Turkish American Society of Chicago opens new culture center
A culture center was opened by the Turkish American Society of Chicago (TASC) at a ceremony held in Chicago on Saturday with the participation of many politicians, artists and businessmen. The TASC supports multiculturalism and is dedicated to establishing good relations between the American and Turkish communities in Chicago. Giving the opening speech at the ceremony, Turkish Consul General in Chicago Fatih Yildiz stated that he sincerely believes the newly established cultural center will contribute significantly to Turkish-American relations. Among the participants of the ceremony were US Representative for Illinois's 9th congressional district Jan Schakowsky, US Representative for Illinois's 5th congressional district Mike Quigley, Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association President Deborah Rutter, Greek Orthodox Church in America Primate Archbishop Demetrios, Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies Adem Tatli, Harun Tufekci, Nesrin Ulema and Fahrettin Poyraz, Safranbolu Mayor Necdet Aksoy, Turkish Airlines (THY) Mid-Western Regional Manager Levent Selvili, Elmhurst College President Dr. S. Alan Ray and Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Zaher Sahloul. Also speaking at the event, Schakowsky stated that she was very pleased to attend the opening ceremony of such a large cultural center in Chicago, adding that people from a wide range of cultures live in Chicago and that the Turkish community constitutes an important part of that society. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who released a letter of recognition for the opening of the cultural center, stated: "The Turkish American Society of Chicago is dedicated to addressing the social and cultural needs of the Turkish-American community living in the Chicago area. The opening of the cultural center will help the Turkish American Society of Chicago introduce Turkish culture to the people of Chicago, unite the Turkish-American community, provide the community with educational services, create a welcoming environment for new individuals adapting to life in the United States, along with many other community-based activities." Also releasing a letter of recognition for the ceremony, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn stated that the opening of the society offers a wonderful opportunity for Turkish-Americans in Chicago to rejoice in their rich heritage. "Turkish Americans have made great contributions to our state, and it gives me great pleasure to recognize this special day. The State of Illinois is greatly appreciative of the relations we have established with the Republic of Turkey and I look forward to continuing to enhance our Illinois-Turkish relationships."