Board of Directors


Nina Solarz

David Saltzman (Esq.)
Vice President and Treasurer

Judy Havemann

Dr. Elizabeth W. Shelton
Executive Director

Board Members

Ercu Ackman
Kaya Arikoğlu
Oya Bain
Osman Bengur
Dr. Soner Cağaptay
Prof. Dr. Sinan Ciddi
Jane Firor
Leah Glantz
Richard Gregory
Amb. James Holmes (Ret.)
Dr. Henry P. Williams III
Dr. Sharon Wiener

Who We Are

About AFOT

The American Friends of Turkey (AFOT) began as an informal organization in the early 1970s by those who had served the U.S. Government in Turkey, mainly military, diplomats and Peace Corps personnel who believed that Turkey was not well understood in the United States. It was officially incorporated as an educational and cultural non-profit 501 (c) (3) in 1982. Over the years, other dimensions were added, especially a commercial emphasis, which brought about the eventual division of the organization into two: The American Friends of Turkey and the American – Turkish Council.

More recently, AFOT has become an all-volunteer organization concentrating on sharing with Americans the culture and history of Turkey and encouraging study and travel. In addition to cultural lectures and events in the United States, AFOT has offered educational trips to Turkey. The 2016-17 season narrows our focus to lectures and events within the United States.

Our mission statement reflects our philosophy:

The mission of The American Friends of Turkey, Inc., is to support and strengthen people-to-people relations between American and Turkey by deepening the understanding and appreciation of our two centuries of friendship. Our goal is to develop further a broad range of mutual interests including culture, education, the environment, literatures and the arts.