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ABOUT US

Turkish American Association of San Antonio is an inclusive organization that welcomes people of all religions, backgrounds and national origin. What unites us is our mutual interest in Turkish culture and history.  We welcome people who were born or raised in Turkey; people who have visited Turkey and fell in love with the country; people who served or worked in Turkey and have many fond memories; and people who would like to learn more about Turkey.

We do not have a political agenda.  As a non-profit organization, we do not engage in political, religious or legislative activities.  Our objectives are intercultural, educational and social.

HOW DID WE START?

When a young Turkish professor came to San Antonio in the early 1960s to establish the first Engineering Department at St. Mary’s University, there were very few Turkish natives in the area.  In the years that followed in the late 60s and the 70s, Prof. Turgut M. Ozan started a successful Engineering Department at St. Mary’s University, got married and together with his wife, Sevin, began reaching out to the population of Turkish Americans whose numbers in the area were growing.  After bringing the Turkish American community together with many informal celebrations and dinners, Prof. Turgut Ozan and Sevin Ozan decided it was time to found an organization specifically devoted to this goal.  Turkish American Association of San Antonio (TAASA) was founded as a non-profit Texas organization in 1986 and Prof. Ozan became it first elected President.

Since 1986, we have been serving Turkish-Americans and friends of Turkey in the greater San Antonio area.  We are dedicated to:

Promote better understanding and relations between the peoples of Turkey and the United States of America Increase and promote public knowledge and understanding of Turkish culture and history. Serve the Turkish-American community and friends of Turkey in the greater San Antonio area by organizing social and intercultural activities celebrating or commemorating special holidays. Participate in cultural and educational activities such as festivals, parades, school functions etc. to represent Turkey, Turkish culture and history.

WHAT DO WE DO?

In keeping with our non-profit, intercultural, educational and social objectives, we represent Turkey at various area festivals and cultural events, and organize many social events to commemorate special Turkish occasions and to bring the Turkish-American Community together.

Our activities to promote Turkish culture over the years included:

Texas Folk Life Festival, San Antonio: Our successful Turkish booth complete with cultural displays and Turkish food sales won many festival awards.  As of 2009, we have participated in this festival for 16 years.

Systems, Man and Cybernetics Conference (SMC) 2009, Hyatt Regency Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio:  Since SMC 2010 will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, we were invited to represent Turkey at this conference.  TAASA members in national costume greeted attendees and a Turkish exhibit offered more information.

City of Windcrest 50th Anniversary Festival, 2009: Our Turkish booth with cultural displays and Turkish food sales was a big hit.

Tejeda Middle School History Faire and Culture Fest, San Antonio, 2009:  Our cultural booth and costumed members taught students about Turkey.

Lackland Air Force Base, International Folk Festival, San Antonio, 2007:  Turkey was the Host Country at this special event.

“An Evening in Istanbul” at the San Antonio Museum of Art, 2003: A special night of Turkish cultural festivities, including art, music, dancing etc.

Annual Celebrations of Turkish Holidays and Special Historical Occasions: Ongoing events celebrate Turkish Independence, Children’s Day, founding of the Turkish Republic and more.

Bylaws Click here to see the amended bylaws of the Association.

Professor Turgut Ozan

1919-2011 Turgut Ozan was born in 1919 in Ankara, Turkey.  He received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland in 1950 and his M.S. in Production Engineering at the University of Birmingham in England in 1958.  He obtained his D. Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 1963.

In 1960, Dr. Ozan accepted a teaching position at St. Mary’s University with the task of developing engineering education at the University.  He started with Industrial Engineering (1960) and continued with the initiation of Engineering Science (1964) and Electrical Engineering (1977) at the undergraduate level. Additionally, Dr. Ozan started four graduate programs leading to Master of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering, Engineering Science, Operation Research, and Engineering Administration. In 1967 he became the Associate Dean of the Division of Engineering and in 1984, its Dean.

Dr. Ozan was the author of the textbook “Applied Mathematical Programming” (Prentice Hall, 1986) and many research papers. Dr. Ozan received St. Mary’s University’s Alumni Award, the Long Years Service Award (1983), and the Distinguished Faculty Award (1984).  He also received the titles of University Professor and Professor Emeritus from the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s University (1990).

In addition to his academic work, Dr. Ozan founded the Turkish American Association of San Antonio in 1986, serving as its first elected President.  Since then he offered leadership and guidance to the organization in support of all of its activities.  Dr. Ozan was married to Sevin Ozan, who has been a tireless volunteer and leader in TAASA since its inception.  The Ozans have two children, Dr. Aydin Ozan and Mrs. Oya Cimen, and three grandchildren, Megan Ozan and Selin and Eren Cimen.

Dr. Ozan passed away in June of 2011.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk