Meeting with MATA is a Great Experience!
My name is Direnç Kadıoğlu. I am working as a Legal Consultant at the Law Office of Timur Edib, located in Rockville, MD. We have been working on the community’s legal issues for 20 years. I want to share my recent experience with the Maryland American Turkish Associa- tion (MATA). Previously, I heard many positive remarks about MATA and I recently had the pleasure of attending one of their many delightful happy hours, on November 13th, at the Rudy’s Mediterranean Grill & Diner restaurant. I felt the welcoming environment as soon as I stepped into the room, where I met, for the first time, the organization’s board members, general members and guests, many of whom come from diverse backgrounds.
I had a chance to meet MATA’s president Cennet Köse Rivera, a friendly and smart Turkish woman who is very attentive and informa- tive about the organization’s purpose and activities. She introduced me to the MATA community and invited me to the organization’s fu- ture events. MATA welcomes everyone who wants to develop strong bonds between the Turkish and American communities by providing cultural insights.
MATA offers a forum between both Turkish and American communities to exchange various aspects of their cul- tures such as language, education, food, and social activities.
Founded in 1964, and incorporated in 1967 as a federal non-profit, MATA has encouraged and facilitated both Turk- ish families and American families to come together and work as one for a better future. I have already met many families who contribute to the MATA community, and have enhanced my relations with many others.
It is motivating to see MATA events bring companies and future employees to connect, network and inspire future generations.
Finally, I congratulate Cennet and other members for giving their best efforts to enhance the community ties between all Turkish and American generations. Thank you all for your warm welcoming, I look forward to attending future events.
(Friend of MATA; February 2016)
New Board of Directors for 2016-2018 Term
On April 17, 2016 Maryland American Turkish Association (MATA) held its annual general meeting and elections for the new term 2016-2018 at the Savage Howard County library. Following a brief count of votes, the new Board of Directors was announced as follows:
- President: İdil Hasbay
- Past President: Cennet Köse Rivera
- Vice President: Ahmet Demiroğlu
- Secretary: Müge Türkman
- Treasurer: Uğur Erickson
- Director: Aynur Karvan
- Director: Hülya Daniel
- Director: Mert Kayan
- Director, At Large: Aslı Smith
- Director, At Large: Berna Sherlock
It was a successful meeting with a lot of emotions as we said farewell to the old Board of Directors, and welcomed the new Board of Directors. Outgoing President Cennet Köse Rivera thanked the members of the Board with certificates of appreciation and presented two special Directors with service awards;
- Orhan Suleiman, a longtime Director and President of MATA, who has contributed in many different ways over the years, and
- Benjamin Rivera, a Director of MATA, who has established a strong technical and process foundation and contributed in many areas ranging from Web & IT to Publications and Membership during this term.
MATA Directors and MATA friends/volunteers who received certificate of appreciation for their dedication and support to MATA were; Catherine Ward Prada Suleiman, Kent Drummond, Hüseyin Koca, Corina Koca, Nüran Saydam, Kadri Hasbay, İdil Hasbay, Bülent Şafak, Özcan Mustafa and Kayhan Yılmaz.
Following the awards and certificates ceremony, Board reviewed the Financials for 2015, many accomplishments of our committees over the past 2 years and the 2016 priorities of the MATA Board and committees. Meeting concluded with a brief discussion of upcoming events:
- Mother’s Day Dinner; May 5th at Mare Nostrum, and
- May 19 Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day Picnic; May 15th at Savage Park.
Please contact Board members or our website (www.MATAMD.com) for additional information on our upcoming events or if you like to volunteer in our committees.
(MATA President; April 2016)
32nd Anniversary of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
MATA’s Board of Directors and their families were honored to attend the commemoration of the 32nd Anniversary of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC). Held at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, on November 17th, and hosted by Mr. İsmet Korukoğlu, Representative of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, with his beautiful wife, Suna, and their lovely daughter, Su, the festive event was well-attended. Cypriots, Turks, and Americans enjoyed an evening in celebration and support of the TRNC, as well as the opportunity for informative discussions with Mr. Korukoğlu. Guests included Mr. Barry B. R. Jacobs, a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Information Agency (press attaché) and Dr. Philip Anderson, U.S. Coordinator of Girne American University and Board Member of its partner school, Dulles University. As the photo(s) attest, it was a delightful occasion.
