January 24, 2011 – Washington, D.C. – The Assembly of Turkish American Associations and the United Macedonian Diaspora held the 3rd Annual Macedonian-Turkish Friendship Happy Hour at ATAA’s Turkish House Washington, D.C. Over 80 guests joined in the festivities, which featured Macedonian and Turkish wine and cuisine, and traditional music and dancing, making it the most attended Macedonian-Turkish Friendship Happy Hour thus far.
ATAA President Gunay Evinch welcomed the guests, “The Turkish House is your house. Turks and Macedonians share a common heritage from the Ottoman centuries. Today, Turkey is a main supporter of Macedonia, and Macedonia is a gem in the Balkans. ATAA is personally committed to supporting Macedonian Americans and Macedonia. I am personally dedicated, for my grandparents came from Skopje and Kumanovo, Macedonia to Manisa, Turkey, and from Turkey to the United States. I am a proud Turkish American of Ottoman Macedonian heritage, and now we are all proud Americans in this great country!”
“The Turkish-American community, through its representative organizations like ATAA, has been a true and strong supporter of the Macedonian-American community, and our homeland Macedonia,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “The partnership between our two people will only grow in the years to come…the Happy Hour has become larger every year, and provides a perfect opportunity for Macedonian- and Turkish-Americans to network, learn about one another, and form greater friendships with each other.”
Representatives of both the Macedonian and Turkish Embassies in Washington, D.C. attended the Happy Hour. The Macedonian Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Milan Spiridonovski gave remarks during the Happy Hour and thanked the Turkish-American community for their strong friendship citing his personal relationships with Turkish people. DCM Spiridonovski, who attended with his wife Aneta Spiridonovska, greeted the audience with a few Turkish words impressing everyone in the room.
The night ended with Macedonian-Americans, Turkish-Americans, and friends of Macedonia and Turkey joining together to dance to traditional and modern Macedonian and Turkish music. “Culture and music are the best ambassadors for Macedonia and Turkey, and the joining of hands in these dances symbolized our strong bonds of friendship,” commented Koloski.
Proceeds raised during the event were donated to the D.C. Children’s Hospital.
United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is a leading international non-governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.
The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) represents Turkish American local chapters nationwide on issues effecting the Turkish American community and US-Turkish relations by educating the public and supporting informed decision making in government and informed reporting in the media.