahim Koyunoglu had passed away at an early age, Yasemin Koyunoglu’s father Serafettin Koyunoglu, who was then attending school in US, took over the running of the business. Serafettin Koyunoglu had studied engineering in Robert College and got his Master’s Degree on mechanical engineering and ship design and manufacturing at the University of Southern California. Koyunoglu’s mother Vedia Koyunoglu is a graduate of Ankara and Istanbul conservatoire who had received education in singing and piana and who is passionately devoted to music. Vedia Koyunoglu, who also used to play the piano for Ataturk when she was young, has composed many pieces. Yasemin Koyunoglu says she loves the ‘Lamentation for Ataturk’ composition of her mother among all. Her compositions have received the permission of the Ministry of Education to be presented in schools. And a few years ago she was awarded by the Provost of Istanbul, who used to be one of her students.

DR. HARALAMBOS OF SOKE Yasemin Koyunoglu’s close working partner and husband Dr. Haralamos S. Kostakopoulos used to work at Merrill Lynch as an economist at the Head of Quantitative Research department and then he transferred to the Atlantic Bank as the President and CEO. Underlining the insistence of his spouse for this transferring move Dr. Kostakopoulos says ‘If she weren’t to insist maybe I wasn’t going to transfer to Atlantic Bank. And my career as an academician would have been continuing somewhere.’ Dr. Kostakopoulos’s was an executive for Atlantic Bank with $400 million stock and growing it to $1.3 billion. After leaving Atlantic Bank, Dr. Kostakopoulos bought his first bank, the First Savings Bank at the Little Falls of New Jersey. And later on he sold this bank and founded the Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank in 2000 with his spouse. Dr. Kostakopoulos’ mother is originally from Soke, a town and a large district of Ayd›n Province in the Aegean region of western Turkey, and his family settled in New York in 1968. The first person to have come to US from his family was his uncle. Having fled from poverty in Greece in 1910 and come to US, his uncle had run a restaurant in Chicago and earned a great deal. He had lost his wealth during Great Depression and returned Greece in 1966. The stories Dr. Kostakopoulos used to listen to from his uncle and the gifts he used to receive inflicted the American Dream to his mind. In the year of 1968, this time Kostakopoulos’ family settles in New York and runs a business almost in the value of a few restaurants. Kostakopoulos went to Soke to see the land that his mother, who moved to Greece from Soke during the commutation in 1922, grew up in. Spending their vacation time in Turkey and Greece equally while their family is still alive, the Kostakopoulos couple stays at their house at Buyukada during the summer time with their friends. ! TurkofAmerica • 75


DR. ULAS BOZDOGAN

Turk›sh Gynecolog›st Inv›tes Mothers to G›ve B›rth ›n New Jersey

botic Surgery at Ohio State University and is the first and only Turkish gynecologist who uses robotic surgery in his specialization. He also trains residents who want to specialize in the same area. Although mothers from Turkey usually prefer New York to give birth in, Bozdo¤an thinks living and environmental factors are very critical for pregnant women. “In the midst of traffic, noise, and chaos, a pregnant woman can be stressed out very easily. New Jersey has many advantages in terms of living and medical costs over its very close neighbor, New York”, said Bozdo¤an. He added that Manhattan and Northern New Jersey, separated only by the Hudson River, shared a closeness like that between the Asian and European sides of Istanbul.

Dr. Ulas Bozdogan puts his 10 years of experience in gynecology to use in a new office in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Depending on the hospital and location, the average cost of giving birth in the US is around 7-10 thousand dollars, which is not very different from Turkish rates.

76 • TurkofAmerica

pproximately 4.1 million babies are born in the United States every year. With a ratio of 2.1 children per woman, the birth rate is higher in the US than in Europe and Canada. According to the National Census Report of 2000, the number of immigrants’ children who were born in the US is 28.4 million.

