March 13, 2013

TAA holding annual Turkic American Convention in Washington

The Turkic American Alliance (TAA), the largest national Turkic organization in the US, is holding its third annual Turkic American Convention in Washington, D.C., on March 12-13 in cooperation with the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON).

Faruk Taban
TAA President Faruk Taban
Speaking at a press conference, Faruk Taban, the president of the TAA, which represents six regional federations and over 200 community associations, cultural centers, business associations and educational institutions in the US, said the major themes at the convention this year will be issues regarding energy, trade and innovation.

Taban said the organization aims to bolster cooperation between the US and the Turkic republics in the field of energy.

Noting that the US has a keen interest in the energy resources of Central Asia, Taban said the TAA aims to bring the issue to the table for discussions over what can be done in the face of the fact that Russia and China are also eying the resources in the region.

TUSKON President Rızanur Meral, whose organization is partnering with TAA to host the convention, says the goal of the gathering is to raise awareness on the importance of US-Turkish relations and to explore opportunities in the field of energy and trade in Turkey. He also noted that Turkey's economic relations with the US are short of their potential and that by supporting the convention TUSKON hopes to create momentum in bilateral economic cooperation. “TUSKON gives great importance to ties with the US,” Meral added.

Meral also said they expect that the convention will create a kind of interaction and communication that would contribute to the settlement of the Armenian dispute, which is a headache for Turkey every year, and would be worsened by 2015, the centenary of the so-called Armenian genocide perpetrated during World War I.

Meral pointed out that TUSKON sent over 400 businessmen from Turkey to various states in the US last year in order to seek cooperation in a number of fields.

Underlining that the organization received very positive feedbacks over previous events and conventions, Taban said the organization set the bar high and that this year's convention will be more successful than previous ones.

The program is expected to host ministers and politicians from Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan and ambassadors of the countries that have representation in the TAA. The event, which will host panel discussions with participants from seven countries, is sponsored by Ziraat Bankası, Halkbank, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), Today's Zaman, Turkish Airlines (THY) and Turkish Review.

Last year, 59 members of the US Congress, including eight senators, were among the over 700 guests at the convention. Taban said the TAA expects a larger representation from Congress this year.

Published on Today's Zaman, 12 March 2013, Tuesday

Related Article 
TAA to hold annual Turkic American Convention in Washington
Blogger Wordpress Gadgets