Remembering Soma: Far and near, came together and raised $141,835

Soma1We mark the one year anniversary of Soma Mining Disaster 

But with each passing day, Soma and surrounding towns recover as our community, far and near, came together to support rebuilding and resilience activities.

With enormous gratitude to every donor that has contributed to the cause, TPF can proudly say we have helped fund four projects in Soma, over the past year. Those projects would never have been possible if it weren’t for the $141,835 we received in donations.

With enormous gratitude to more than 500 donors that have contributed to the cause, TPF can proudly say we have helped fund four projects, over the past year:

  • Cagdas Yasami Destekleme Dernegi (Association for the Support of Contemporary Living, CYDD) in the amount of $45,000
  • Darussafaka Cemiyeti (Darussafaka Society) in the amount of $45,000
  • Anne Cocuk Egitim Vakfi (Mother Child Education Foundation, ACEV) in the amount of $30,000
  • Anatolian Artisans in the amount of $21,835

We are honored that you selected TPF. We are also proud that our community came together under the umbrella of TPF; eight Turkish-American organizations channeled their giving through TPF, and many others directed their members to give through TPF’s campaign, knowing how carefully we will choose the ultimate recipients.

After analyzing the needs in detail, since the government’s disaster agency, AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency), provided emergency aid for recovery, TPF decided to support organizations involved in rebuilding and resilience activities in Soma and surrounding towns.

Our decision on awarding grants was based on the following factors:

  • Most of the relief efforts targeted Soma. However, the victims spread to more than 15 towns.
  • All scholarships, to the children of miners who lost their lives, are being administered by AFAD.
  • 301 lives were lost at the Soma mining disaster. This left 418 children with no fathers. Thirty-two percent of these children are under the age of five, 38 percent are attending elementary school, and 24 percent are over 12 years of age. Fifty-one percent of school-aged children are boys and 49 percent are girls.

Based on these findings, TPF has funded the following projects:

  • Establishment of a Cultural Activity Center in SOMA by CYDD: TPF’s grant assisted CYDD to purchase a building to house a Cultural Activity Center and helped with the operating costs of the first year. The Cultural Activity Center features creative studios for children, provides sessions for psychosocial support and offers skill-building workshops to both men and women. The Center became a hub for many other organization that wanted to provide services to the community including TPF supported projects, Anatolian Artisans’ Soma workshop and ACEV’s Child Education Programs.
  • Scholarships through Darussafaka Society: Darussafaka Society with approval from AFAD provides scholarships to students who lost their fathers at the mining tragedy. TPF’s grant will provide full scholarships for one year at Darussafaka Schools to four students in the 2015-16 school year.
  • Child Education Programs by ACEV: ACEV provides child education programs to address mid to long-term needs of the towns affected by the disaster at CYDD’s Cultural Activity Center. Programs cover a variety of educational topics from pre-school education, play and reading groups and family education to adult literacy, serving 1,500 to 2,000 families per year.
  • Artisanal Workshops by Anatolian Artisans: The project trains women to put their traditional skills in “Oya” crochet work, embroidery and sewing in production of marketable goods. The program started with the training of a group of initial 20 women between March 24 – April 8, 2015 by two professional craft designers who worked on successful similar projects in Tibet, Myanmar, India, Nepal and Gaza. The produced goods will be exhibited at the New York Gift Fair in July 2015 and January 2016 fairs to obtain orders from wholesale buyers. Further, the products will be marketed to Textile Museum and Smithsonian Museum gift stores in Washington. The goal is to make the enterprise sustainable and provide income to women who lost their husbands at the mining disaster or who desperately need steady income to support their families since their husbands lost their jobs after the disaster.

Team TPF

Gunay’s dream is helping other women pursue theirs

Update on Gunay’s Educ∞ English Education Program

 On March 27, we shared the inspiring story of Gunay Aksoy, the founder of the Educ∞ English Education Program. When she was 12 years old, she was recommended by her teachers for a study abroad program in the United States. Her elders decided it was not her place and sent her brother instead. Fast forward to this day, Gunay is now a vice-president at a leading financial institution in New York. It was this childhood experience that brought her to TPF to start a campaign in support of girls’ education. Below is an update on the continued success of her efforts.

