Turkish American TV Production Team
Hürriyet Aydın Ok: As a video and photography enthusiast, Hürriyet attended studio production classes at Fairfax Public Access (FPA) in 2004 and opened a new chapter in his life as Turkish American TV (TATV) producer. The American Turkish Association (ATA-DC) and Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) presented him with community service and excellence in media awards, in 2007 and 2012, respectively. FPA and Prince George’s Community Television (PGCTV) recognized the “Turkish-American Hour” programs as distinguished productions. Hurriyet was a member of the IT leadership team for over 24 years at the World Bank. Currently he is a research fellow at GWU and teaching courses in augmented and virtual reality and cyber security.
Erkan Polat: A local lad raised in the DC and NoVA metro region, Erkan earned his Bachelor’s in Science in Film & Television studies from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. While his 9-5 has him working for a globally recognized nonfiction TV company, he is also an independent media professional of 15+ years who wears many hats. From film and television to photography, theater, acting, spoken word poetry, audio recording, and graphic design, he is a true multimedia pro who is in his element whenever he can share stories. He has been a line producer and editor for TATV for over a decade.
Ercüment Akman: Ercüment Akman is TATV’s production consultant. He also hosts TATV programs on Turkish Cuisine, Ottoman history and political issues. A practicing architect from Turkey he practiced in Canada and USA for more than 40 years. He taught courses at Georgetown University, The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service on Turkey and the Balkans and post graduate programs for Real Estate. He curated Turkish Film programs at Freer and Sackler, and National Gallery of Art, and Goethe Institute in Washington DC. For many years he was a consultant for the London Turkish Film Festival. Since 1997, he is the editor of www.turkfilm.blogspot.com (Turkish Cinema Newsletter), the oldest website published entirely in English on Turkish Cinema.
İbrahim Türk: A graduate of Mimar Sinan University Cinema-TV Institute, Ibrahim took part in the production of TV programs and series, advertising films and music videos in Turkey. He wrote newspaper and magazine articles and published books about Turkish Cinema. He joined the TATV team in 2006. He continues to work as an independent filmmaker, TV producer and cameraman.
Şefik Çardak: Sefik Cardak has been an advisor and mentor since TATV was established. He directed studio productions and edited shows. After retiring from World Bank Group as the manager of the “Conference Coordination” unit in 2005, he has been working as a consultant in a US Federal Government Contractor Firm.
Courtney Clarke: Courtney joined the Turkish American TV volunteer team in 2019 and supports the program as an on-air host. When not volunteering with TATV, she works as a Marketing Manager for the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Her career in marketing began in sports and entertainment, with a portfolio that includes work with American Express, Madison Square Garden, The Bowery Presents, Ticketmaster, AEG, The Houston Texans and the Houston Rockets. In 2014, she moved over to the healthcare vertical, working for Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2010, she interned for the United Nations and created the first inter-agency social media working group, and worked with teens around the world on the 2010 Youth Issue of the UN Chronicle publication. In 2008 she served the U.S. Military as a cadet in Harvard’s Army ROTC. Before graduate school, she was an activist and founded a 501C3 to raise awareness about environmental issues, and lobbied on Capitol Hill for systemic change. Her favorite segments on Turkish American Television include interviews with local chefs, student athletes, artists and high school students leading their school in environmental efforts. She graduated from Harvard University Extension School with an ALM in Journalism, and from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies.
