Make Sure Your Voice is Heard by Congress!
In recent years, Turkish American organizations and individuals have taken a more proactive approach in combating legislation pushed by particular ethnic lobbies that paint a negative image of Turkey or try to drive a wedge between the decades-long U.S. – Turkey partnership.
The help of hard-working volunteers in Washington D.C. coupled with the concerted effort of Turkish Americans across the nation in contacting their members of Congress has resulted in many legislative victories over the years, but we still have a lot of work to do.
What Can You Do?
One of the easiest ways to make a difference is to take a few minutes to call your member of Congress and request that they join the Congressional Caucus on Turkey and Turkish Americans (Turkey Caucus). A quick call can make a world of difference, as often times members of Congress and their staff incorrectly assume they do not have Turkish American constituents living in their districts. Every constituent matters and has a say in how their representative votes. Make sure your voice is heard!
It is the main focus of certain ethnic lobbies to paint Turks and Turkish Americans in a negative light. The most effective way to combat such prejudice is to visit the district office of your Representative. The focus of your initial visit should be to introduce yourself as a constituent who lives, works, and/or studies in your Member’s district. Accordingly, said Congressperson will be made aware of their Turkish American constituency and its positive contributions.
The Turkey Caucus and Its Importance in Congress
The Congressional Caucus on Turkey and Turkish Americans was established in March 2001 by Congresspersons Robert Wexler (D-Florida), Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky), and Kay Granger (R-TX). The Turkey Caucus is a bi-partisan platform through which Members of Congress focus on fostering US-Turkey relations and show their support for issues of concern to Turkish Americans.
As a testament to how far the Turkish American community has come, the Turkey Caucus reached a record high of 160 members in the 114th Congress (2015-2016).