History of MIM

The birth: The idea of establishing an association for the Turkish American Engineers and Architects was put forward by the late Yuksel Oktay in the Spring of 1970.

Mr. Oktay and his six invitees gathered in a conference room at the New York office of EBASCO, the Electric Bond and Share Company (originally created by General Electric in 1905) where Mr. Oktay worked at the time.

The original premise focused on a membership base of Architects and Engineers only. However, Değer Tunç, one of the initial invitees, was a scientist working on his PhD at the time. He encouraged the attendees to broaden the association to include scientists as well, arguing that the inclusion of the scientist would add to the strength of the association. Thus the Turkish American Architects, Engineers and Scientists Association, MIM (Türk-Amerikan Mimar, Mühendis ve İlim Adamları Derneği), was founded as a not-for-profit organization, by unanimous agreement.

That evening, the founding members paid their membership dues, elected Mr. Oktay as the first president, Mr. Tunç as the Treasurer, and so the association was born.

Founding members:

  1. Yüksel Oktay
  2. Özcan Karacadağ
  3. Tuğrul Önal
  4. Değer Tunç
  5. İbrahim Şanli
  6. Akdeniz Hiçsönmez
  7. Engin Kenber


From left to right, MIM president Deger Tunç, Vehbi Koç, Dr. Nejat Eczacıbaşı
Belmont Plaza Hotel, New York City, April 1974




From its very beginning, MIM was active in the community, organizing scientific, cultural and social events and securing a leading position among the Turkish associations within the New York and New Jersey area.

Commencing with the presidencies of Değer Tunç (1972-1974) and Yalçın Sarıer (1975), a monthly publication was distributed to the members to help build a network of support and friendship among the MIM members.

Among the many noteworthy events, one of the more memorable took place during the Presidency of Değer Tunç. In April of 1974 at the Belmont Plaza Hotel, MIM welcomed distinguished guests Vehbi Koç (the founder of Koç Holding) and Dr. Nejat Eczacıbaşı (the founder of Eczacıbaşı Holding) to the event.


Turkish Radio:

 As the organization became more established, President Erol Gürün (1978, 1981, 1982) introduced annual MIM Balls and also established a Turkish Radio station, broadcasting weekly, to bring the Turkish American community together.

Recent Past & Present:

MIM members have been very active in the Turkish community as a whole and did not limit themselves to MIM membership and activities alone. The following members have also served as President of the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA) – (TADF – Türk Amerikan Dernekleri Federasyonu);

Dr. Rıfat Tabi

Dr. Değer Tunç

Yalçın Sarier

Dinçer Akyalı

Erol Gürün

Mehmet Yar

Yüksel Oktay

Erhan Atay

Atilla Pak

Heading into the new millennium, among many successful events, we must mention the MIM Conference during the presidency of Dr. Ali Naci Akansu in 2005 and the MIM Technical Congress in 2012 by president Dr. Ali Koçak.

Also, a very successful event was MIM’s 40th Year Anniversary Ball, organized by president Burhan Okuyan (2010)




Another notable event was the MIM Technical Congress held in New York City on October 20th, 2012, hosting distinguished guests and scholars from America’s leading universities and corporations.

From left to right, Dr. Haydar Erdoğan, Dr. Ali Akansu, Dr. Tuncel Yegulalp, Dr. Ebru Gencer, Dr. Ali Koçak, Dr. Gökhan Gelişen, Dr.Ebru Oral, Dr. Değer Tunç, Dr. Aziz Sancar (Nobel Laurate 2015)

Columbia University, New York City, October 20th, 2012


Several Turkish American Scientists, many of them members of MIM, have contributed to the society with their patented discoveries. By 2012 the number of patents reached a total count of 173.


Currently, MIM organizes a broad range of events. Over recent years MIM has:

Organized a career oriented Lunch & Learn at Ali Baba’s Terrace, New York City;

Hosted a Wine Tasting event in downtown New York;

Held a Sunday Brunch for MIM members and their families at the Charter House in New Jersey; and a family picnic in New Jersey in the summer of 2016.


Every year, the main event organized by MIM is the MIM Conference. This is traditionally hosted by Columbia University at the School of Engineering. The conference is based upon a different theme each year, with distinguished guests from academia and corporate America among the speakers and participants.


We are proud to be associated with this elite organization and look forward to growing our member base and serving the Turkish American community as we continue this successful journey.