Gökşın Carey: A well known Artist in the town of Middleburg, her six feet bronze fox sculpture monument found a permanent place in front of The Middleburg Community Center plaza. She is an associate member of National Sculpture Society NSS, member of Virginia Equine Artists and is certified through American Academy of Equine Art, Kentucky 2009. Yet she started as a self-taught artist whose love of nature and animals, especially horses find a voice in her hands as sculpture. She has hosted TV shows at TATV Turkish American TV since 2005. She is a well-established instructor, teaches equine sculpting workshops on Zoom online, week long intense classes at the National Sports Library and Museum, and Artists in Middleburg Gallery since 2014 with well over 300 local out of state and overseas students. She loves to paint horses, take nature or horse photographs and produces short documentary films on horses. Ms. Carey has been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles including Elan magazine. She was chosen for the “TURKISH COMMUNITY STAR AWARDS, BEST ARTIST OF 2015”. Her website is sculptinghorses.com
Özge Övün Sert: A freelance journalist and TV host/reporter based in Washington, DC. Her latest work “Batı Yakası”, a 60-min. news programme, had been aired by Turkish State Television TRT. She anchored the show for two seasons in which her interviews with U.S. officials, world renowned experts and academics -such as Noam Chomsky- have been seen as an “eye opener” in regards to U.S-Turkish relations and regional politics. Batı Yakası was TRT Haber’s first news program that featured background interviews and reports from the U.S. Capitol. Prior to Batı Yakası, she worked for Voice of America where she hosted numerous TV and live radio shows; conducted interviews; prepared feature stories and news reports. She anchored VOA’ s first Turkish TV show Gündem for over 8 years. Özge recently worked for National Geographic. Özge Övün-Sert holds a BA degree from Marmara University, School of Communication and a masters (MBA) from University of Maryland. She is a freshly licensed real estate agent and married to another well-known member of Turkish-American community member, Yalcin Sert. The couple lives in Fairfax, VA with their two children Duru and Bartu.
Digital Strategy and Web Technology Advisors
Emre Sağlam: A leader in information security field, Emre is a graduate of Galatasaray and George Washington Universities. He is a founding member of TATV.
Doğan Kumova: Doğan Kumova has been interested in videography and photography since childhood. Since 2000, he started as a graphic designer in Prestige Publishing. Later, he worked as the production director at “ULUSAL KANAL” television. Since 2004, for 16 years, he has taken over the information technologies specialist and creative consultancy at TUSIAD. Dogan Kumova, is also a keyboard player and a musician, has been living in America for 1 year. he supports for TATV’s new website and infrastructure
Correspondents & Production Assistants
Akın Orbay is a music producer, composer, arranger and drummer. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music with degrees in Contemporary Writing and Production and Professional Music. Proficient in Electronic Music, Pop and Hip Hop, he provided music to libraries such as Red Bull Sound Supply, Audio Network and Harmony Music, as well as entities like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Morgan Stanley and Turkish American Television, and Turkish non-profit Active Life Organization. He provided sound design for the movie/art installation Bliss, featured in the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2017. He is currently active in Los Angeles and Istanbul.
Deniz Mehmed: Took studio production for TV and vocalization courses at Fairfax Public Access (FPA) in 2004. Deniz is a founding member of TATV. After graduating from the University of Maryland, he did his MBA at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, working in PPC advertising.
Ece Muniroglu Ece Muniroglu is a Los Angeles based composer, orchestrator, and arranger working on a variety of projects, including feature films and TV shows. Ece’s music has given life to several award-winning short films and she continues to collaborate with international composers. Project highlights include music composition for 52 episodes of animated children’s show “Fafa” in collaboration with composer Emir Isilay. Additionally, Ece has written promotional music for the First Annual Hollywood Turkish Film Festival directed by Tekin Girgin, which premiered in Paramount Studios. A native of Istanbul, Muniroglu was classically trained as an accomplished pianist and later earned her bachelor’s degree in composition and music production from Berklee College of Music. In addition to her music studies, she also holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the well-renowned Istanbul Technical University.
Elif Bor: Elif holds a Master’s in Applied Developmental Psychology from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Ege University. She has been conducting research on policy and practice-relevant issues in the field of education for over 10 years. Elif joined TATV as a program host in 2009 and currently works behind the camera.
