Category Archives: Past Events

Heritage Day, Sept 14 2013

September 14 was a wonderful day in RI proving this small state's devotion to the grand ideal of respecting freedom of its citizens regardless of their ethnic/religious backgrounds. Each country's sub-committee had a stand with colorful items representing their culture. Rhode Islanders went around visiting each stand to observe/chat/ask questions/share the positive energy in the air. Kids went around visiting each stand to answer questions related to the culture/country and get their booklets stamped to win a few presents from the organizers. It was wonderful to interact with these kids, as they tried to find the answer to our question. Since the question was pretty tough: "What fruit was first introduced to Europe by Turkey?", we gave them lots of hints so they all eventually figured out the answer. We've also distributed stickers of Nazar beads which they put on their shirts and some on their faces! When we explained the Nazar Bead and how it absorbs the negative energy to protect a household, many Rhode Islanders asked where they could get one. There was a woman who commented that she'd need a much larger one than the one on display! Our free offer of Turkish Delight was a big hit and they often commented that they had heard about it but never tasted one before. It was great to see that so many people knew about Rumi already and they all loved our Whirling Dervish calligraphy on display. There was not a single person without a smile on their face! Thank you Rhode Island for having such a wonderful heritage of acceptance and openness!


Children’s Day – April 23, 2014

So many families and children enjoyed the TACS-RI Children's Festival this year with a fantastic turnout record with attendance from RI as well as MA residents and our Boston consul Sn Derya Kara who  participated in the event with her family. Unlimited carousel rides and bouncy house fun, playing with fellow Turkish American kids, pizza, baklava, treats and a traditional puppet show were all part of the fun! The “Hacivat and Karagoz” puppet show was an exceptional hit, with excellent performances by Gokhan Vural and Ertan Eryilmaz, The puppet stage was artfully hand made by Zeynep Ekmen Vural, TACSRI Treasurer.  Congrats to our raffle winner, Aygul Yilmaz Cetiner, who went home with a tabletop Hacivat ve Karagoz Puppet Stage. Thanks to all our guests! tum konuklarimiza tesekkurler!  Here are some pictures!!

29 Ekim Kutlamasi

TACSRI, Rhode Island Turk Amerikan Toplulugu Uyelerini ve Boston Baskonsolosumuz Sn Burak Kararti'yi Cumhuriyet Bayrami vesilesi ile 27 Ekim 2013 gunu yapilan bir resepsiyonda bir araya getirdi.

Cumhuriyet Bayrami kutlamamiz, Burcu Gulec ve grubundan icinde Ataturk'un sevdigi bazi parcalarin da yer aldigi ozel bir Turkce jazz/pop konseri ile senlendi. Programda ayrica RI'li miniklerimizden cumhuriyet siiri okumalari da yer aldi.
On October 27, 2013, TACSRI organized a Community Meet-and-Greet Reception with Boston Consul General Mr Burak Kararti which was followed with festivities to celebrate Turkish Republic Day. Festivities included a Turkish classical and contemporary music performance by 'Burcu Gulec' and poetry readings by our little ones.

Click here for some pictures and videos from the event.





a Jazz Fusion Concert by


featuring their new album: whatsnext?


Oct 2 @ 7:30 pm

Venue: RISD Auditorium ( 17 Canal St. Providence, RI )

DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT! Turkish American musician on the way to a Grammy!

Last year, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol put together a top notch jazz ensemble featuring some of the best musicians in Boston and NY, and recorded a truly ambitious album, entitled whatsnext? Their album is currently available on iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify as well as other such outlets and has been getting positive reviews (check out this amazing AllAboutJazz review: ) Moreover, their album will be on the Grammy ballot under the Large Jazz Ensemble category!

As part of a series of performances by this 12-piece jazz band which pairs Turkish instruments such as zurna (double reed wind), ney (end-blown flute), kös (large kettledrums) and nekkare (small kettledrums) with a 6-horn jazz combo to perform their Turkish music-influenced compositions, Mehmet Ali and his band will also visit Providence, RI on Oct 2!

Here is an example of one of their compositions, entitled An Afro Semai: As you will hear, this particular composition blends the Ottoman/Turkish yürük semai usul (rhtyhmic cycle) with an afro-jazz feel while incorporating the zurna and the uşşak makam (mode) into contemporary jazz composition. The overall concert will feature this type of unique original compositions of Mehmet Ali Sanlikol.

