Turkish Women’s League of America (TWLA)

Established on September 17, 1958 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in New York, Turkish Women’s League of America (TWLA) aims to preserve and teach Turkish language and culture to the future generations. The association is one of the oldest active Turkish-American organizations in the USA and it also hosts the New York TWLA Atatürk School, which has been a pride since 1971.

Another important task TWLA carries out is the activities that will enable friendship and understanding between American and Turkish women and to support the work of other similar public institutions.

Under the leadership of Ms. Sermin Özçilingir, who has been the president of the organization with great success since 2009, various social and cultural meetings, conferences, seminars, art exhibitions, concerts, theater events, book signing days for the benefit of its members and the Turkish community living in the New York region.

Atatürk mentioning Turkish women who wrote history in the War of Independence, once said, “Oh the hero Turkish woman! You are worthy not to crawl on the ground, but to rise to the skies on the shoulders!”

With this awareness, Turkish Women’s League of America works devotedly with institutions and non-governmental organization to achieve and preserve the deserved respected place of women in the society.

TWLA Mission Statement

TWLA Board of Directors

TWLA Board of Directors, 2019-2021

Sermin Özçilingir was born in Kayseri in 1954. She has been living in the USA since 1993. She has been serving for many years in TWLA which is committed to the successful integration of women into the economic and social life in the United States. She serves as the President of TWLA since 2009. During her term as a president, she brought women together by organizing various panels and symposiums by Turkish and American experts in their fields related to the issues women encounter and their solutions. Sermin Özçilingir is the mother of four children.

Fatma Aldaş is a retired Financial Consultant, stockbroker and international private banker. She served as Vice President and Customer Relations Manager at JP Morgan Chase Bank. She retired after 35 years of service in the financial sector. Fatma Aldaş is married and has two children. She has two wonderful grand kids that she loves endlessly . Her youngest daughter is a graduate of New York Atatürk School. Fatma Aldaş has been serving on the Board of Directors of TWLA since 2006.

Vaside Guler Unal was born in Istanbul in 1958. After graduating from the middle school of Cibali High School, she graduated from Vefa Aksam High School. Ünal graduated from Anadolu University Open Education Business Administration Faculty and worked at Türk Ticaret Bankası and Hürriyet Newspaper. She is retired from Hürriyet Newspaper as the Legal Affairs Manager. Vaside Guler Ünal joined Caddebostan Lions Club in 1994 and served as the secretary and treasurer. Serving successfully within the club, Ünal served as the President during 2001-2002. Vaside Güler Ünal has been working as a SCG at NYPD since 2015. She has been serving on the Board of Directors of TWLA since 2009.

Nevin Sarı was born in 1982 in Bulgaria. In 1992, she immigrated to the United States with her family. She enrolled at the New York Atatürk School and graduated in 1995. Nevin Sarı holds a BS in Economics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Theology. She has held various positions in the finance world for more than 20 years. She believes that Atatürk School positively influences and shapes the future of Turkish-American youth.

Berna Gürdal graduated from Hacettepe University Faculty of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1997 and worked as a corporate dietitian at Panorama Food Company between 1997-1999. Between 1998-2005, she worked as a clinical dietitian at Internal Medicine Department of Uludağ University and made presentations at various congresses. Her work on the treatment of diabetes was published in the book Diabetes Mellitus in 2006 Berna Gürdal who has been living in New York since 2005, received the Child Nutrition and Cooking Program Certificate from Stanford University. She is married and has two children. Her son graduated from New York Atatürk School. She has been serving on the Board of Directors of TWLA since 2017.

İlknur Hüyük was born in Antakya. After graduating from high school in 1995, she worked as a Human Resources Manager in a private company. İlknur Hüyük moved to USA in 2004 and has been working as a SCG for NYPD since 2016. In 2018, she started training in the Foreign Trade Faculty in AÖF . She is married and has 3 children. Her son is a graduate of New York Atatürk School. She has been serving on the Board of Directors of TWLA since 2017.

Halide Ekingen-Eser graduated from the Faculty of Communications, Marmara University in Istanbul and worked at Citibank. She got married during this period. Halide Ekingen-Eser started her adventure in America with the aim of learning a foreign language, doing masters and working abroad as most people dreams of. She is married and has two daughters. Her daughters are graduates of New York Atatürk School. Halide Ekingen-Eser has been serving on the Board of Directors of TWLA since 2015.

Filiz Pınar

Nevra Ölmez

İrem Konur

Burcu Çolakoğlu

Belgin Ekinciler

Peri Som