As the letter below shows, the main Turkish lobbying organization in the Unites States is facing serious troubles. Although they are not blaming Armenians for their inhouse fights yet, Armenians are certainly guilty for bringing the Turkish lobby together in the first place. If Armenians had not existed in history, Turks wouldn’t committ genocide against them and then having to create a lobbying group to deny it. Here is the letter:

“August 17, 2007

Dear ATAA Members and concerned Turkish Americans, and Friends of Turks:

Recently, you have been receiving phone calls, emails and letters from a group of ATAA members, who are telling you a story that they want you to believe.

Like in every story, there is more than one version of events that are taking place. I ask you to listen and read all sides of the story before you render a judgment.

ATAA’s chronic problems surfaced about in 2003. At that time you observed an open debate about ATAA in emails. This was settled in late 2004, and we had relatively quiet period during 2004-2005.

In 2005, there was a challenge to the longstanding structure of ATAA. Currently, this struggle continues.

At the heart of the issue is that certain members of Board of Directors feel that they can run ATAA like their personal fiefdom without providing any financial records to other bodies of ATAA and members, and avoid verifiable audit of the financial records. They want members to rely on some numbers placed on a white sheet of paper by them and ask you to take these numbers on a faith. ATAA is not a faith based organization. We trust but would like to verify.

Since current administrations takeover, ATAA has no budget. We do not now where the ATAA’s funds are being spent. Administration refuses become transparent. They provide no minutes. They keep no records. They are unaware of the number of component associations. They do not know who are the legitimate members or component association of ATAA. They resided over two elections and later turned around and announced these elections to be invalid, thus clearly declaring their own incompetence.

A group of us from Board of Trustees and long time volunteers of ATAA pleaded with the administration many different ways and times. They stubbornly continue to refuse accountability and transparency. They gave us no choice but to complain to court to secure the records we should have access in the first place and in order to bring ATAA within a legal frame than the current illegal orbit ATAA is wandering. The court documents and interrogatories are public documents and we will also publish them.

We are paying legal costs out of our own pocket. We never intended to spend any ATAA funds in this controversy, unlike our opponents. So, ATAA’s funds are not wasted by our group. Our opponents should also defend themselves with their own personal funds.

Our group of friends continues to work on all the issues involving Turkish American community. We never stopped. We continue to work individually with our local leaders to inform our legislators and media about our issues.

ATAA Endowment Fund is untouched and being invested under the supervision of an Investment Committee comprised of professional money managers. As chairman of Board of Trustees, I attend these meetings for record keeping purposes. All meetings are recorded in minutes and delivered to the legal Secretary of ATAA with a copy remaining with Board of Trustees.

The problem is complicated. You will hear more details in near future. Keep and open mind. Some members may be disappointed from the current situation. Please do not throw the baby with the bathwater. Stick with our beloved ATAA. It shall rise again and eventually become a grassroots organization, not a puppet of few elitist in Washington , D.C. When people speak beltway will always have to listen.


Tamer Acikalin, M.D., MBA
Chairman, Board of Trustees
President, 1996-98
Assembly of Turkish American Associations”