us map1100

H.CatalbasogluHacibey ‘Haci’ Catalbasoglu


Hacibey ‘Haci’ Catalbasoglu was elected as an Independent in the November 7, 2017 general election to the Board of Alders for Ward 1 in New Haven, Connecticut. Haci is 19 years old and a junior at Yale University. He is the youngest Turkish American to ever run and be elected to public office. He is also one of the youngest Alders to ever serve on the Board of Alders in New Haven. In 2017, he was nominated to serve on the city’s Commission on Homelessness after many years of volunteering and advocacy for the New Haven Livable City Initiative through New Haven’s Youth@Work program. He was recommended for confirmation to the Commission by a unanimous vote of the Board of Alders’ Aldermanic Affairs Committee on April 24, 2017. As a member of the Commission, Haci is tasked with advising New Haven Mayor Toni Harp on how to actively combat the homelessness epidemic in New Haven. In the summer of 2016, he had the opportunity to intern for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).

 

 

J.A.PaksoyHon. Ali Paksoy


Judge Ali Paksoy serves as a district court judge for the Judicial District 27-B of North Carolina. In June 2005, Judge Paksoy was appointed to fill the unexpired term of a retiring judge. He has been re-elected three times to consecutive four-year terms, most recently in 2014. Prior to becoming a judge, he maintained a general law practice with trial experience in all levels of court for twenty-eight years. Judge Paksoy is a native of Cleveland County, North Carolina and received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law.

 

 

T.Selen .17Tayfun Selen


Turkish American Tayfun Selen of Chatham, New Jersey was elected as the Republican candidate to fill a vacant seat on the Chatham Township Committee in the November 7, 2017 elections. He will serve the remaining two years of Committee member John Maurer’s term. Maurer, a Republican, resigned his seat in late August. Selen is Chairman of the Chatham Township Republican Committee and previously ran for New Jersey State Assembly in 2013 and 2015. Selen is an architect, accountant, and businessman who serves on the Advisory Board for Montclair State University’s School of Business. He previously held a seat on his local Board of Adjustment. Selen holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University and an MBA from Montclair State University in New Jersey.

 

F.Argun.2017FATIMA (FATOS) ARGUN


Fatima (Fatos) Argun serves as an elected member of the Steering Committee of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. As an Outreach/Visibility Chair, she works with community stakeholders to enhance democratic participation and build long term meaningful relationships to increase engagement and include diverse voices in the political process. She was a delegate to the Virginia State convention and ran as a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention representing Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

 

YELDA BARTLETT


Turkish American attorney Yelda Bartlett was appointed as an alternate member to the Democratic Central Committee of Alameda County, California. Her husband, Ben Bartlett, was elected to serve in Berkeley City Council District 3 in the 2016 general elections. Ms. Bartlett previously served as a Commissioner for the Community Environmental Advisory Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women (COSOW) for the City of Berkeley where she was elected chairwoman of the Commission.

 

LEAH ERSOYLU


Leah Ersoylu was recently elected to the Costa Mesa Board of Parks and Recreation. Ms. Ersoylu and her Turkish American husband, Sarp, run a consulting firm, which helps support the sustainability of community-based programs in Turkey and the United States.

 

GUNAY EVINCH


Turkish American attorney Gunay Evinch serves on Maryland Governor Lawrence Hogan's Commission on Middle Eastern Communities and Commission on WWI. In 2016, Evinch became the Co-Chairman of the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), which oversees the programs of America's leading Turkish American organizations and mosques. He has also represented the Turkish American community on the Heritage Council of the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence since 2007.

 

MURAT GUZEL


Turkish American businessman and CEO of Nimeks Organic and Natural Food Source, Inc. Murat Guzel served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee's Heritage Council. He also served as an officer with the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.

 

DUYSEVI KARAN MIYAR


In 2016, Duysevi Karan Miyar was elected as Executive Committee Woman of the Democratic Party in Precinct 303 of Miami, Florida. She was previously a 2016 Democratic candidate for District 111 of the Florida House of Representatives and a candidate for the District 4 seat of the Miami-Dade County School Board in Florida. She currently serves as an educator in the Miami-Dade County Public School system.