Lisa Tuvalo: Lisa Tuvalo earned her B.S. in biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. She worked for three years as a Biologist I at the American Type Culture Collection in Maryland, extracting DNA from blood cells. Later, she moved to New York City and studied acting and performed off-off Broadway for 6 years and did improv for an entire year with the Grown-Up’s Playground at the New York Comedy Club. Afterwards, she studied directing at the School of Visual Arts, where her thesis film, “Behind Locked Doors: The Triangle Fire,” won the William Arkell award ($5000) as the best short film by a senior. In addition, she was the first female student to win a finishing grant ($1500) from New York Women in Film and TV. Recently, she co-produced the podcast, “RaceTODAY!” and she is developing a mystery podcast and tv show based on a New York Times bestseller, a historical docudrama, and a rock musical for film and stage.
Metecan Erdi: As an amateur photographer and seasoned scientist, Metecan has always been fascinated by visual media as explored through advanced technological lenses for educational purposes. He joined the University of Maryland’s Turkish Student Organization (UMD-TSO) in 2016, and has served in roles as Vice President and Graduate Advisor since. He is also a member of the Turkish American Television (TATV) production team. Currently, Metecan is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UMD, and is conducting research on in vivo biomedical materials with high translational capacity.
Özgür Cobutoğlu: A professional cinematographer, film and news editor, Özgür is the TATV correspondent in Istanbul. He started his professional career in Fenerbahçe Sports Club Media Group. Cobutoğlu took part in successful projects in the fields of music, stage design and organization at Tevfik Gelenbe Theater and Bakırköy Municipality Theaters. Since 2009, he has been working as director and cameraman in media production companies and TV channels such as ART Akdeniz TV, Genç TV, Star TV, TGRT HABER, TRT BELGESEL, RNZ YAPIM, OCT YAPIM, Life Time TV, and TV8.
Selim Yargıcı: A strategy expert with extensive experience in the mobile technology environment. His industry experience includes technology, media & entertainment, telecommunications, public sector, and education. Selim holds an MBA from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and a Computer Science degree from Georgetown University.
Yalcin Sert: After completing his undergraduate and master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at Middle East Technical University, he came to the University of Maryland at College Park and received his second master’s in Civil Engineering. He started his career in the USA as a software developer at a public health and environmental consulting company. As he excels in the information technologies field, he completed a master’s degree in computer systems management at the University of Maryland Global College and started consulting with the federal government. He joined TATV to support his wife Özge Övün Sert, helping on internet activities and as a cameraman.
Director of Public Relations
Tuğba Erpek: Joined Turkish American TV volunteer team in 2013. She has been supporting TATV in social media management and public relations. Dr. Erpek received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA and Virginia Tech, Arlington, VA, respectively. She has been working at a research and development firm in Maryland.
Yonca Doğan: Born and raised in Istanbul, she graduated from the University of Istanbul School of Communication, Radio-TV branch. She first came to the United States in 1992. After under graduate and graduate studies at the University of Houston in communication and journalism, she received her master’s degree in mass communication from the Texas Tech University. She went back to İstanbul, Turkey in 2005 and came back to the U.S. in 2017. She worked in various international media institutions in both Turkish and English as a correspondent, editor, columnist, and radio and TV host and program producer. Co-authored and edited “A Guide for News Writers Against Discriminatory Language” (With a research and publications grant from Punto24, 2015, 2nd edition 2016; written for Turkish journalists and journalism students). She has been with TATV since 2019. Currently, she works as a writer-editor at a media office of a government institution.
Graphis Design and Visual Arts Advisor
Sıtkı Kazancı: Graphic designer, cartoonist, publisher, and entrepreneur. He has a full-service award-winning advertising agency and publishing company. His cartoons and photography have been exhibited in Turkey and the U.S. He has received several graphic design awards. He is currently president of ATADC – The American Turkish Association of Washington DC which is one of the oldest and very active Turkish Association in the US. He has been an organizing committee for the annual Turkish Festival in DC since its inception. He is a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington DC. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.
