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ATILA's Inaugural Event Celebrates Togetherness




On November 7, 2019, the American Turkic International Lawyers Association (“ATILA”) hosted its inaugural event at the D.C. office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP. The Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs where the President Rayhan Asat is a Chair of Women Entrepreneurship Imitative Committee co-sponsored this event!


Ryan Fayhee, a partner and Chair of Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s Sanctions, Export Controls & Anti-Money Laundering practice group, welcomed the guests to the firm. Drawing upon his recent experience in Istanbul, Turkey where Ryan was a featured speaker at the Global Trade Review Conference, Ryan emphasized the importance of Turkic regions and the business opportunities that these countries offer. He further noted that there are many bar associations in Turkey, and there are no lawyers’ associations that cater to the Turkic Community. The founder, Rayhan Asat, saw this opportunity and created ATILA, and he was compelled to support the vision of ATILA. He then introduced President and founder of ATILA, Rayhan Asat, who was recently nominated for the Chair of the Harvard Women Entrepreneurs Initiative.


ATILA very much appreciates Ryan Fayhee’s remarks.


The honorable Chief Commercial Counselor of Turkey, Mustafa Koca, a special guest at the inaugural event, gave a beautiful speech. He started his speech by offering a history lesson about the term and pronunciation of “ATILA.”

We want to share the full speech by the Commercial Counselor Mustafa Koca.


“Some of you may already know some of you, maybe not. The Abbreviation of the Association, ATILA, reminds us of the name of the Great Turkish Commander and Emperor of the Great Hun Empire in the 5th century. An excellent name for such an outstanding organization.


The Honorable Commercial Counselor of Turkey giving a remark

In the United States, there is a Turkic population of more than one million people. However, the Turkic community as a whole is not visible socially and politically. I know many successful Turkic Americans, but they are not visible or their stories are untold. Therefore, Associations like ATILA fill this critical gap.

All over the United States, there are almost 70,000 trade and professional associations, and nearly 2,000 of them are located in the D.C. Metro Area. Some of them are well known, and some of them are not. I wish ATILA a great success in achieving its goal of fostering a strong relationship and promoting legal dialogue between its members, Turkic Americans Lawyers and other Americans lawyers and ultimately become one of the most reputable Associations in the D.C. Metro Area. Lastly, I would like to thank Rayhan Asat, the Founder and the President of ATILA, and its board members. Thank you all for joining us for such a great event.”


The President of ATILA, Rayhan Asat greets the Honorable Chief Commercial Counselor of Turkey

The President of ATILA, Rayhan Asat, gave a passionate speech. She shared a story about the iconic ambassador of music, culture, and philanthropist and his life and love for humanity, which profoundly influenced her vision for ATILA.

She further explained that the idea of togetherness and the beautiful Turkic expression, “I hope you are there with me” drives ATILA. This beautiful expression evokes togetherness, love, and support. Only when people uplift and support each other, they confidently extend the same wish to others “I hope you are there with me.” In a real friendship, people genuinely support each other, and in the event of triumph and celebration, they will be there for each other.


After laying out the vision of ATILA, she then offered concrete steps to achieve the vision of ATILA.


Asli Orhon is giving a speech

Last but not the least, Asli Orhon, a senior counsel at Hewlett Packard, remarked as to why she is a supporter of ATILA. Asli relocated to the United States a few years ago. She currently works in Hewlett Packard’s D.C. office. Because of her senior leadership role, she has limited availability to be committed to bar activities until she attended a Happy Hour event that ATILA organized at the Water Gate hotel where the view of D.C. reminisces one of Istanbul. The energy at the event was welcoming and uplifting. She was very impressed by the energy and passion that ATILA President Rayhan Asat embodied while launching ATILA. Therefore, Asli proudly joined ATILA and she hopes to assist Rayhan to achieve ATILA’s vision.


ATILA sincerely appreciates Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s generosity for the cocktail reception. The event attracted more than 50 attendees from different sectors.


See photos from the event below. We are very grateful for our fantastic friend and volunteer photographer Emanuel Greg for capturing laughter and smiles from a lovely night of celebrating togetherness.


















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