ATLANTA (February 8, 2013) - Resolutions recognizing the work of Istanbul Center, the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce (TACC), the Turkic-American Federation of the Southeast (TAFS), and the Turkish-American communityin the Atlanta area were passed by both the Georgia State Senate and House of Representatives today during the 4th Annual Turkish American Day at the Georgia Capitol on February 7, 2013.
Representatives from the Turkish Parliament and a governor from the Turkish Ministry of the Interior as well as a business delegation from the Antalya Entrepreneurial Businessmen Association in Turkey were also in attendance. Turkish Parliamentarian Hami Yildirim from the Burdur District addressed the Senate after the passing of the resolutions, expressing his gratitude for the Senate’s recognition of the “burgeoning relationship between the State of Georgia and the Republic of Turkey and... the work of Turkish Americans here in Georgia as they work to foster this relationship.” Fatih Han Unal, another Turkish Parliamentarian, spoke to the House of Representatives, stating that Istanbul Center, TACC, TAFS, and the Turkish-American organizations being recognized by the resolutions, had “worked tirelessly to ... [build] cultural, educational, and economic bridges between individuals, businesses, and organizations.” He also stated that “these connections are growing ever stronger.”
Turkey's Honorary Consul General to the State of Georgia, Mona Diamond, then addressed those gathered in the South Wing of the Capitol, attesting to the strength of the ties between the State of Georgia and the Republic of Turkey. Ms. Diamond stated that after taking Governor Deal, Mrs. Deal, and numerous other Georgians on a trade mission to Turkey, business transactions have increased between Turkey and the State of Georgia, especially regarding the film industry. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal then addressed those gathered and affirmed the importance of the relationship between Turkey and the State of Georgia. According to Governor Deal, the Turkey and the State of Georgia is something to “cherish and continue to grow." Governor Deal was then presented a decorative vase from Turkey by the Turkish delegations in attendance. In a reception following the passing of the resolutions, over 100 senator and representatives welcomed the Turkish delegations in the presence of several members of the Georgia House and Senate and presented them with Georgia pins worn by many legislators in the Capitol. Senators, Representatives, and guests then enjoyed Turkish food and Turkish art displays, which included art pieces from Turkish-American artist Pamir Thompson’s collection and a paper marbling demonstration by artist Ayse Bakay.