A

Immigrants, who make up 10% of the whole population, inspire their relatives to give birth in the US. By spending millions of dollars, eventually they could enjoy the benefits of American citizenship eventually. The average cost of giving birth in the US is around 7-10 thousand dollars. For families who prefer New York and New Jersey, accommodation and transportation costs, in addition to medical expenses, create a big burden. Dr. Ulafl Bozdo¤an puts his 10 years of experience in gynecology to use in a new office in Hackensack, New Jersey, which is 25 minutes away from Manhattan. He studied Ro-

Dr. Bozdo¤an stressed there was no big difference between giving birth in a private hospital in Turkey and in the US. Depending on the hospital and location, the average cost of giving birth in the US is around 7-10 thousand dollars, which is not very different from Turkish rates. In addition to hospital costs, accommodation, living expenses and consulting costs should be taken into account and the total cost ends up being at least twenty five thousand dollars. One of the critical issues for families who come to the US in order to give birth is the validity of their health insurance. Dr. Bozdo¤an said that it would depend on the terms and appointments of the relevant insurance and varied from one company to another. He added the hospital he worked for offered a special 20% discount for patients who come from abroad and they worked with health insurance companies located in New York and New Jersey. ULAfi BOZDO⁄AN He was born in Adana in 1973. He graduated from Istanbul University Medical School in 1997 and completed his residency at Süleymaniye Research Hospital in 2002. He worked at Department of Reproductive Endocrinology of Yale School of Medicine as a post-doctoral fellow. Between 2004-2008, he specialized in obstetrics and gynecology at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. Following his training in robotic surgery at Ohio State University, he specialized in robotic minimal invasive surgery and was certified to train resident doctors in robotic surgery. Bozdo¤an is the first and only Turkish gynecologist to work in this field. Married to Asl› Bozdo¤an, he has two children, Bora and Kaan. !


TURKISH AMERICAN TV IN WASHINGTON, DC

The Longest-Runn›ng Turk›sh TV Program ›n the U.S. n the Washington, DC area, a group of Turkish professional volunteers started airing the first “Turkish-American Hour” show in September 2005. Since that time, they have produced over 60 programs. They received the Community Access Magic (CAM) Award in the International Category from Prince George’s County Community TV (PGCTV) two years in a row, in 2007 and 2008. The leading name of Turkish American TV, Hurriyet Ok, at the same time works at the World Bank. Ok answered TURKOFAMERICA’s questions.

I

In five years, Turkish American TV has produced nearly 60 English-language programs and 30 Turkish-language programs. These programs are aired by local community TV stations in most counties in the greater Washington DC area, potentially reaching two million cable television subscribers.

How was Turkish American TV born? We originally came up with the idea of broadcasting a TV program in 2004 to share the concert videos of the Turkish Music and Choral Society in Washington DC, and to make them available to the wider community. We then attended “Public Access TV” production courses and started airing our first “Turkish-American Hour” show in September 2005. Prejudices against Turkey and Turks were also influential for us in producing programs in English first. Even if the prejudice is not as deeply rooted and as strong as in Europe, nevertheless there is a stereotypical perception about Turkey and Turks in the United States. Therefore, our English programs mostly feature Turkish culture, music and art. Two years later, in 2007, we launched another program, called TAT, in the Turkish language. TAT programs feature Turks living in our community in the U.S. and their life stories, enabling people with Turkish heritage to get to know each other. How many programs have you produced up to now and how manyy people have watched your programs? In five years we have produced nearly 60 English programs and 30 Turkish programs. These programs are aired by local community TV stations in most counties in the greater Washington DC area, potentially reaching two million people who are cable television subscribers. Our programs are also available on the Internet through our free streaming video service. The majority of our online viewers are from all over the USA, Canada, Turkey, Europe and even Australia! Our Turkish-speaking audience is more interested in programs related to their lives in the United States and special