 

ERSAL OZDEMIR


Turkish American Ersal Ozdemir is the President and CEO of Keystone Construction and Keystone Realty group in Indianapolis, IN. He is the former Finance Chairman of the Indiana State Republican Party and the Founder and Chairman of Indianapolis’ professional soccer team, the Indy Eleven. Ozdemir also serves on the Board of Directors of both the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Committee of the Indy Chamber.

 

CEYLAN ROWE


Turkish American entrepreneur and women's rights activist Ceylan Rowe is a Commissioner at the Metro West Commission of the Status of Women in Massachusetts. The Commission advocates for the rights of women across Massachusetts. Rowe's company Trendy Napkin, which sells non-sweatshop shirts, has carried out social and entrepreneurial campaigns for Syrian refugee women and helps refugee women become self-sufficient through donations.

 

MEHTAP SENDUR


Turkish American businesswoman Mehtap Sendur owns a logistics company in St. Michaels, MD. She serves as Chairwoman of Maryland Governor Lawrence Hogan's Commission on Middle Eastern Communities. The Commission hosts events throughout the year to raise cultural awareness and ensures Governor Hogan is in touch with Maryland's Middle Eastern community.

 

DERYA TASKIN


Turkish American businesswoman Derya Taskin serves as Deputy Mayor of Paterson, New Jersey. She also runs her own consulting company and aids small businesses interested in selling their products within the Turkish market and aids Turkish companies looking to invest in the U.S. Ms. Taskin also serves as Commissioner of the Library and Museum Board for Paterson and was previously President of the Paterson Turkish American Society association.

J.AlpayJohn Alpay


John Alpay, a resident of San Clemente, served as Area 3 Trustee for the Capistrano Unified School District, the ninth largest school district in California from November 2010 until 2016. He previously served as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner for San Clemente, and on the Budget & Finance Committee for Talega, his 3200 unit homeowners association. He remains as a director for the Spanish Village Foundation, a local nonprofit. John is also involved with the San Clemente Sunrise Rotary and the Hawaiian Surf Club of San Onofre. He and his wife Rochelle have three children together.

 

K.BozkurtKemal Bozkurt


Kemal Bozkurt serves as the Acting Director of the Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, MA.  He is currently running to serve on the Lawrence School Committee, a position he previously held in 2015. Bozkurt has lived in Lawrence, MA for the past 17 years. He is a loving husband and father to three children.

 

E.GunayEsin Busche


Esin Busche previously served as Naperville Township Trustee, a member of the Fair Housing Advisory Commission, and a Republican Precinct committeewoman in Naperville, IL.  She has also served as membership chairman for the Naperville Republican Women for three terms and was the Naperville campaign coordinator for the presidential and governor/lieutenant governor races in 2004 and 2006. Esin has a M.A. in Chemistry works for the Dow Chemical Company. She currently lives on the south side of Naperville Township with her husband and son.

 

E.GunayHacibey Catalbasoglu


Hacibey ‘Haci’ Catalbasoglu was elected as an Independent in the November 7, 2017 general election to the Board of Alders for Ward 1 in New Haven, Connecticut. Haci is 19 years old and a junior at Yale University. He is the youngest Turkish American to ever run and be elected to public office. He is also one of the youngest Alders to ever serve on the Board of Alders in New Haven. In 2017, he was nominated to serve on the city’s Commission on Homelessness after many years of volunteering and advocacy for the New Haven Livable City Initiative through New Haven’s Youth@Work program. He was recommended for confirmation to the Commission by a unanimous vote of the Board of Alders’ Aldermanic Affairs Committee on April 24, 2017. As a member of the Commission, Haci is tasked with advising New Haven Mayor Toni Harp on how to actively combat the homelessness epidemic in New Haven. In the summer of 2016, he had the opportunity to intern for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).