Gunay Aksoy Group PhotoGunay Aksoy, by tapping into TPF’s knowledge, and through its platform and non-profit status,  started a campaign for girls’ education last year. She raised about $23,600 to bring successful girls from southeast Turkey to New York for a summer study program.  After two rounds of interviews, four bright students have been selected to participate in her program this year. They are:

Eda, is from Sanliurfa and is studying Electrical & Electronics Engineering at Gaziantep University.

Fatma, is from Batman and is doing a double major in Medicine (in English) and Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation at Marmara University. She is one of the 11 kids in the family and the only girl out of her seven sisters who have made it this far.

Gul, is from Sanliurfa and she’s completing a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Marmara University.

Nevruz, is from Sirnak and she’s studying Psychology at Ege University.  She won a literature competition in 6th grade which changed her perspective on life and about herself when the grantee partners visited her town to celebrate her accomplishment.

If you would like to meet our girls, volunteer your time and/or ideas so they can make the best of their short stay in New York, please visit  Educ∞ English Education ProgramGunay’s story is a community story and it can be your story, too. If you have an idea that you’ve been resting on, find out how to start your own fund and join forces with TPF, and let us help you turn your dreams into reality.

March 27, 2015

My Dream, My Story
By Gunay Aksoy

Gunay Aksoy professional

I was 12 years old. I have heard that I can’t do many things simply because I am a girl. I wanted to follow that ‘guidance’ provided by my elders, but it just didn’t make sense to me. One day my teachers recommended me for a summer study program in the United States because I have had really good grades.  But my family and relatives decided it was not safe for a girl at my age to travel abroad alone, so they sent my brother instead.

Yes, I was only 12 years old when I faced my first case of gender inequality. That incident changed  my outlook on life going forward. Since then I worked very hard, I had a very successful academic life followed by a thriving career in finance. Late last year, I had an epiphany. I realized I was driven by my past in trying to prove to the society that as a woman I was just as capable as men and with that  Educ∞ English Education Program was born. We have different strengths and weaknesses, but we are all human. Unlike anything else I have done in life, I find endless energy and strength to keep fighting the inherent biases in society that places girls at a disadvantage from a very young age.

Turkish Philanthropy Funds enabled me to turn my dream of bringing five young women in college with economic difficulties from Turkey to New York for English education into a reality. TPF shared their platform and services and made a tremendous impact on the direction of this cause. I am thankful to all the members of this wonderful organization for their support. We are working closely with Cagdas Yasami Destekleme Dernegi (CYDD), a vetted TPG grantee partner and they are assisting with selection of the candidates and planning process in Turkey. The program will expand these girls’ horizons and help them believe that they can dream big and not be stopped due to their gender, background, and economic status. If you also believe in addressing gender equality in education, please join me!




Jülide Ateş: Give your mother a gift that makes a difference

Dear friend,

This mother’s day is special for me. My son will turn 12 years old this year. He is no longer a big boy, but a young man.  I am thankful for the opportunities he will have in his life and excited for his future. I am also reminded that not all the mothers are fortunate as me.

As a news anchor, I traveled across Turkey and saw first-hand the hardship of women and girls in rural Turkey. Did you know that Turkey is outpaced by countries such as Libya, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Kazakhstan  in its treatment of its mothers, ranking at 65th place in Save the Children‘s newest annual global motherhood rankings? That’s a puzzling figure from a country that is among the top 20 economies of the world.

This Mother’s Day make your mom proud with the gift of an opportunity by donating to TPF’s Gender Equality Fund. The fund supports scholarships for women and girls as well as projects that teach women life skills that will earn them an income. When women do well, society does better.  Women are more likely to spend their resources on health and education, leading a remarkable ripple effect in society.

If you are like me and wanting to make a mother smile today, give the gift of an opportunity. We will send you a receipt after your donation. Show the receipt to your mom and she will be proud.  Together, we can do better.

Act Now!

Thank you.

Julide Ates sitting

Jülide Ateş
Goodwill Ambassador on Gender Equality
Turkish Philanthropy Funds


Support Nepal Relief and Recovery Fund for Solidarity with the Victims

NEPAL Omar Havan via Getty Images

As of today, at least 3,900 people died and 7,000 are injured following the earthquake in Nepal on Saturday, April 25th. The United Nations has said more than six million people live in the areas that have been affected, including in the neighboring China and India. Nearly 1 million children need immediate aid, according to UNICEF.

