In 2006, Haldun Tashman, a Turkish businessman from the Black Sea city of Bolu, shared his dream of giving back to Turkey with his friends: first with Mustafa Abadan, Erinch Ozada, Haluk Soykan and Ozlenen Kalav; and then with Murat Agirnasli who all embraced Haldun’s vision with open arms and formed the founding team of TPF. Haldun had come to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship and went on to build a successful plastics company in Arizona. His personal, transformative experience as a scholarship recipient and his involvement in community philanthropy in Arizona, motivated him to ask how his giving could also benefit communities in his country of origin. His interest turned into a full-fledged feasibility study done by Selen Ucak under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Mittenthal, former President of the Arizona Community Foundation and advised by Dr. Senay Ataselim.
Inspired by the U.S. history of private philanthropy and the various ways in which individuals, families and institutions can give, TPF’s founding team set about creating a foundation that could encourage those interested in supporting Turkey to be more philanthropic and address vital needs in local communities. Turkey faces several challenges specifically in the areas of education, gender equality and economic development. Haldun and TPF’s founding group were motivated to see how they could help.
At the heart of their vision was a sense of “community” – both in how they approach the work and in the engagement with partners. This is how “community” has become the cornerstone of TPF’s vision and mission. This work is focused on educating individuals about our communities’ social challenges today- and empowering them to act to solve it, in their own way. More than just being a platform for donations, TPF aims to be a community where everyone can engage with issues and is directly involved in creating impact through his or her contributions.
TPF’s work build on trust. Trust that the organizations TPF identifies as partners have the resources and capabilities to implement projects that have meaningful impact. Trust that TPF is a transparent organization where individuals can collaborate and communicate. It is the trust that together a community of philanthropists can make a difference.