About the Organization

The American-Turkish Council (ATC), a leading independent business organization, exists to help member companies achieve their bilateral business and investment objectives and to facilitate stronger U.S.-Turkey relations. Our diverse membership includes Fortune 500s, multinationals, and U.S. and Turkey-based small and medium-sized enterprises from multiple sectors. Equipped with decades of experience, expertise, and an influential network, the ATC provides its member community with opportunities, services, and programs designed to resolve business challenges and strengthen linkages between the two countries.

The ATC serves its members as a critical voice, source of knowledge, trade convener, and diplomatic counsel in both Washington, DC and Ankara. ATC staff help member companies grow by providing them opportunities to leverage their brand among chief stakeholders.

The ATC’s advocacy efforts aim to shape policies that advance U.S.-Turkey trade relations. Our organization’s local market expertise provides members with essential insights and information to enhance their strategic capabilities. We moreover develop our members’ networks by facilitating relationships with private sector leaders, educational institutions, policy makers, and high-level government officials.

Our services enable stronger U.S.-Turkey relations by providing unmatched;

Business Development
We provide a network of business development services, from legal to financial, that enhance our member companies’ strategic decision making. These include:
  • Market Entry and Access: Organizing specific events to create opportunities to enter new markets, while providing the resources, network of experts, and supporting services for companies to realize their investment and sales goals.
  • State and Local Level Engagement: Second to none in our network of state and local level economic development organizational contacts, which provide our members with the most up to date information on incentives and market intel for strategic decision making.
  • Sector Focused: We work across many sectors in strengthening the bilateral business relationships. Some of these sectors include: Security/Defense/Aerospace, Tourism, Construction, Energy, Retail and Manufacturing, Education, Agribusiness, Healthcare, Finance/Investment, Innovation, Information & Communication Technologies, Cybersecurity, and others.
Government Relations
We provide access and a balanced perspective, with a voice that is independent from Washington DC and Ankara, and is answerable only to our members. This unique institutional independence is what allows us to speak with credibility in both capitals.
Business Intelligence
We serve our members as the critical voice that connects them with timely and credible sources both in the U.S. and Turkey. We strive to support their objectives and growth.

The ATC seeks to generate valuable opportunities and provide rich resources for its member companies in service of the U.S.-Turkey commercial relationship.

Our Story
The ATC was founded in the mid-1980s by U.S. diplomats personally devoted to the U.S.-Turkey relationship. ATC staff continue to emphasize the friendship and professionalism that has shaped the bilateral partnership for decades.

Though the U.S. and Turkey have been NATO allies since 1952, their commercial partnership has only recently blossomed. In virtually all fields of economic activity, the U.S. leads the world. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of USD 18 trillion and a per capita income of USD 55,000, it boasts the world’s largest national economy and produces nearly 20 percent of global income. Following the 2001 global economic crisis, while the rest of the world entered a recession, Turkey climbed its way steadily to become an upper middle-income nation. With a dynamic population of 76 million people, a growing consumer market, and incomes to support it, Turkey’s nominal GDP reached USD 800 billion in 2014. Annual per capita income exceeded USD 10,500, making Turkey a top-20 economy. Turkish foreign trade is likewise vibrant and growing rapidly. In 2014, Turkey’s imports were worth USD 242 billion, while exports topped USD 157 billion.

With members representing over 15 industries, the American-Turkish Council demonstrates the diversity and dynamism of the U.S.-Turkey commercial relationship, and functions as a primary facilitator of the broader bilateral partnership.

Committees / Working Groups

  • Security/Defense/Aerospace
  • Tourism/Medical Tourism
  • Construction/Energy
  • Retail & Manufacturing (e.g. textile, food & agriculture, automotive, steel)
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Finance/Investment
  • Innovation & Growth
  • Information & Communication Technologies



The ATC’s flagship event is the Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations. Held every year in Washington DC, the Annual Conference convenes hundreds of U.S.-Turkey stakeholders and thought leaders to address key commercial and diplomatic topics between the two countries. Participants include leaders in the private sector, government, and the non-profit space. CEOs, entrepreneurs, key Members of the U.S. Congress and the Turkish Parliament, as well as Ministers and Cabinet Secretaries assemble to discuss the state of U.S.-Turkey relations and explore ways to further promote ties. The Conference offers up-to-the-minute business briefings, cultural events, and opportunities for American and Turkish business people to develop their network, learn from experts across sectors, and exchange information on strategic and practical opportunities.

The ATC also publishes the Annual Conference Magazine, which allows sponsoring companies the opportunity to leverage their brand among relevant stakeholders. The magazine is provided to all conference attendees, as well as to U.S. and Turkish government officials. We then distribute it to our network digitally, reaching thousands of additional business and government leaders, educators, and policy makers invested in the bilateral relationship.

