• Sat Dec 3rd 2011

The Second Annual Turkic American Alliance (TAA) Convention was held in Washington recently. The day- long event was an opportunity to discuss the new challenges, and avenues for partnership between Turkiye and the US.

Mehmet Simsek, the Turkish Minister of Finance was present with a delegation of parliament members from Turkiye, and US Senators and Congressmen represented the US as panel discussions dominated proceedings.

Mehmet Simsek emphatically stated, " The relationship between Turkiye and the US is based on common values and common interests. It has never been so good. Our relationship is on solid ground."

Turkiye's new foreign policy as well as the future of US-Turkiye relations were discussed with optimism and energy.

Scott Brown, US Senator, Massachusetts opined, " I think it's important to see the differences, but we are citizens of the world and we must find a mutual respect for each other."

Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, Turkiye is seen as a secular, peace-loving and progressive country in the region.

Peter King, a New York Congressman spoke highly of Turkiye's support during the Cold War and subsequent steps taken by the country, to expand its sphere of influence.

" Turkiye's geography, culture and history show us it's a perfect bridge between the east and west, and an important partner in the search for peace and prosperity," stated Jim Moren, US Congressman, D.C.

There was consensus across the board, that Turkiye was a key economic partner to the US and its perfect location and strong democracy make it a force to reckon with in the region.

Mike Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvanian Congressman added, " We are here to discuss the Turkish economy, which is a great example, as well as opportunities for trade and job creation. There are shared values and goals between us."

A gala reception ended the day with exotic Turkish fare on offer and artists displayed their finesse in calligraphy and Ebru art- a technique using colored dyes to fashion beautiful patterns on paper.

The Turkic American Alliance is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote cultural understanding of Turkiye in the US and further relations between the countries.

The convention that is in its second year, is an attempt by the Alliance to create a confluence of global leaders and decision makers, a mosaic of culture and history.

The Turkic American Alliance announced the annual convention was a resounding success with the bonhomie seen between representatives from both countries.

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