The American Turkish Society (ATS) founded in New York in 1949 and Turkish American Association (TAA) founded in Ankara in 1951, established “The Promising Turks Fund (PTF)”; a fund that supports Turkish students to represent Turkey in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics (STEAM) and international relations. The fund is available for successful Turkish students at high school, college, masters and Ph.D. levels, who have been invited to the U.S. to represent Turkey in competitions, symposiums or conferences organized by educational institutions or NGOs.


This Year's Awardees of The Promising Turks Fund! 


Ömer Faruk Karakaya

Ömer is a 4th-year undergraduate student at Bahçeşehir University’s Faculty of Medicine in İstanbul. Among other accomplishments, in 2014 he won a bronze medal at the 22nd National Science Olympiads organized by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for his success in the branch of Biology at a nation-wide theoretical exam. He is also a member of the tumor-genetic and neuroscience research lab at Bahçeşehir University. During the summer of 2018, under the supervision of Prof. Katherine E. Conant MD, he worked at the Conant Lab of Georgetown University School of Medicine and conducted research in neuroscience. Thanks to the funds he was awarded by The Promising Turks Fund, he was able to accept a wonderful opportunity to become an intern at Dr. Robert Weinberg's laboratory at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, a lab affiliated with the Department of Biology of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During this internship, he will be conducting research focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis, with a special emphasis on the mechanisms of malignant progression and metastasis. 




Çağda Türkmen

Çağda is currently pursuing her master's degree in History, Theory, and Criticism in Architecture at İstanbul Bilgi University. She is also a research assistant at the Department of Interior Architecture at İstanbul Esenyurt University. Ranked among the top 100 students in Turkey, she completed her undergraduate studies at the Department of Architecture in Middle East Technical University. For her master’s thesis, she will criticize and analyze the history of formal architectural studies that took place in educational institutions from the 19th century to the 21st century. Her criticism will involve looking into alternative architectural education and how informal experiences such as the National Architecture Students Meeting, which is known to be the longest-running initiative that offers alternative architectural education since 1992. The study will help convey how alternative learning experiences will shape Turkey’s future architects. Thanks to the funds awarded by The Promising Turks Fund, she presented her paper titled "Learning Architecture: A Cognitive Approach" at "Education, Design, and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World" conference organized by the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.


Ayşegül Kayagil

Ayşegül studied Sociology at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. She wrote her master's thesis titled “The Construction of Cultural Boundaries in Turkey” at Koç University in İstanbul, Turkey. From 2016 to 2017, she was a visiting Ph.D. student and Swedish Institute Fellow at the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity, and Society (REMESO) at Linköping University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the New School for Social Research and is working on her dissertation project “From ‘Arabs’ to Afro-Turks’: Race in the Making of Hegemonic Turkishness”. Her research interests revolve around race, ethnicity, Turkish nationalism, qualitative methodologies and legacy of slavery in the Middle East. Thanks to the funds received by The Promising Turks Fund, she will be attending a round table discussion on November 13, 2019, in New Orleans, as a presenter at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA)'s panel titled: Africa and Africans in Ottoman/Turkish Studies: Past, Present, Future. The round table will assess the study of Africa and Africans in the fields of Ottoman and Turkish studies.