Dean Allison

Dean Allison was elected as the first MP for the new riding of Niagara West-Glanbrook on June 28, 2004, and was re-elected with resounding majorities in the 2006 and 2008 general elections. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with a degree in Economics, Dean established himself in the Hamilton and Niagara area through accumulating businesses and working for a major franchise organization. He served his community as President of the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation, as President of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, a Director of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and board member of Junior Achievement in Niagara.

Allison is also a founding member of the Dave Thomas Adoption Foundation in Canada and the Belarus Children of Chernobyl program that brings children affected by the Chernobyl disaster to Canada. Presently, Dean serves as Chair of both the House of Commons Liaison Committee, and Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. In 2010, he was appointed to the Conservative Caucus Advisory Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Dean has also served as the Chair for the Human Resources Skills Development and Status of Persons with Disabilities as well as having been Vice Chair of the Ontario Conservative Caucus and been on the executive of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Commonwealth Association.


Tuncay Babali

Ambassador Babalı, joined Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1995. A career diplomat, Mr. Babalı was assigned to Turkish missions in Bulgaria (1998-1999), the US (Houston 1999-2003, Washington DC 2007-2010) and the UK (2006-2007). He commenced his career at the Department of Bilateral and Multilateral Economic Relations in Ankara and later served as Deputy Chief of Cabinet to the Turkish President between 2003-06. He was the Director of the Department of Human Resources before his arrival in Canada, responsible for personnel issues and opening up new diplomatic missions.

Fluent in English, Bulgarian and Russian, Ambassador Babalı, holds an MA degree from School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London and a PhD from the University of Houston in Political Science and was a Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs between 2009-10.  He is the author of numerous academic articles mainly on energy geopolitics in Eurasia and a book titled “Caspian Energy Diplomacy: Since the End of the Cold War”.

Ambassador Babalı is married with three sons.


Sadik Badak

Sadik Badak was Born on February 10th, 1955, in the Province of Burdur. He received his BA from Ankara Academy of Economics and Commercial Sciences. He is certified Public Accountant, Executive and Entrepreneur. He is the Founder and Board member of Öncü Construction Inc., Antalya Fair Management and Investment Holding Company and Antalya Güçbirligi Holding and also Founding Member of the Financial Advisors and Accountants Association of Antalya, Hearth of Intellectuals of Antalya, and Antalya Dialogue and the Association of Insurance Agents, Antalya Education Foundation.

He is the Founding President and Chairman of the High Advisory Board of the Antalya Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association and Founding President of the Young Executives Board of Antalya. He is the Chairman of the Business Group at Antalya Urban Council and the Head of Sectoral Council for Auditing and Administrative Consulting at Turkish Union of Chambers and Exchanges Fair Management Department.

He was Elected MP for 23rd period from the Province of Antalya.


Cahit Bagci

– Born on June 25, 1964 in the Province of Çorum.
– Completed his BA and MA in Sociology at Middle East Technical University (Ankara) and PhD in Manchester University.
– Joined Social Planning Department at the State Planning Organization in 1988.
– Researcher (1993), Assistant Professor and Head of Department at Centennial University (Van).
– Member and Rapporteur of Penal Institutions and Prison Monitoring Board.
– Coordinator at EU Education and Youth Programs at the Undersecretariat of the State Planning Organization and Adviser
– Elected MP for 23rd Period from the Province of Çorum and assigned at the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission in 24th period.
-Married with 3 children


Recai Berber

– Born on June 20th 1959, in the Province of Manisa.
– Received his BA in finance and economy from Ankara University.
– Economist and Financier.
– Auditor and Chief Auditor at Ministry of Finance.
– Conducted studies in the UK on the charitable institutions in the British tax system.
– Worked as Deputy General Manager at Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Directorate General of Water and Sewerage Administration.
– Held managerial positions and worked as financial coordinator in private sector
– Chairman of the Executive Board of Erdemir STONE, Member of the Supervisory Board of Turk Telekom, Member of the Executive Board of Kibar Holding and Demir Kazakhstan Bank.
– Elected MP for 23rd period from the Province of Manisa.
Married with two children.