events such as 23 Nisan and Turkish Festival celebrations. Americans and English-speaking viewers are more interested in documentaries covering historic and tourist areas of Turkey, pop music videos, and cooking shows, such as recipes for “Tas Kebab”. Can you talk about your achievements? We received the Community Service award from the American-Turkish Association of Washington, DC (ATA-DC) in 2007, and the Community Access Magic (CAM) Award in the International Category from Prince George’s County Community TV (PGCTV) two years in a row, in 2007 and 2008. We work very hard to create quality TV programming. While we are embracing the spirit of volunteerism, we are very happy to be recognized and respected as a media organization in our community. Could you give us some information about public-access television? Most of the large counties in US have non-profit public access TV facilities open for any resident to broadcast any program of their choice. There is a small yearly membership fee and the studio facilities are generally free for resident producers. The producers are responsible for their program content, and therefore there are not many strict rules on the subjects covered. The public-access TV station may review submitted programs prior to airing, mainly to check that they do not contain commercial messages, since they are non-profit organizations. How many people work with you? We are a team of volunteers who have diverse backgrounds and occupations. Although about seven people are regularly involved with production and operations on a part time basis, we are very fortunate to have many more volunteers who love what we are doing and dedicate their time and talent as often as they can to prepare quality programs month after month. We are also grateful to have generous sponsors who support us financially as underwriters or with in-kind service to help us continue our programs and services.!

The leading name of Turkish American TV, Hurriyet Ok (at left) is with his team members.


SPECIAL THANK TO

SPECIAL THANKS TO Adem Ar›c› – Partner of Amish Markets

Koray Y›lmaz – Partner of AKM Partners

Ali Ç›nar – Connecticut Representative

Kürflad Tüzmen – Minister

Ali Do¤an – Owner of Ali Baba Restaurant

Levent Yan›k – Consultant

Ali Günertem –Washington, DC Representative,Advisory Board Member

Leyla fien – Journalist

Ara Alboyacian – Businessman

Lincoln McCurdy – Advisory Board Member

Ayhan Kay – Photographer

Mahmut Topal – General Manager of Çal›k USA

Ayla Toker – Marketing Manager

Mehmet Akif Ersoy – Art Director

Ayflegül Akyarl› – Los Angeles Representative

Mehmet Ali Özkan – President of Ajans Press

Ayfle Önal Zambo¤lu – San Francisco Representative, Writer

Mehmet Çelebi – Advisory Board Member

Ba¤lan Altuntu¤ - Writer

Mesut Darendeli – CEO of Rhxo

Barbaros Karaahmeto¤lu - Lawyer

Muharrem Kay›l› – IMMIB Research&Development Department- Chief

Barbaros Tapan – Los Angeles Representative

Murat Yalç›ntafl – President of ‹stanbul Chamber of Commerce

Bar›fl Akbulut - Writer

Mustafa Merç – General Manager of Turkon Line

Burcak Akduman – Sarar USA General Manager

Muzaffer Kahyao¤lu – Art Director

Bülent ‹nal – Sales Representative of BMW VOB

Naim Güleryüz – Researcher, Writer

Caner Aver – Researcher at TAM

Necdet Köseda¤ – Senior Photographer

Cano Özgener – Founder of CAO Cigars

Neriman Yüce – Texas Representative

Cem fiahin – Staff

Nevin Sanl› – Partner of Sanl› Pastor & Hill

Cengiz Ermifller – Businessman

Nuri Özyurt – Turkey Representative

Cenk K›vanç – President of Creative Republic

Nurten Yalç›n Erüs - Reporter

Coflkun K›rl›o¤lu – IMMIB General Secretariat

Ozan Bacak – Accountant

Demet Cabbar – Writer

Ömer Önhon – New York Consul General (2002-2006)

