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Association of Turkish Americans in Southern California (ATASC) scheduled their annual Republic Day Ball this year on October 15, 2011. It will be held at Long Beach Hyatt Hotel. It is a traditional formal event to commemorate the founding of the modern Turkish Republic in 1923

ATASC is the umbrella organization of Turkish Americans and American friends of Turkey in Southern California. It has five local chapters in San Diego (ATASC-SD), Orange County (OCTAA), Los Angeles (LATAA), and Ventura Counties (VATAN). The fifth chapter is the Turkish American Ladies League (TALL). Its main focus is philanthropy for bettering lives of children and young adults both here and in Turkey.

Turkish Republic was founded after a long Independence War by Turkish people against colonial powers of that time. After World War I, when the Ottoman Empire ended on the losing side; Turkish Lands were invaded by English, French, Italy and Greece.  Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkish people waged an Independence War against all these powers and won against all odds. The winners of the Independence War signed a peace treaty in Lausanne with all the powers defining the borders of Modern Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his colleagues founded a Secular Democratic Republic in Turkey – the first of its kind in the Middle East – on October 29, 1923. Mustafa Kemal was elected as its first President, a position he held until his death in 1938. The republic went through social, educational and legal reforms very rapidly to bring Turkey into modern times. Most important are the acceptance of Latin Alphabet, equality and political rights for women, acceptance of secular legal system among others.

Turkish Republic is a pro-western country and an American ally since 1940"s. It is a member of NATO and has a large army. Its forces are among the coalition forces fighting alongside America in Afghanistan against terrorists. Its economy is getting stronger; it is now the 17th largest economy in the world. Most importantly it is a bridge between east and west, a secular Muslim country, and a stable democracy in the Middle East.

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