The United States has attracted people in search of a share of ‘the American dream’ from all corners of the world. Because of the fact that the United States’ history is one of immigration, American society has often been described as a ‘melting pot’ or a ‘cultural mosaic’.
Composed of citizens from Central Asia, Anatolia and Balkans, the Turkic American community has a unique place in the United States of America as part of its cultural mosaic.
The Turkic American community became visible in the American Society after the 1960s. From its early arrivals till today, members of the community have founded their organizations in order to preserve their own culture while helping new comers with their integration process. New York, Metro DC, Chicago and Los Angeles were amongst the first cities that attracted thousands of Turkish Americans.
As we approached the 21st century, collapse of the Soviet Union and the economic reforms in Turkey after the 1990s gave birth to a new wave of Turkish population in the United States. Mostly academicians, doctors, and engineers, people from every walk of life pursued their dream by benefiting from tolerant, welcoming and friendly, as well as the prosperous American Society.
The Turkic American community first founded small cultural centers to address the needs of the community, such as weekend schools for their children, ESL classes for the adults, festivals for the community at large to share the beauty of the Turkish culture.
As the Turkic American community grew in size, so did the scope, number and type of the organizations serving the community. In the beginning, it was only small cultural organizations… Later, private schools, dialog centers and business associations have been formed to serve the community in different areas of their social, cultural and economic life.
While our schools have been educating the youth with ethical standards, values, and knowledge that every citizen of the 21st century needs to become a successful member of their communities, dialog centers have been bringing people of different faiths together for greater respect and understanding. Cultural centers have been organizing events to showcase the richness of our culture, whereas businessmen associations have been strengthening the economic ties between countries and bringing the gap among businessmen of different countries. As the local organizations founded by the Turkic American Community had grown in numbers; in 2009, these organizations gathered under six regional networks, which we called federation or council to better coordinate these efforts.
Now, there are 6 federations in the United States; the Council of Turkic American Associations with 43 members organizations serving communities in New York and surrounding states; the Mid-Atlantic Federation of Turkic American Associations with 31 member organizations serves communities in the Washington D.C Metro area including Virginia and Maryland; the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians serving communities in Texas, Arkansas, and the neighboring states with 58 member organizations; the Turkic American Federation of the Southeast with 16 member organizations serves communities from Georgia to Florida, the Turkish American Federation of Midwest is serving communities in Illinois, Indiana, and other states in the Midwest region with 39 member organizations, and last but not least the Western America Turkic Council with 31 member organizations serves communities on the west coast from the Washington State to Arizona.
However, a broader, nationwide alliance on Capitol Hill was still missing to convene those federations and councils.
As a result, Turkic American Alliance (TAA) has been initiated for better coordination of join efforts among more than 200 organizations all around the U.S. In that way, a new enterprise was established in Washington D.C on May 12, 2010 with the Grand Gala Opening Reception at the Williard InterContinental hotel near to the White House, Turkic American Alliance, which will enhance the work of regional federations and councils of the Turkic-American organizations. More than 50 US Representatives, 7 US Senators and several Ambassadors alongside of the members of Turkic American Community have given a start up to the works of Turkic American Alliance at this wonderful Reception. Turkic American Alliance’s new headquarters is located in Washington D.C. with a beautiful view of the US Capitol Hill.
Turkic American Alliance is a non-government, not-for-profit organization established under the 501(c) 3 laws within the United States with the sole purpose of promoting cultural understanding. The Alliance is established as a broader umbrella organization for federations, councils and similar entities which bear the qualities and share the objectives of establishing closer relations with the Turkic American community and the community at large and also with the members of other ethnic communities in the United States.