"Each time I visit Turkey, I'm reminded what an important friend and ally Turkey is and I continue to be astounded by its history, diversity and welcoming people."-Congressman Ed Whitfied (R-KY),Co-Chair of the Congressional Study Group on Turkey.
Over the past 3 years, the Congressional Study Group on Turkey has brought together Members of the U.S. Congress and Members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly for a series of discussions on issues of mutual concern. Every year, a delegation of U.S. and Turkish parliamentarians meet with one another in Turkey or the United States. This year's Seminar took place from May 25- June 1, 2007 in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey. The Seminar is an opportunity for Turkish and American legislators to discuss issues pertinent to the transatlantic and bilateral relationship. From the House of Representatives, Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-KY), Co-Chair Congressional Study Group on Turkey, Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Rep. Stephen Cohen (D-TN), and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) participated in the seminar.
Topics for this year's agenda included US-Turkish military cooperation, interfaith dialogue, and the Middle East. In addition to current and former lawmakers from the United States and Turkey, participants included representatives from the U.S. Administration, the Turkish government, and the business and academic communities of both countries. The seminar participants had meetings with high level Turkish government officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul. In addition to a meeting with Turkish non profits, the Turkish Cultural Foundation's Istanbul office hosted the delegation for a luncheon and a lecture on Turkish art and culture by Dr. Nurhan Atasoy, Scholar in Residence at TCF.
The Turkish Coalition of America has become a sponsor of the Seminar and of other programs by the Turkish Study Group for 2007/2008.