(MATA Member; February 2016)
Fall Picnic: Commemorating Victory Day and Labor Day
MATA’s Annual Fall picnic to commemorate Labor Day and the Turkish Victory Day, held on September 13th, had a record turnout with 150 people. It was a beautiful “end of summer day” where people enjoyed delicious food, catered by the new Turkish restaurant located in Baltimore’s Fells Point, Mare Nostrum. Kids of all ages had a wonderful time with several volunteers running “kids’ activity tables” and playing ball with them around the picnic area. Adults enjoyed meeting new friends, re-bonding with old ones, and had a good time cheering for the winners of our Raffle which had bigger and more prizes than ever.
We had several wonderful guests that day: Northern Cyprus Representative İsmet Korukoğlu and his wife Suna; several board members from ATA-DC: Gizem Salcigil White (ATA-DC President), Hande Ayan, Bulent Safak, and ATAA Vice President, Kayahan Yılmaz; and, last but not least, famous Turkish Movie Actress, Nilüfer Aydan.
The day concluded with an ice cream truck stopping by and bringing even bigger smiles to kids’ faces. Everyone left the event looking forward to the next MATA activity. So that you don’t miss our next event, please check our website or Facebook page for updates. We want you to feel part of our Maryland Community and Family!
(MATA Secretary; February 2016)
Commemoration of "19 Mayis" Youth/Sports Day & Memorial Day
MATA's first physical activity for 2015 was the celebration of, both, the Republic of Turkey's May 19th Youth and Sports Day, and Memorial Day, with our Spring Picnic, on Sunday, May 17th. On one hand, the event was intended as a day of activities commemorating the holiday established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, emphasizing the importance of physical activity and the celebration of the youth of the nation. On the other hand, as planned, the activities of the day were carried-out in a harmonious and cohesive spirit of welcoming, acceptance and friendship, reminiscent of our national hope for peace, at home and abroad, as the U.S. commemorated Memorial Day.
The “Atatürk'ü Anma, Gençlik ve spor Bayramı,” is an annual Turkish national holiday, celebrated on May 19, to commemorate Mustafa Kemal's landing at Samsun, on May 19, 1919, which is regarded as the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence in the official historiography. Every year, on this day, youths sing the national anthem, recite poems, make parades and sports and realize cultural activities (like performing folk dances and playing epic drama) to commemorate the beginning of the national struggle, in 1919, that would lead to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, in 1923.
MATA president, Cennet Köse Rivera, welcomed the almost 90 attendees to this year's event. She introduced the Board of Directors and summarized plans for the day and for the activities in 2015. She, then, led the people gathered, into the singing of the U.S. national anthem, followed by the “İstiklal Marşı,” Turkey's national anthem.
Following the introductory remarks, the group engaged in the sportive activities planned for the day (e.g., walking, hiking, and playing volleyball, soccer and basketball). At the same time… The kitchen was open! Featuring the famously delicious “döner kebab” sandwich from Rudy's Mediterranean Grill and Diner (Columbia, MD).
Once everybody had had their sandwich, and a delicious ration of dessert ---generously provided by Nuran Saydam and Orhan Suleiman--- Cennet and Idil Hasbay, MATA Secretary, proceeded to call-off the winners of our raffle prizes. This year's surprises included gift certificates from:
As if this wasn't enough, this year, MATA prepared a "Turkish Basket" (worth $100), containing Yakut wine, a coffee pot ("cezve"), food items, an embroidered towel, a Turkish-Flag-T-shirt, etc., which was raffled off separately. This was a very exiting and successful drawing!
Are you ready for our Fall Picnic, on September 13th, at Centennial Park? Follow us on Facebook for event details and scheduling...
(MATA Board of Directors; 6/8/2014)