Here is the line-up of the band:
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, piano, keyboards, continuum, zurna, ney, voice
Jerry Sabatini, trumpet, flugel horn
Jeff Claassen, trumpet flugel horn
Mark Zaleski, alto sax., clarinet
Aaron Henry, tenor & soprano sax.
Chris Gagne, trombone
Jared Sims, baritone sax., bass clarinet
Utar Artun, piano, keyboards
Phil Sargent, electric guitar
Fernando Huergo, electric bass
Bertram Lehmann, drums
George Lernis, kettledrums, frame drums, percussion

Tickets are $20 if you purchase online from the following link.  Please bring your receipt to the event. Ticket sales are final and non-refundable. Tickets will be $25 at the door so buy now!

Discounted online price for students with ID presented at the door! Purchase student tickets for $10 from below. Tickets will be $25 at the door, so buy now!



Dear Members of the RI Turkish American Community and Friends,

On behalf of the Board of the Turkish American Cultural Society of RI, I would like to extend a heartfelt "Thank you!" to each of our supporters and volunteers for their generous contributions to TACS-RI's Earthquake Relief Campaign for the disaster relief efforts in Van, Turkey.  We especially would like to thank the East Side Early Learning Center in Providence for their continued support in spreading the word during the campaign.

While the donations have reached a modest total of $ 250, we sincerely believe that no donation is too small. In the torn region of Van, any amount is sure to make a difference in the form of medical and food supplies.  What does matter, indeed, is acting together in global solidarity when disasters such as the Van  Earthquake unfortunately hit people around the world.

Your tax-deductible contributions have been directly forwarded to Kizilay,  the Turkish Red Crescent, to be disbursed amongst the survivors in  Van, Turkey.

Thank you so much again for your support, and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!


Tulay Lawton

President, TACS-RI

Cultural Tour of Turkey

Our major donor for last two years' events, the Turkish Cultural Foundation has organized an intensive and immersive cultural tour of Turkey. Below is the announcement we received from the executive director of the foundation. It is worth a serious look if you want to see much of cultural, historical, and artistic aspects of Turkey

Designed by the Foundation's experts, the tour is a celebration of Turkey's rich history and cultural heritage and includes visits to all three Ottoman capitals and important Anatolian Seljuk towns, as well as select antique cities and archeological sites. This cultural immersion tour will take participants to Istanbul, Edirne, Iznik, Bursa, Safranbolu, Ankara, Amasya, Tokat, Sivas, Kayseri, Cappadocia, Konya and Antalya over 16 days. The Tour offers first-class accommodations throughout and is designed as a journey through the rich cultural history of Anatolia, highlighting cultural heritage sites of Turkey, while providing a taste of over thousand years of Anatolian Turkish culture through private performances and demonstrations of Turkish music, dance and art. Providing participants an unforgettable culinary experience, meticulously designed menus will showcase local and regional tastes, in addition to the best examples of Ottoman and Turkish cuisine.

The price for the Grand Tour of Turkey is $ 4,200 per person for double occupancy and $ 4,900 for single occupancy. The price is all inclusive except for roundtrip air travel to Istanbul. All proceeds will benefit the Turkish Cultural Foundation.

For a city by city itinerary, reservation and other information, please visit the Turkish Cultural Foundation website.

The newly designed Web site of the Turkish Cultural Foundation will please you with its new look and its content. While you are there, do not forget to hop over to their sister site, Turkish Music Portal.

Publication: Sultan’s Seal by Jenny White

7b2831e741-91cd-45d6-b842-e8946788603b7dimg1002-150x1501Our member, Jenny White has a new book out, Sultan's Seal. The novel received great reviews and promises to be a good read. It is available at Amazon. See what others have said:

A wonderful read, written by someone who can write about the exotic and fascinating world of the late Ottoman Empire with knowledge and understanding ... Of the highest quality Iain Pears, author of An Instance of the Fingerpost.

Intricate and subtle as a Turkish Carpet, lush as silk upon the skin ... Its very appealing characters are caught between East and West, Islan and Christianity, and bound in a web of murder and treachery that only the luck few may escape. Diana Gabaldon, author of A Breath of Snow and Ashes



TACS-RI has been in partnership with the Ocean State Libraries, and, as of March 2012, we have recently succeeded in the formal acceptance of the first few Turkish-language children's books into the public library catalogue! You may access the books at the East Side Rochambeau Public library branch (Providence), or you may request it at your own local public library through their interlibrary loan service.
Follow us here and on Facebook for more news and exciting updates on our  upcoming "Turkish-Language Book Campaign" in Rhode Island!

Networking Event with the President of Yeditepe University

Feb 22, 2013, at Brown University
Thanks to all who attended TACS-RI's "Academic Careers Workshop/Networking Event," yesterday Featuring Prof. Nurcan Bac, President of Yeditepe.
TACS-RI Toplulugu ve tum uyelerimiz adina Sn Rektor Profesor Nurcan Bac'a tum aciklamalari ve bize ayirdigi vakit icin cok tesekkur ederiz...

Highlights of the event