May 24, 2000,
Minutes of the Board
Levante Lokantasi, Washington DC
The meeting was called to order by President Lin Lougheed (T-16). The
meeting was attended by returning Board members Ed Block (T-08), Linda
Scheffer (T-08), Sandy Anderson (T-13), Dave Bloch (T-02), and Marcia
Gnuse (T-13); and by new board members, Pat Fesci (T-04), Peggy Hanson
(T-01), and Mike Metrinko (T-16). Other Akradaslar members present were
Dave Weinman, (Staff, T-01), Jean Lavid Fromberg (T-08/09), Judie Jerald
(T-08), and John Wintrol (T-02).
In addition, the Board welcomed two guests: Güler Köknar, Executive
Director of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and Gigi
Felix, Membership Director of the National Peace Corps Association.
Güler Köknar gave some background on the ATAA and suggested some
ways that Arkadaslar and the ATAA could work together. ATAA has between
200,000 and 250,000 members. The goal of the organization is lobbying to
improve the image of Turkey. Güler explained that Turkey is a young
democracy and needs time to work out what the United States has had 200
years to do. She urged us all to become an advocate for Turkey and to
work with our local media, and governmental representatives to help them
understand Turkey. As un-hyphenated Americans, we might have more
credibility and be viewed as neutral.
Güler thanked us for our earthquake contributions and noted that it
was a very large amount for a small group (see Treasurer's Report).
Arkadaslar has send donations to both Kizilay in Turkey and the American
Red Cross in the States. In the future, we may send donations to
Istanbul Yardim Grubu (IYG), an organization of business people who want
to cut the red tape and get immediate funding to projects like new
schools, child care centers, etc. IYG has hired Arthur Anderson to audit
the group's books.
The board discussed the possibility of doing something with the
Turkish Embassy in Washington in conjunction with next year's 40th Peace
Corps Anniversary. Güler said she would facilitate such an event. She
also volunteered to help us with our next reunion in Turkey by working
with her contacts in the government and travel industry.
Gigi Felix outlined the plans for the reorganization of the NPCA
Website. The Website will soon be secure allowing users to pay with a
credit card for membership, books, etc. and to update their records on
line. The site will also have a member's only section with a chat room
and directory. Country groups can use the template provided to make
their own web site.
II. Treasurer's Report
Linda Scheffer reported that as of May 24, 2000, Arkadaslar has
$4,462.50 on hand. Presently, our membership in 2000 is 304 members, 52
less than the previous year. Membership in NPCA in 2000 presently totals
Linda reported that so far in 2000, 74 members have contributed $3,755
to the Turkish Earthquake Relief Fund. In 1999, 179 of our members
contributed $13,336.31. This summer we will be sending our 2000
contributions to the Sevinc Abla Okul ($1,500), the Beekeeping Project
($750) and the Hacettepe Hospital Erik Olson Fund ($500).
Linda analyzed for the Board all of the contributions since 1993. Our
membership has collected and distributed $39,891.31 to Turkish
organizations. We heard that Arkadaslar in Rhode Island, Carolyn Wilson
Anderson (T-02), Bill Shuey (T-16), and Betty Hanks Leonard, (T-02) have
helped organize and have supported two fund raising events that
collected around $5,000 for Turkish earthquake aid. So this brings the
known total of Arkadaslar contributions to Turkey to over $44,000. This
figure can be compared with the $25,000 that ninety-eight returned
volunteer groups have collected and donated since 1988 for the Peace
Corps Partnership program.
Lin Lougheed proposed that we ask our membership to identify other
organizations that might benefit from our contributions. He suggested
that there should be a two- or three-year time limit on these gifts so
that we can help many different types of groups around Turkey. Our
contributions should be viewed as seed money to help an organization get
started on a small project that would have a large impact. Peggy Hanson
seconded the idea; no vote was taken.
Sandy Anderson and Linda Scheffer were congratulated, praised, and
thanked for their superhuman efforts to put out the 2000 directory.
Reports from the membership are very positive; people especially like
the color cover produced by Jerry Leach (T-04) and staff. John Wintrol
and Marcia Gnuse were also thanked for their efforts in producing and
distributing the directory. Thanks also go to John Gallivan (T-02) for
finding the mailing service we used for this and other mailings.
Lin Lougheed reports that the Web site (http://www.rpcv.org/groups/turkey)
is up, but it lacks the mechanism for user input. This feature will be
postponed until we see what the NPCA site offers us. In the meantime,
users can e-mail Lin (email@example.com) with any announcements they
want to post and he will forward them to the NPCA office to post.
There are two job vacancies open in our organization: listserve manager
and newsletter editor. Both need to be filled immediately so if you want
to become more involved in your organization this is a good time to
begin. Marcia Gnuse volunteered to do the layout of the newsletter if
someone else would help get and write the news.
Dave Weinman suggested our group should become more involved in global
issues and perhaps organize groups to go to Cuba, Iran, and Korea. The
president and those at his end of the table didn't hear this excellent
idea so we plan to have Dave explain himself in August.
Consultant in Turkey
Peggy Hanson reported that she was going to Turkey as a consultant to
two projects that might be of interest to our membership.
The Taslica Project, run by Oguz Capan, is an attempt to develop a
peninsula near Marmaris into a fully-green high-class tourist operation.
Oguz is negotiating with alternative energy companies all over the
world, and a feasibility study of wind and solar power is nearly
complete. The extremely poor villagers of Taslica have been made
shareholders and will be drawn into the project but training of all
kinds for all ages is needed, and RPVs may find numerous areas to get
involved, especially in early stages of development. (Oguz's e-mail
address is: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anatolian Artisans is a non-profit group founded by Yildiz Yagci
designed to help artisans in Turkey (note: not "Turkish
artisans", but also Kurds, Greeks or others) keep alive the old
crafts and designs while making a reasonable living for themselves. The
group has been asked by the Turkish government to help with a
southeastern development project in the new dam area near Malatya, and
has also established contacts with artisans in some western Anatolian
villages. It is checking into funding from international organizations,
but extra help may be needed in the start-up phase, which includes
forming a network of artisans and the sale of Turkish crafts in the
United States. (Yildiz Yagci can be reached at the e-mail address: email@example.com.)
RPCV Turkey Summer Bash
Ed Block's BYO Picnic originally scheduled for Sunday, June 25 has been
postponed. When a new date is announced, invitations will be sent to
people in the area and to those on the listserve. Contact Ed Block <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 9th at Levante
Lokantasi. Levante is located at 1320 19th Street, Dupont Circle South
exit, on the Red Line in Washington, DC. We will start to gather around
6 pm and the meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm. Everyone is
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