Mustafa Gokcek

Dr. Mustafa Gökçek is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of MA program in Interdisciplinary Studies at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. He completed his Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the supervision of Prof. Kemal Karpat. His dissertation focused on Muslim intellectuals from Russia who migrated to Istanbul in early twentieth century and actively engaged in the intellectual discussions on Islam and Turkish nationalism. Dr. Gökçek currently teaches courses on the history of Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Ottoman Empire.


James Howard Holmes

Ambassador James Holmes (Ret.) is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American-Turkish Council, a bilateral, non-profit organization dedicated to the strengthening of U.S.-Turkish trade, investment, defense and cultural relations, and to the promotion of awareness and understanding of U.S.-Turkish issues.

Ambassador Holmes was elected to the Board of Directors of the American-Turkish Council, and subsequently as President of the ATC, in April 2005. The ATC, complemented by its companion cultural organization the American Friends of Turkey, has approximately 200 corporate and individual Members in Turkey and the United States. It is the foremost organization for the promotion of commerce, cultural awareness and public-private understanding between Turkey and the United States.

Ambassador Holmes is a 37-year veteran of the United States Foreign Service with overseas experience in Latvia, Turkey, Norway, New Zealand and Pakistan. He was Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Ankara, Turkey from 1992-1995. Subsequently, he was the President’s Coordinator for Assistance to Central and Eastern Europe, Ambassador to Latvia, Special Envoy for the Balkans, founder of the Department of State’s Office of eDiplomacy, and the Department’s Chief Knowledge Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer.

Ambassador Holmes was born in Upstate New York. He was educated at Colgate University, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and the National Defense University. He is married to Constance Cooper Holmes. They have two married daughters, and to their great delight, five grandchildren.


Hon. Gar Knutson

The Honourable Gar Knutson is counsel at the Ottawa office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Gar practises exclusively in the area of government relations both in Ottawa and internationally.

He is the Ottawa regional manager of the Government Relations Group.

In December 2003, Gar was appointed by Prime Minister Paul Martin as Minister of State for International Trade for New and Emerging Markets, a role promoting trade and investments with India, China and Brazil. Gar travelled extensively to these countries, including a trade mission to Central America.

Between 2002 and 2003, Gar served as a Secretary of State in the government of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien. Gar’s responsibilities included Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, representing Canada abroad through trade missions as well as political missions at a ministerial level. He visited several countries in Central Asia transitioning from the old Soviet Republic to independent sovereign states. He also promoted trade and investment extensively in the Gulf region.

Gar was first elected to the Parliament of Canada in October 1993. He served on a number of committees including Environment and Sustainable Development, Justice, Public Accounts, and Citizenship and Immigration.


Enes Kula

Enes Kula joined Business Development Bank of Canada (“BDC”) in 2006 and has over 10 years of investment and commercial lending experience. He is currently involved in BDC Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BDC, and is responsible for sourcing, execution, and monitoring of BDC Capital’s private equity and mezzanine investments in the Greater Toronto Area (“GTA”). Enes’ track record includes a number of successful exits including the recent acquisition of R2 Financial Technologies by S&P Capital IQ, the acquisition of N4 Systems by Master Lock Canada, the acquisition of Empathica by Mindshare Technologies, as well as exits of: Vital Insight Inc., Kitchen Stuff Plus Inc., and Michael Angelo’s Inc. Enes is actively involved with several BDC Capital portfolio companies by providing guidance and strategic insight. He also sits on the Board of a number of BDC Capital’s portfolio holdings as an observer.

Enes holds an Honours Business Administration Degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from Kocaeli University in Turkey.

Enes has been Executive Director of Turkish Canadian Chamber of Commerce since 2010 and enjoys traveling, reading and sports.


Joost Lagendijk

Joost Lagendijk is a columnist for the Turkish dailies Zaman and Today’s Zaman. He was born in the Netherlands and graduated as a historian from Utrecht University. He was a publisher of magazines and non-fiction books for ten years. From 1998 till 2009 Mr. Lagendijk was a Member of the European Parliament (EP) for the Dutch Green Left Party. In the parliament he mainly worked on foreign policy and EU enlargement. For many years he was the chairman of the Turkey Delegation of the EP and the rapporteur for the parliament on the Balkans and Kosovo.