As the international aid effort gathers pace, Turkish Philanthropy Funds established Nepal Relief and Recovery Fund to show solidarity of Turkish-Americans with the victims affected by the disaster. The money donated will support relief and longer-term recovery efforts run by local organizations.

In the past, Turkish Philanthropy Funds have contributed to the international relief efforts towards the drought in Somalia and Japanese Earthquake in 2011, and the Hurricane Sandy that hit Northeast America in 2012. TPF relief funds, in sum raised over $650,000 for Soma Mine Disaster in 2014 and for Van Earthquake in 2011. Turkey is a country affected often by natural disasters, and we believe acting together makes us stronger in the face of such sad crises.

You can contribute to Nepal Relief and Recovery Fund online or by writing a check. Please make your checks payable to Turkish Philanthropy Funds, indicate “Nepal Fund” on the check.

If you would like to make a contribution from your Donor-Advised Fund, please call (646) 530.8988.

Act Now!

Thank you.

Turkish Philanthropy Funds Team

Turkish Philanthropy Funds is a New York based community foundation that enables donors to realize their philanthropic passions for Turkey. With the plethora of NGOs, knowing where to invest your charitable dollars is a challenge. TPF funds the most effective programs, and partners with them to maximize results. TPF does this by strengthening individual giving and by providing knowledge and solutions for the community. Turkish Philanthropy Funds is a tax-exempt organization described in Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law. Tax ID: 20-8392006.

Top Image: Residents line up for food in an evacuation area set up by the authorities in Tundhikel park on April 27, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)

Announcing Abadan Awards for Social Scientists

(NEW YORK, NY) On April 18, Turkish Philanthropy Funds announced the establishment of Abadan Awards to encourage outstanding scholars in post-graduate studies in social sciences and law. The awards will alternate each year between the following:

Dr. Yavuz Abadan Constitutional Law Award (2015) will be granted towards studies in constitutional law around government theory, legislative, executive, and judiciary, and in human rights.

Dr. Nermin Abadan-Unat Social Science Award (2016) is open to all social sciences with a particular focus on women’s research.

“Today, my father would have been 110 years old. This is my posthumous birthday gift to him. Nothing would have made him happier than knowing that his name will now nurture a new generation of extraordinary scholars in constitutional law, a field that he cared deeply and excelled in” said Mustafa Kemal Abadan, Vice-Chair and Founding Partner at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. “Next year, I will honor my living mother who pushed tirelessly the boundaries on the advancement of women rights in politics and in law.”

In 2008, Abadan Family opened a donor advised fund at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. TPF’s donor advised funds allow individuals to pool resources into an endowment, enabling donors to pursue their philanthropic dreams without the administrative burdens and large costs associated with running one’s own family foundation. Since its founding in 2007, TPF has raised more than $17 million and donated over $13 million for important social causes in Turkey.

“We are very pleased with the success and growth of our Abadan Funds” said Ozlenen Eser Kalav, Chairman and CEO at Turkish Philanthropy Funds. “Recognizing the achievements and encouraging the future interests of Turkey’s promising social scientists is vital. We have 21 named funds currently at TPF, and each of them is attached to the noblest causes.”

The purpose of the Abadan Awards is to encourage early-career scholars who are pursuing and/or completed their post-graduate studies in Turkey or abroad, to further their research. Those who have already earned their doctorates will be eligible to pursue their research interests at Koç University’s Law School or at the Center for Gender Studies at Koç University (KOÇ-KAM). The winners from post-graduate candidates will have the option to complete their studies at an international or national institute of their choosing within the cooperation and joint program agreements of Koç University. The winners will receive $20,000 towards that end. The competition is open only to Turkish citizens, between the ages of 25-38. The application deadline is 15 May 2015.


For information on application and eligibility

Koç University Law School – – +0212 338 1885

KOÇ-KAM – – +0212 338 1680

For information on Turkish Philanthropy Funds – – 1-646 530 8988


Turkish Philanthropy Funds is a New York based community foundation that enables donors to realize their philanthropic passions for Turkey. With the plethora of NGOs, knowing where to invest your charitable dollars is a challenge. TPF funds the most effective programs, and partners with them to maximize results. TPF does this by strengthening individual giving and by providing knowledge and solutions for the community. Turkish Philanthropy Funds is a tax-exempt organization described in Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law. Tax ID: 20-8392006.