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Old 25th December 2005, 17:13   #1 (permalink)
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House of Turkey Needs a Home

usaturkishtimes;
House of Turkey Needs a Home
By Leyla Gulen
ImageSan Diego’s Balboa Park, America’s largest urban cultural recreation area, has been the location for the House of Pacific Relations’ International Cottages since 1935. As a way of furthering cooperation and understanding between national groups in the United States, this non-profit organization has grown to become the dwelling place of 30 ethnic installations, including Argentina, China, Iran and Norway.

Turkey, now an International Cottage affiliate member, is on the road to becoming a full-fledged participant. But, it’s missing one thing…a house.

Last Sunday, San Diego’s chapter of the American-Turkish Association of Southern California hosted their second House of Nations exhibition as part of its one-year probation period before it can be deemed official. At the event, volunteers presented all things Turkish - evil eye bracelets, handmade kilims and Turkish cuisine in an effort to drum up exposure and support.

House of Turkey President, Alanur Fisch says it’s been no walk in the park getting a permanent residence at Balboa Park, which carries an estimated sticker price of $200,000 to $350,000 for the house’s construction and decor.

But, Fisch says, “Turkish people in San Diego are very excited about its exposure as a meeting point for the [community].”

Last year, ATASC-SD managed to raise $9,000. This weekend, a total of $500 dollars was earned in donations - a drop in the bucket, perhaps, but Fisch remains optimistic. “We’re going to have more aggressive fundraising in the future. Once we become eligible for tax exempt status, we can get bigger donations from organizations like the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, Turkcell, Mavi Jeans and Coach.”

On October 23rd, the House of Turkey will host another event in Balboa Park on the lawn by the International Cottages with Turkish music, food and folk dancers. “Completing this project really needs support by Southern Californians and we are really looking forward to their support,” Fisch says.

Fisch expects the daunting task to build a Turkish house will take at least two years.
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