Ebbie Ashabi – Businessman

Patricia Russo – Editor

Egemen Ba¤›fl – Minister

P›nar Özçelik – Sales Person

Ekmel Anda – CEO of Unique Settings of New York

Sami Eyübo¤lu – Arkansas Representative

Ersagun Yücel - TAV Airports Holding General Secretary

Selçuk Türe – General Manager of ISBI

Ersoy Y›ld›z – Rochester, NY Representative

Serhat Aligil – Researcher

Faruk Lolo¤lu – Ambassador

Sevil Özifl›k - Lawyer

Faruk fien – Director of TAVAK

Sevin Ötgünç – VP of Picasso Travel

Feridun Y›lmaz – General Coordinator of TURKOFAMERICA

Sinan Ertu¤rul – Austria Representative

Gönül Göze – Art Director

Sinem Ertafl – Art Director

Güler Köknar – President of Turkish Cultural Foundation

Süheyl Yekenkurul – Australia Representative

Güney Adak – Businessman

fiahap Gizlen – TURKOFAMERICA Writer

Hakan Özçilingir – CEO of Nex Worldwide Express

Tahir Erimli – Executive Manager

Hakk› Akbulak – Founder & CEO of AKDO

Taflk›n ‹nan – Ohio Representative

Halim Özyurt – Technician

Türker H›d›rlar – Businessman

Harun Sevimli, President of Amerturk, Inc.

Ufuk Afl›k – President of Asik International

Hüseyin Bayram – Owner of Toros Restaurant

U¤ur Terzio¤lu – President of TABA

Hüseyin Özyurtçu – Owner of Picasso Travel

Ural Yeflil – Editor-in-Chief of Forum Newspaper

Ilgar Peker – Owner of Turkish Kitchen

Yasemin Koyuno¤lu – Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank

‹skender Cemaletin - Lawyer

Yasin Ya¤c› – Holland Representative

‹smail Hakk› Ercan – Businessman

Yüksel Akça – Trade Attaché

‹smail Uslu – General Manager of Mavi Travel

Zeynep Güven –Editor

John Driscoll - Lawyer

Zübeyir Kaya – ‹maj ‹ç ve D›fl Ticaret !

78 • TurkofAmerica


PEOPLE AND TURKOFAMERICA

Aram Güleryüz, Director.

Faruk Lolo¤lu, Washington, DC Ambassador to Turkey (2002-2006).

Ay!e Önal Zambo¤lu with three important figures of the venture capital community in Silicon Valley: Bar›! Karado¤an, Ayd›n "enkut, and George Nuray U¤ra!.

Dan Burton, Congressman from Indiana.

David Paterson, New York Governor.

The late actress Derya Arba!.

Ertu¤rul Günay, Tourism Minister of Turkish Republic.

Eddie Bernie Johnson, Congresswoman from Texas.

Hasan "a!, Former soccer player of Galatasaray FC.

Güler Sabanc›, President of Sabanc› Holding.

Ferit "ahenk, President of Do¤u! Holding.

Kemal Dervi!, former President of the UNDP.

Kür!ad Tüzmen, former State Minister of Turkish Republic.

Byron W. Brown, Mayor of Buffalo.

TurkofAmerica • 79


PEOPLE AND TURKOFAMERICA

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City.

Virginia Foxx, Congresswoman from N. Carolina.

Robert Wexler, former Congressman from Florida.

Steve Cohen, Congressman from Tennessee.

Prof Lawrence DeNardis, the Emeritus President of University of New Haven.

Muhtar Kent, President & CEO of Coca Cola.

Sertab Erener & Demir Demirkan.

Terry McAuliffe, Candidate for Governor of Virginia.

Süleyman Demirel, 9th President of Turkish Republic.

Sam Natapoff, Senior Advisor of New York Governor.

Zafer Ça¤layan, State Minister of Turkish Republic. CAO & TURKOFAMERICA event in Istanbul.

The late renown businessman Sak›p Sabanc›, President of Sabanc› Holding.

80 • TurkofAmerica

Abdullah Gül, President of Turkish Republic, former Foreign Minister.


Volume 8 Issue 37 - 8th Anniversary Special Issue  

TurkofAmerica celebrates its 8th anniversary with Sezen Aksu U.S. Tour and great issue. The issue combines all covers in eight years.

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