 

E.GunayHon. Jay Karahan


Judge Jay (Ceyhun) Karahan was elected to judicial office in November 2002 and was sworn in as Judge of Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law No. 8 on January 1, 2003. He was re-elected to that office 3 more times and served until December 31, 2018, when he retired from active judicial service. Judge Karahan is a native of Tampa, Florida. Judge Karahan moved to Texas in 1979 to study law at South Texas College of Law. In 1987, the U.S. Attorney General appointed him an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. As a federal prosecutor he served in the Major Offender Division, Bank Fraud Task Force, and as a district coordinator for child exploitation investigations and prosecutions. As both a state and federal prosecutor Judge Karahan tried to jury verdict over 100 serious felony cases. He is licensed to practice before the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Since 1988 Judge Karahan has been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a Criminal Law Specialist.

 

 

J.A.PaksoyHon. Ali Paksoy


Judge Ali Paksoy serves as a district court judge for the 27B Judicial District of North Carolina, which presides over Cleveland and Lincoln countries. Judge Paksoy received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from the University of Alabama.

 

J.A.PaksoyTayfun Selen


Turkish American Tayfun Selen of Chatham, New Jersey was elected on January 3, 2019 as the mayor of Chatham Township in the state of New Jersey, becoming the first Turkish American to hold such a position in the United States. In Chatham, by law, the public elects the municipal committee of three to five members, and the committee determines the mayor. Previously, Selen was elected as the Republican candidate to fill a vacant seat on the Chatham Township Committee in the November 7, 2017 elections. He served the remaining two years of Committee member John Maurer’s term. Maurer, a Republican, resigned his seat in late August. Selen is Chairman of the Chatham Township Republican Committee and previously ran for New Jersey State Assembly in 2013 and 2015. Selen is an architect, accountant, and businessman who serves on the Advisory Board for Montclair State University’s School of Business. He previously held a seat on his local Board of Adjustment. Selen holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University and an MBA from Montclair State University in New Jersey.

 

E.GunayDerya Taskin


Derya Taskin became the twelfth Turkish American elected to public office. On Jue 25, 2019, Taskin was elected to the County Committee of Passaic County as a Democrat in New Jersey. Previously, she was appointed Deputy City Mayor of Paterson, and served for three years as a liaison between city hall and the Turkish American community. Paterson as the largest concentration of Turkish Americans in the United States. Taskin is the President of Derya Staffing and Consulting, and is also the President of the Paterson Turkish American Association.

 

 

M.TunadorMALIK TUNADOR


Malik Tunador ran and won a seat on the Council of the Thornburg Borough of Allegheny County, PA in the early 1990s. Tunador has been living in Thornburg Borough since 1976 and served one term on the Borough Council. 

 

E.UralDR. ERDEM URAL


Dr. Erdem Ural was elected in to the Stoughton School Committee in Stoughton, Massachusetts in 2008. He served in that position from 2008 to 2011. In 2012, Ural was re-elected to the School Committee, serving until 2015. Dr. Ural holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. He has resided in Stoughton for over 30 years and is married with 2 children. 

 

M.YarSEL YACKLEY


Sel E. Yackley of Chicago, IL was elected to the Illinois Valley Community College Board of Directors from 1987-1997, in which she received the highest votes in a seven-county election. Previously she was elected to the Illinois Valley Community College Board of Directors in Ottawa, IL from 1976-1987. Sel is a published author, business owner, and skilled fundraiser. She remains active in her community as a volunteer for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and is an active member of various societies and associations. Currently, Sel runs her own public relations agency and travel agency.

 

M.YarMEHMET "MATT" YAR


Mehmet "Matt" Yar was elected to the Bloomfield County Education Board in New Jersey in 1998 and served until 2001. He chose not to run for a second term. When another board member resigned in 2002, Yar was appointed by the local election committee to fill the vacated seat.  His second period of service on the board lasted until 2004.

Connect With
10,000TURKS
facebook icontwitter-iconyoutube icon

 

Go to top