History of The Turkish Canadian Friendship Society of Vancouver Island

 

On May 18, 1995 a group of Turkish Canadians from the Victoria area arranged a picnic at the Elk Lake (Eagle Beach) covered picnic area.Turkish people from Vancouver and Nanaimo joined the Victoria group to enjoy a picnic on a hot summer day. It was the largest outdoor gathering before the Society was officially formed. At that picnic attendees talked about forming a society. Salih Çinar agreed to work on this idea as a project.

Alongside Salih Çinar was Suha Vekil and they set about researching how to form a society to include the entire Vancouver Island. At the days where Mr Salih Çinar initiated the association Suha Vekil was the president of the United Nations Association of Victoria for BC. and attended the meetings of brain storming and preparing their vision and objections. He worked hard for the very first official fund raising project wrote and applied for funding from government and succeeded.

On September 18, 1995, the Turkish Ambassador to Canada, the Honorable Omer Ersun visited Victoria and met for the first time with members of the Turkish Community.The Ambassador suggested that we form the planned Society as soon as possible and become a member of the Federation of the Canadian Turkish Associations (Toronto).Salih prepared a constitution and applied for a society. To avoid confusion with the Vancouver Society, it was agreed that the Society’s name would be registered as The Vancouver Island Turkish Canadian Friendship Society.The Society became officially registered on September 28, 1995.

At the AGM in December 2007 members voted to change the society's name to the "Turkish Canadian Friendship Society of Vancouver Island". The name change was registered and confirmed as of February 2008.

The Society continued to hold social functions and worked diligently to arrange events including public art exhibitions featuring Turkish artists.Salih Cinar held the position of president for the first five years.Mr. Kemal Cancar was elected the next president. Following Mr. Cancar, Erdem Yazganoglu was president for two successive years.Salih Çinar was elected president again at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in late 2004.Due to health reasons, he resigned in the Summer of 2005. In October of 2005, Ozan Peksoy was elected president with a new board of directors during an extra ordinary meeting of the members.Mr. Peksoy resigned as president in February 2006, and the president’s role was assumed by the elected vice-president, Caner Budakoglu. Tolga Habali was elected president at the AGM December 2006.The AGM in December 2007 saw the election of Engin Turan, who remained president in 2008.  The AGM in February 2009 saw the election of the first 'Canadian' president, Bridget Minishka, who served as president again in 2010.  In March 2011, the AGM elected Gokhan Duman as its president. In present 2012, Genevieve Cave another Canadian is now the President of the Turkish Canadian Friendship Society of Vancouver Island.