TASNO’s archives are currently being kept at
the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS)
in Cleveland. Additions to the archives by all members are welcome by WRHS.
Please contact Prof. John Grabowski ([email protected]), Ben Blake ([email protected])
or Stephen Doell ([email protected]).

Click here to view a brief summary of the documentation being kept in WRHS.

Turks in Cleveland in the on-line Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Click here to view a City of Cleveland document from the 1940’s.

TASNO’s Filings at the Office of the Secretary of the State of Ohio

History of Turks in Northeastern OHIO:

At the beginning of the century
there were only a few Turkish people who came to USA and lived in Cleveland
area. We are fortunate to hear stories about these early settlers from
people who have firsthand memories about them. They seemed to have been
drawn to the region by the local automotive and steel industry and provided
unskilled labor needs in demand at the time. We can account for at least
four Turks who lived in Cleveland area as early as 1910. We understand that
one of them, Uncle Bayram, married a local girl and moved to Berea, Ohio
where he raised his three daughters. Uncle Ibrahim, uneducated but very good
with numbers, opened a coffee house which was the first Turkish-owned
business in Cleveland area. Apparently the major Turkish community activity
was cooking for one another and visiting each other.

As WW II ended and many new
hospitals were being built the demand for physicians increased. This created
an opportunity for foreign doctors. Until 1960 we can account for about 10
Turkish medical doctors coming to Cleveland area. During the same period we
start seeing the first non-medical professionals who came for educational
advancement and eventually ended up settling in the area.

These small numbers of
immigrants reflect not only the fact that there were no special economic or
political reasons for people to leave Turkey but also the extremely
restrictive quotas applied to Turkey by the US (we hear 240 for total US in
1965!). The absence of any organized religious or cultural Turkish presence
can naturally be attributed to the above factors.

By mid 1970s we understand that
the Turkish population in the area reached a critical mass, certainly still
less than a hundred, to bring about an idea of officially incorporating a
cultural organization for the community. January 3, 1977 was the official
birthday of the Turkish American Society of Northeastern Ohio (TASNO), based
in Cleveland. Today we believe there are about 1000 Turkish Americans in the
greater Cleveland area and TASNO plays a central role to bring them together
and provide leadership and a forum to organize cultural activities to share
our heritage with our friends in the Greater Cleveland area and sometimes

First Turkish Immigration to Cleveland and USA:

First Turkish Immigration to US and the

Memorial Fountain
in Detroit. You can read a brief article
regarding the research on the “First Turks” published in the Plain Dealer.

You can read the speech titled “The Turkish Journey to the US” given by Guler Koknar at the
OCA event that took place on Jan 10, 2005.

pictures below are courtesy of Prof. John and Diane Grabowski, taken at the
Highland Park Cemetery in Cleveland by Diane Grabowski and Lisa Gettling,
Prof. Grabowski’s intern from John Carroll University during the summer of

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