Dr. Yalcin Ayasli, Chairman of TCA, received the Macedonia Friendship Award of United Macedonia Diaspora (UMD) at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Skopje in the presence of His Excellency Gjorge Ivanov, President of Macedonia. Dr. Ayasli was presented the award by Stojan Nikolov, Chairman of UMD and Meto Koloski, UMD President. Dr. Ayasli also visited Bitola (Manastir) and Ohrid, where he met with the Mayors of both towns.
Dr. Ayasli also traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina, visiting Sarajevo and Mostar and met with representatives of the Bosniak American Advisory Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BAACBH) and the Defense Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Selmo Cikotic.
Commenting on the visit, Dr. Ayasli stated: "The cultural, political and economic ties between Turkey and Macedonia and Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina derive their strength from a shared history and culture. The full European and NATO integration of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina should be a key strategic objective for the United States and the Euro-Atlantic community. In this respect, TCA will continue to help strengthen the voice of the Macedonian and Bosnian heritage communities in the US."
TCA has been a long-time supporter of the Macedonian American and Bosniak American communities and has helped the institutional development of UMD and BAACBH through multi-year grants. In the summer of 2010, TCA sponsored the largest congressional staff delegation to both countries in collaboration with UMD and BAACBH.