NEW YORK CITY, NY – October 12, 2009 – Over 200 Turkish-Americans and Macedonian-Americans and friends gathered at the Turkish Center in New York City to experience the rich cultures of Turkey and Macedonia on the evening of Friday, October 9, 2009. Between networking and getting to know one another, attendees enjoyed Turkish and Macedonian foods, folklore, and music. The event was hosted by the Istanbul University Alumni Association of the United States of America (IUMEZUSA) and the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD).
“IUMEZUSA was proud to partner with UMD to link our communities and learn about each other’s cultures. Many Turks have roots in Macedonia, including the Founder of modern-day Turkey, Kemal Mustafa Ataturk,” said Mehves Sonmez, President of IUMEZUSA. “It is in the memory of Ataturk and many like him that today Turkey and Macedonia enjoy excellent relations.”
The Consul General of the Republic of Macedonia to New York, Mr. Zvonko Mucunski, praised the hosts for helping to solidify the bonds between both communities. A video message was played from the Rector of Istanbul University, Professor Dr. Yunus Soylet, who is originally from Ohrid, Macedonia. Proudly displaying his Macedonian and Turkish flags in his office, Dr. Soylet saw this event as an opportunity to build a strong bridge between the United States, Turkey and Macedonia.
During the event, IUMEZUSA President Mehves Sonmez presented an award to UMD President Metodija A. Koloski for his outstanding service in support of Turkish-American/Macedonian-American Friendship. “This award symbolizes the efforts by both our communities to build stronger bonds,” said Koloski. “UMD is proud to be a friend of the Turkish-American community and pledges to work together with Turkish-American organizations to strengthen U.S.-Turkish-Macedonian relations. The United States and Turkey are Macedonia’s top supporters in its efforts to join NATO and other Euro-Atlantic institutions.”
The event featured a cross-cultural musical performance by the NY Gypsy All-Star Trio headed by Bitola, Macedonia, native and clarinet virtuoso Ismail Lumanovski, and a dance performance by New Jersey-based Aleksandrija Macedonian Folk Dance Ensemble.
IUMEZUSA and UMD thank the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, Turkish Coalition of America, Transtech, House of Burgundy, and Sahara Restaurant for making this event possible. IUMEZUSA and UMD hope to turn this event into an annual event for both communities.
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Istanbul University Alumni Association USA is a non-political, non-profit organization founded in April, 2005 to promote better understanding between the American and Turkish peoples through social, educational, and cultural activities.
Click HERE to become a member or make a donation in support of the important work of UMD.