On January 26th, 2011 Turkish-New Mexican Friendship Reception was held at La Fonda Plaza in Santa Fe by the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians and the Raindrop Turkish House Albuquerque.
State Senators, House of Representatives, Legislators and other officials in New Mexico and six Congressmen from Turkey were the guests of the night. Dianna J. Duran- Secretary of State, James B. Lewis- State Treasurer, Gary King, Attorney General, Hector H. Balderas- State Auditor, Timothy Jennings- Senate Pro Tempore, Steven Neville- State Senator, Gerald Ortiz y Pino- State Senator, Rick Miera- State Representative, Joseph Cervantes- State Representative, Zachary Cook- State Representative, James R.J. Strickler- State Representative were host committee. Turkish Parliamentarians Abdullah Caliskan, Emin Nedim Ozturk, Fatma Sahin, Mehmet Sahin, Murat Mercan, Murat Yildirim were among the guests of the night.
The aim of the event was to promote continuing good relationship and create an opportunity to further enrich cultural understanding by bringing together the leaders of New Mexico State and the members from Turkish parliament.
Event started with the welcoming remarks by James B. Lewis- State Treasurer, Gary King, Attorney and Timothy Jennings- Senate Pro Tempore. After welcoming speeches, President of TCAE, Kemal Oksuz made opening remarks and evaluated the night as an opportunity to improve relations between Turkey and New Mexico. The keynote speech was made by Frank Yates who is reverend of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and at the same time faculty at UNM. He mentioned about his visit to Turkey and shared his thoughts and impressions.
Murat Mercan- Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee in Turkish Parliament made a speech emphasizing the close relations between Turkey and the United States and importance of events organized by Turkish Americans, in strengthening friendly relations between two governments.
After the speeches, the night was followed by enjoying food and Turkish baklava. During the reception water marbling (Ebru) and calligraphy were performed. Attendees also enjoyed Turkish art exhibition.
(January 26, 2011 Santa Fe, NM)