Every year, the ATC Chairman, a select delegation of Golden Horn members, and sponsoring Bosphorus members, visit Turkey to meet with Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers, Heads of State, and member companies. These visits provide an important forum for top-level discussions between American and Turkish business and government leaders. The trip is a premier opportunity to interface with key government decision-makers in order to foster new business opportunities.

ATC Vice Chairman and ATC staff periodically organize trade missions from Turkey to U.S. for Turkish firms that wish to explore and pursue export and investment opportunities in the United States. Each trade mission covers different areas of the country and provides participants networking opportunities, state level government engagements, featured site visits, and targeted meetings with government and project management officials.

Throughout the year, ATC sponsors seminars and workshops in Turkey and the U.S., as well as breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, and receptions for visiting dignitaries and other Turkish officials. As part of its educational awareness program, the ATC organizes briefings on current U.S.-Turkey issues with senior officials in the Executive Branch, and members and staff of both Congressional Houses.

The ATC publishes a “Monthly Newsletter” to update Members on the most recent news on U.S.-Turkey relations. It contains a variety of information including ATC meetings, upcoming events, and news from the Council’s standing committees. The newsletter also includes a section each month spotlighting a member company. This member showcase provides the individual Member an opportunity to introduce their company and share their story with our extensive network. Along with the Monthly Newsletter, the ATC publishes the "Bi-Weekly Economic Briefing", which gives a quick insight into the economic trends and developments relevant to the U.S.-Turkey relationship. The ATC also publishes a variety of sector specific Committee Reports that provide industry insights and updates.

The ATC routinely hosts leading government officials for special events and private meetings with member companies. These events are often limited to Golden Horn members and provide them the opportunity to liaise with prominent government decision makers.

Committee Chairs

  • Cultural & Tourism
    Armin Zerunyan
  • Infrastructure & Energy
    Nizamettin Derbil
  • Retail & Manufacturing
    Ceyhun Jay Dogan
  • Agribusiness & Food Industry
    Fergul Kuzucuoglu
  • Education
    Dr. Burak Kuntay
  • Innovation & Growth
    Sirin Koprucu

Leadership & Staff

General James L. Jones is the former commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, where he led all military operations for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as former National Security Advisor.

Jones graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and was commissioned into the Marine Corps in January 1967. He served in Vietnam before attending the Amphibious Warfare School in 1973 and the National War College in 1985, and serving as Marine Corps liaison officer to the U.S. Senate. He was also commanding officer of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Northern Iraq and Turkey on Operation Provide Comfort; chief of staff, Joint Task Force Provide Promise, for operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia; and commanding general, 2nd Marine Division, Marine Forces Atlantic. Jones also served as Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from 1997-99 before becoming the 32nd commandant of the United States Marine Corps in July 1999.

During his NATO assignment from 2003-2006, he advocated energy security and the defense of critical infrastructures as a core part of NATO's future missions. In his capacity with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jones worked to unite energy consumers and producers for a common goal - to increase the variety of the U.S. energy supply and associated infrastructures, to advance international cooperation on energy issues, to protect national energy security, and to promote better understanding of changes to the global climate and its effects on the environment.

Upon retirement in February 2007, Jones became president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy and, in 2008, served as the State Department's Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security. From 2009 until 2010, he served as President Obama's National Security Advisor at the White House.

General Jones - sought-after by, and distinguished among, politicians of every stripe - offers a vast wealth of knowledge and speaks with poise and authority about national and international security, energy, and leadership requirements for success in the 21st century.

General Jones joined the American-Turkish Council in January 2014 as Chairman.

Tamer Saka of Sabanci Holding has received his undergraduate, master, and doctorate degree from the Istanbul University Faculty of Business Administration. Mr. Saka served served as Manager and Senior Manager responsible for Risk Management Consultant services in Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young companies, and then joined the Sabancı Holding in 2004 as Risk Management Director. Tamer Saka served as Managing Director responsible for the business development activities of approximately 20 countries, including Turkey, for Willis London from 2010 to 2011. Assuming the position of Strategy and Business Development Coordinator at Kibar Holding as of December 2011, Saka continued as Head of Automotive and Corporate Functions Group and Kibar Holding Board Member as of May 2012. Dr. Tamer Saka serves as the CEO of Kibar Holding since 2014, and is appointed as the Head of Cement Group of the Sabancı Holding as of April 2, 2018.