Together with his colleague from the EP Jan Marinus Wiersma, Mr. Lagendijk wrote three books (in Dutch), on the borders of Europe, on the foreign policy strategies of the US and the EU and on European policy towards its Muslim neighbours (translated into English and Turkish).

In 2013 he published, together with his wife Nevin Sungur, a book (in Dutch) on modern Turkey under the title The Turks Are Coming!.

From 2009 till 2012 Mr. Lagendijk worked as a senior adviser at the Istanbul Policy Center, the think tank of Sabanci University in Istanbul.


Patrick Martin

Patrick Martin is a Canadian journalist who since 2008 has been the Jerusalem-based Middle East bureau chief for The Globe and Mail, a national Canadian newspaper.
He was the Middle East correspondent for the Globe and Mail for much of the 1980s and was based in Jerusalem. During that period, he covered the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and the return of Yasser Arafat to the Gaza Strip. About 1990 he returned to Canada, where he was Comment editor for The Globe and Mail until 2008. During this time, Martin also appeared regularly on the foreign-affairs panel on TVOntario’sStudio 2 and its successor program The Agenda. He also made frequent reporting trips to Iraq and other conflict zones. In 2008, he returned to the Middle East as the regional bureau chief for the Globe and Mail.


Kadir Gökmen ÖGÜT

– Born on November 28th, 1959 in the Province of Çankiri (Chankyry).
– Completed his higher education at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Dicle (Dijleh).
– Free Dentist.
– Member of the Executive Board of the Istanbul Chamber of Dentists.
– Elected MP for 24th period from the Province of Istanbul.
– Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic Countries (TURKPA).
– Married with one child.



– Born on February 7, 1951 in the Province of Kars
– Educator and Lawyer (Graduate of Ankara Vocational School for Teachers, Department of Physics and Mathematics at Ankara University and Law Faculty of Ankara University)
– Elected MP for the 19th period.
– Married with three kids


Veysel Parlak

-Mr. Parlak is currently the Deputy Director General for EU Affairs of Ministry of Economy. His Directorate is responsible for Turkey-EU Customs Unions and Turkeys FTA’s.
-He served for Turkish Embassy in Ottawa as a commercial counsellor, years 2003-2006.
-Mr. Parlak, in his carrier, served as an international trade and investment expert for State Planning Organization, Treasury and Foreign Trade Undersecretary, and Foreign Trade Undersecretary consecutively.
-He coordinated compliance of Turkish agricultural standards with UNECE standards as a head of department.
-He, as a secretary general, has an experience to settle and run Turkey’s first Regional Development Agency covers Çukurova Region.
-His major is business administration graduated from University of Anatolia, Mr. Parlak, Born on February 21, 1965 in Province of Kahramanmaras.


Mike Ward

Mr. Ward is an international trade and investment specialist with over 25 years of public and private sector experience in pursuing commercial opportunities and trade policy issues in international markets. This includes a career in Canada’s Foreign Service with assignments at Canadian Embassies and Consulates in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Ukraine, Thailand and the United States. His final assignment with the Foreign Service, which ended in 2011, was as head of the new Canadian Consulate in Istanbul.

As a private sector consultant he has focused on Turkey, the MENA region and ASEAN to promote commercial successes in such sectors as infrastructure, energy, mining and communications. In addition to working with Canadian and international firms, he has been a keynote speaker at various events, and a participant in a number of panels, with topics ranging from energy security in North America, Europe and the MENA region through to Public Private Partnerships, Corporate Social Responsibility, and emerging capital project opportunities. He recently appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade during its review of the Canada/Turkey bilateral relationship.

Mr. Ward is a partner at XPC – Cross Pacific Connections, a director with both the Canadian Turkish Business Council and the Atlantic Council of Canada and, an honorary member of the Turkish Canadian Chamber of Commerce.