Who We Are

Established in 2003, MARTI is a nonprofit and non-politically affiliated organization supported by local Turkish American community. We serve the local community by organizing a variety of activities including but not limited to field trips, picnics, social gatherings, art & crafts exhibitions, holiday celebrations, panels, seminars, language and tutoring classes, and last but not least, daily iftar dinners during the month of Ramadan.

We promote intercultural and interfaith dialogue & friendship through educational and cultural activities. We believe that we can build stronger bridges within our community if we get to know one another.

Mission & Vision

American Turkish Friendship Association (ATFA) is a non-profit non-governmental organization with no political affiliation dedicated to addressing the social and cultural needs of Turkish and American friends living in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area.

We aim to promote of understanding of American and Turkish cultures, and to foster integrity through cultural and educational activities. Providing an inspiring atmosphere for the friends and helping them getting better integrated with their local communities are some of the primary goals of our association. Any contribution to the peace, prosperity and harmony is greatly appreciated within our association. We believe getting to know each other will build bridges among our community.

US – Turkey Relations

Turkish-American relations evolved from US’ entrance into World War I on the Allied side shortly before the war ended and its becoming a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece after the war in quelling a communist rebellion, along with demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits, prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece, and resulted in large scale US military and economic support. After participating with United Nations forces in the Korean War, Turkey in 1952 joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Early relationship

Turkey’s most important international relationship has been with the United States since the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War. Turkey’s association with the United States began in 1947 when the United States Congress designated Turkey, under the provisions of the Truman Doctrine, as the recipient of special economic and military assistance intended to help it resist threats from the Soviet Union. A mutual interest in containing Soviet expansion provided the foundation of United States-Turkish relations for the next forty years. In support of overall United States Cold War strategy, Turkey contributed personnel to the UN forces in the Korean War (1950-53), joined NATO in 1952, became a founding member of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) collective defense pact established in 1955, and endorsed the principles of the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Turkey generally cooperated with other United States allies in the Middle East (Iran, Israel, and Jordan) to contain the influence of those countries (Egypt, Iraq, and Syria) regarded as Soviet clients. Since 1954, Turkey hosts the Incirlik Air Base, an important operations base of the United States Air Force, which has played a critical role during the Cold War, the Gulf War, and the recent Iraq War.


The most difficult period in two countries’ relationship followed Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 to protect the Island’s Turkish population from a genocide. In response to the military intervention, the United States halted arms supplies to Turkey. Ankara retaliated by suspending United States military operations at all Turkish installations that were not clearly connected with NATO missions. The Cyprus issue affected United States-Turkish relations for several years. Even after the United States Congress lifted the arms embargo in 1978, two years passed before bilateral defense cooperation and military assistance were restored to their 1974 level.