Tamer Saka joined American-Turkish Council as the Vice Chairman in 2016

Howard Garrett Beasey is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American-Turkish Council, a bilateral, non-profit organization dedicated to the strengthening of U.S.-Turkish trade, investment, defense and cultural relations, and to the promotion of awareness and understanding of U.S.-Turkish issues.

Howard G. Beasey is an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran and retired United States Marine. Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1993 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in August 2000, after having completed his undergraduate education at North Carolina State University. For more than two decades Mr. Beasey served his country honorably.

His journey with Turkey started in 2006, when he attended the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA completing his Master of Arts in National Security Affairs and Foreign Policy and attended the Defense Language Institute and completed Turkish language instruction. Designated as a Turkish Foreign Area Officer and assigned to the region, he developed a deep respect for Turkish culture, diversity, and international engagement. Upon returning from Afghanistan in 2010, Mr. Beasey was assigned to the Pentagon as the European Affair Officer for the International Affairs Branch of Headquarters Marine Corps, where he continued to develop and grow his ability to engage with military and government leaders across Europe and NATO to build and secure this important relationship. Retiring in 2014 he joined Goldman Sachs Bank in New York and in 2015 he took over his current position as the President and CEO of the American-Turkish Council.

During his tenure he has led the council’s government relations strategy in both Turkey and the United States while providing business and government leaders critical advice during a time in the bilateral relationship that included an attempted coup, constitutional referendum, and significant diplomatic rifts between the two countries. Along the way the Council, under his leadership, established its first every U.S. bound trade mission for Turkish companies, continued to plan and organize an annual conference featuring 500-plus participants, 20 industries, 280 businesses, and 85 speakers and panelist, that grossed more the $750k in revenue, and continues to provide high quality membership offerings through quarterly international trips, business engagement and networking opportunities, monthly newsletters, economic summary reports, and sectoral based summits. Through these efforts, the council continues to maintain positive membership growth year over year and creates significant membership value with an annual operating budget of 1.6 million dollars. Through his years of leadership and international relations experience, from battlefields to boardrooms, Mr. Beasey has a demonstrated ability to advise, problem solve and help achieve the desired outcomes no matter what the circumstances in this critical relationship. Mr. Beasey joined American-Turkish Council in February 2015 as the President and CEO.

Fatih Orhan is the Executive Director at the American-Turkish Council (ATC) in Washington, DC and has more than 5 years of experience in project/program and financial management. He was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey and attended Baskent University. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, he moved to Washington, DC to pursue his MBA and Masters in Project Management degrees at Keller Graduate School of Management of Devry University in 2008. He completed both of his Master’s with distinction.

Fatih joined ATC in 2011 as a Financial and Business Analyst and promoted to the Director of Finance in 2013. Prior to joining ATC, Fatih completed two engineering internships at Tusas Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Turk Traktor in Ankara. He also worked as an IT Helpdesk Technician while earning his master's degree in VA.

Fatih is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Scrum Master Certified (SMC). He is a member of Project Management Institute (PMI) and its Washington, DC Chapter since 2009. He is passionate about learning new project management skills. He speaks Turkish and English, natively. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Zeynep, and their dog, Bella. They currently live in Potomac, MD.

Rüya Eichelberger is the Director of Communications and Marketing at the American-Turkish Council. (ATC) in Washington, D.C. She was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey. After graduating from METU (ODTU) high school in Ankara, she received a full athletic scholarship and played 4 years of college tennis at California State University of Fullerton. She completed her degree with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism in 2006.

During her work experiences in news channels as an intern, she developed a strong passion for the public relations field. As a result, she decided to explore this discipline and obtained her Master of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from the California State University of Fullerton in 2009. Simultaneously, she took an opportunity to be the assistant coach and media relations for the university’s tennis team. After the completion of her master degree, she returned home to Turkey and began work as a brand and social media manager for Wyndham Ankara. From 2014 until 2016, she worked as the Marketing Coordinator at The Leadership Edge, a business management consulting firm, in La Jolla, CA.

She enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Zeynep Ergin is the Senior Programs Associate at the American-Turkish Council (ATC). She was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, but moved to the US for her high school education after receiving an athletic scholarship from the swimming program at the University of Texas in Austin, TX. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Applied Mathematics from Franklin & Marshall College.

In 2016, she completed her Masters in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University, where she extensively studied and researched such topics as environmental and energy policy, renewable energy, and natural resource economics. Zeynep hopes to apply her educational background to develop ATC's government and industry engagement strategies on responsible development.

Zeynep was a licensed swimmer of both Fenerbahce and ENKA Swimming Teams in Turkey for more than 10 years, and was selected to be a member of the Turkish National Swimming Team. She broke a total of 6 national and international records and became a candidate for a position on the Turkish National Olympic Swimming Team for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.