Former TATV Production Team Members
The first TATV host Dr. Yasemin Kilical graduated from George Washington University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science. She went on to Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, completing her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. After she completed her one year of General Dentistry residency at the Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, she had two years of specialty training at Interfaith Mexican Center in Pediatric Dentistry. She stayed on at Bronx-Lebanon as a faculty member and she now works in private practice in the New York and New Jersey area. Dr. Kilical is married to Dr. Mousavi, an Interventional Radiologist practicing in NJ, and they have three beautiful daughters. When not practicing dentistry, Dr. Kilical enjoys traveling and baking cakes with her kids.
Sema Muslu: A first generation Turkish American, she has been an active member of the Turkish American community since she was a student. First she started with ATSA-DC dance troupe, moving onto becoming a founding member of the Kardelen Turkish Dance Ensemble. After serving as an active member, she joined the ATA-DC board, during which time she also served as one of the hosts on the Turkish American Television. For a short time, she served as a program assistant for the Turkish Coalition of America and the Turkish Cultural Foundation before moving onto her government contract job. Her Turkish identity has been a very important part of her life and has appreciated all of the opportunities to support these activities. Currently she works at SAP Concur and lives in McLean, VA with her husband.
Dr. Semahat Demir: While serving as the Director of Biomedical Engineering at National Science Foundation (NSF), she volunteered to serve as a TATV host at scientific, educational and cultural events. She served on the boards of ATA-DC and TASSA (Turkish American Scientists and Scholars Association) and participated in the choir of the Turkish Folk Music Group in Washington DC. After returning to Istanbul in 2012, she gave great importance to the cinema and television academic programs and cinema festivals at the Kultur University where she served as the Rector. Prof. Demir is the Chair of the Board of Science Heroes Association which has the goals to make science the focus of society and to organize projects and tournaments that make 6-19 year old students love science.
Gamze Cakmak: She is one of the founding members of the Turkish-American TV. She worked for the very first private TV channels of Turkey during their establishment phases in various positions and worked for Turkish Radio and Television as a voice actor as a paid hobby 😊. After working as a management consultant and trainer for years, she moved to the U.S. in 2000. She lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and two daughters and continues to serve as an adult-learning consultant along with the position of the Secretary of Board of Directors of ATA-DC.
Özgül Andıcan: Former host for TATV, Özgül volunteered during 2012-2015 operating both behind and on camera. While on-screen, she hosted programs in English featuring guests whom she interviewed on a variety of topics both related to and outside of Turkish culture, garnering interest from an American audience. To increase her knowledge of media, she also took classes at FAirfax Public Access related to Camera work, Editing and Production. Currently, she works in the IT sector where she is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and SAFe Scrum Master (SSM).
Pınar Walter is an alumni of the Istanbul University , Faculty of Economics, Department of International Relations. She has completed her master’s in the same department on “Israeli and Palestinian conflict” in the Political History of Late Professor Toktamış Ateş. She worked as an assistant of PR executive in Istanbul, as a radio presenter at London Turkish Radio, as a customer representative at London Stock Exchange company called Disclosure and as a PR, Sales and Marketing manager at a Telecommunication company. She wrote travel articles and columns for a Free magazine published in Izmir and also worked with Cüneyt Özdemir as a freelance writer at Turkey’s first digital magazine called Dipnot . She has been volunteering for Turkish American TV since 2008 as a guest coordinator while working at East West Institute as a PR & Research Consultant. She is also interested in photography and architecture.
Ceyda Alaca Akdemir is an innovative marketer and strategist, with an MBA degree from George Washington University. She has volunteered at the TATV for a while as part of the production team. She started her journey at The Washington Post as an intern then eventually promoted to a Marketing manager position. 9 years later she gave a break to her career and currently working as a full time mom to two loving girls. She also supports/manages her family business in DC. For many years she passionately acted as a professional photographer at private and corporate events.
Vera Kiera Dagli is a creative project manager. She obtains several academic degrees, Business Administration with an AA degree at Santa Monica College and Web Design and Coding at Anadolu University. She volunteered at TATV in 2017. Also, in a while, she continued her studies at Bahcesehir University by majoring in Cinema and TV.