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Board Meeting Minutes:
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May 24, 2000, Minutes of the Board
Levante Lokantasi, Washington DC

I. Introductions
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 73 members.

III. Contributions
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.

IV. Activities
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.

Web site
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 (turkey@lougheed.com) with any announcements they want to post and he will forward them to the NPCA office to post.

Job Vacancies
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.

V. Events
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: ocapan@superonline.com)
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: anatolianartisans@erols.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 <eblock@dmv.com> .

Next meeting
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 welcome.


Board Meeting Minutes:
Feb 2000 |  May 2000  Aug 2000 |  Jan 2001 |  May 2001  

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