ATA-Houston Logo

Mission Statement

ATA-Houston, founded in 1979, is a non-profit organization created to promote better understanding and friendship between the people of the United States and Turkey through social, educational, cultural and charitable activities. It also aims to provide assistance to Turkish citizens living in Houston.

ATA-Houston is an IRS Section 501(C) 3 tax-exempt, charitable, educational and cultural organization.


ATA-Houston contributes to the society by organizing, sponsoring and hosting cultural and social events such as Turkish classes, seminars, picnics, music nights, concerts, and many other activities, which help build a bridge between the two cultures. Among the year-round activities organized by ATA-Houston, Turkish Festival is the most attended, with participation around 10,000 guests.

The first Turkish Festival in Houston was held in the year 1991, which was a first in the United States and has become a tradition since then. ATA-Houston has been able to expand and enrich its festivals every year in terms of the number and scope of its activities (musical and dance performances, arts and crafts displays and workshops, children’s activities, vendors, presentations, and food selection) and number of attendees it attracted. Houstonians are a wonderful mix and there is great interest in exploring different cultures.

As a non-profit organization, ATA-Houston relies on donations and gifts to have the financial capability to carry out its activities throughout the year.

Board of Directors

Dogan Baysal
Doğan Baysal
Jay Karahan
Jay Karahan
Vice Chairperson
Ebru Ak
Ebru Ak
Mustafa Tunc
Mustafa Tunç
Gurur Biliciler Denktas
Gurur Biliciler Denktaş

Executive Committee

Ebru Ak
Ebru Ak
Michelle Haskin
Michelle Haskin
Duygu Karaaslan Dursun
Duygu Karaaslan Dursun
Dilan Selek
VP of Cultural Affairs
Alihan Sahin
Alihan Şahin
VP of Development
Busra Burlukkara
Büşra Bürlükkara
VP of Communications

Past Presidents

Sevgi Keskin
Sevgi Keskin
2019 – 2021
Photo of Ozlem Adra
Özlem Adra
2015 – 2019
Ebru Erdini
Ebru Erdini
2014 – 2015
Jason Williams
Jason Williams
2013- 2014
Deniz Demirors
Deniz Demirörs
2011 – 2013
Gurcan Gulen
Gürcan Gülen
2009 – 2011
Esen Erdemir
Esen Erdemir
2008 – 2009
Oguz Orhon
Oğuz Orhon
2007 – 2008
Sukran Kadipasaoglu
Şükran Kadıpaşaoğlu
2006- 2007
Tanju Obut
Tanju Obut
2004 – 2006
Serhan Secmen
Serhan Seçmen
2002 – 2004
Coskun Caglar
Coşkun Cağlar
1999 – 2002
Photo of Erhan Uskup
Erhan Üsküp
1995 – 1999
Photo of Randy Burdett
Randy Burdett
1990 – 1995
Demir Karsan
Demir Karsan
1989 – 1990
Yildirim Beyazitoglu
Yıldırım Bayazıtoğlu
1987 – 1989
Yener Olmez
Yener Ölmez
1986 – 1987
Altan Erdil
Altan Erdil
1985 – 1986
Ahmet Gumuser
Ahmet Gümüşer
1984 – 1985
Velit Seyfettin
Velit Seyfettin
1983 – 1984
Kemal Gungor Dundar
Kemal Güngör Dündar
1981 – 1983
Ilhan Tezel
İlhan Tezel
1980 – 1981