The events of the past few weeks have been tragic and horrifying to watch. Our collective conscience was shocked by the attempt to illegally usurp the authority of the democratically elected government in Turkey. Our hearts ached with concern for the many colleagues and friends caught amidst this turmoil. Yet we admire the strength of the Turkish people as it stood firm against this despicable act. Now, as the government and people of Turkey come to grips with the forces that perpetrated these acts, the American-Turkish Council stands with its members unified in our resolve to play a positive role in overcoming these challenges in service of strong U.S. and Turkey relations.
The ATC is redoubling its efforts and commitment to its members, both Turkish and U.S. based, to truly make economic engagement and commercial diplomacy a tool for growth and stability. Since the failed coup of July 15th the ATC has held the Summit on U.S.-Turkey Innovation on the campus of Harvard University, at which more than 150 participants discussed how government, higher education, and industry can collaborate to build the foundations for a sustainable innovation ecosystem. The event brought together some of the world’s foremost authorities on innovation and together with the support and sponsorship of the Turkish Consulate in Boston, Turkish Airlines, ISPAT, dFA Engineering, and UBER we laid out an agenda to further U.S. – Turkey collaboration in research and development, science and technology innovation and business development to continue to drive the ideas of the future. Additionally, the ATC has organized video conferences with Ambassador Bass and Ambassador Kılıç, respective Ambassadors of the U.S. and Turkey, to discuss the recent events and its effects on the business community. Finally, we hosted the Gazi Teknopark for a half day of meetings and presentation by our member companies, like Sierra Nevada Corporation, and the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Science and Technology, to foster dialogue and provide valuable assistance to Turkish based start-ups exploring the U.S. market.
The recent events, while shocking, have served as a call for action. The American-Turkish Council’s commitment to its members and the two great nations it serves has never been stronger. We look forward to continuing this agenda in the coming months with more programming, thought leadership, and the 35th Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations, co-hosted by the American-Turkish Council and Turkish-American Business Council.
Gen. James L. Jones