Turkish Americans in communities spanning the nation gathered together to mark the 88th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. Following in the aftermath of the tragic earthquakes and terror attacks in Turkey, the somber commemorative events were attended by several Members of Congress. The Turkish Association of Northern Texas was honored to have House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL/18th) participate in their Republic Day event. In attendance at the Turkish American Cultural Alliance of Michigan's ball were Representatives Gary Peters (D-MI/19th) and Hansen Clarke (D-MI/13th). Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH/15th) took part in the Turkish American Association of Central Ohio's event and Congressman Earl Perlmutter (D-CO/7th) participated in the commemoration by the Turkish American Cultural Society of Colorado. On the West Coast, Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA/43rd) joined the American Turkish Association of Southern California and Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA/7th) joined the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington in honoring the Turkish Republic's founding. In the nation's capital, the American Turkish Association of Washington, DC gala commenced with special remarks by Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD/4th) and Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO/3rd). Several senior Congressional staffers also attended the DC event on behalf of their Members.Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY/10th) and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY/11th) attended the official Turkish Republic Day ceremony in New York. A senior staff member represented Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY/28th) at the Turkish Society of Rochester's event.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released a statement of best wishes commemorating the 88th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. In her statement, Secretary Clinton stated, "The United States and Turkey share a long history of friendship and cooperation based on shared values and interests. In this year of historic change in the Middle East and around the world, our partnership is more important than ever. From combating global terrorism and regional threats like the PKK and improving the security of Afghanistan with our NATO Allies and partners, to strengthening economic growth and enhancing people-to-people ties between our nations, the United States and Turkey are working together to promote peace and prosperity for more people around the world." Please read the full statement here.