Aziz & Gwen Sancar Foundation

About AGS Foundation

Aziz and Gwen Sancar Foundation (AGS Foundation) is organized primarily for educational and charitable purposes to increase understanding of Turkey, and to promote closer ties between United States and Turkey. Established in 2007, it is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization, with an EIN # 26-0871109.
In the broad sense, the purpose of the organization is to establish a Turkish Student Center (Carolina Turkish House) in close proximity to the university campus.

Sancar Turkish Cultural & Community Center (STCCC)

Aziz & Gwen Sancar Foundation (AGSF) was established in 2007. The Foundation has been serving its community since then. It promotes cultural exchange between Turkey and the United States. Its offerings has been well received within the community and embraced by other organizations.

Sancar Turkish Cultural & Community Center (STCCC) is the new vision of AGSF.  Click here to DONATE... 

Opening Summer 2020!

Construction is underway!

Sancar Turkish Cultural & Community Center (STCCC) is the new vision of AGSF.

  • Building on the initial success of Carolina Turk Evi, AGSF is undertaking a new project - STCCC - that will greatly expand our services and facilities. A new Scholar’s house will double the number of visiting scholars who can be provided accommodation.  A new cultural center will increase 10-fold our facilities for celebrations including weddings, meetings, classes and lectures, cultural displays, a library, offices for other nonprofit organizations serving the Turkish-American community and for the Honorary Consul of Turkey in North Carolina.
  • STCCC will act as an incubator for Turkish American organizations that promote Turkish Culture and Heritage.
  • STCCC will promote outreach activities such as congressional visits to Turkey, study abroad by creating affiliations with other cultural and educational organizations.
  • STCCC will promote science and technology exchange using local universities and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. RTP is the first and one of the largest research parks established in the world.
  • STCCC has established collaborations with the local Turkish American organizations to further shape and perfect its mission.

STCCC – Construction Progress

Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD – Emeritus Chairman of the Board (Chapel Hill, NC)

Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD – Emeritus Chairman of the Board (Chapel Hill, NC)

Aziz Sancar, MD PhD is Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He was born in Savur-Mardin, Turkey in 1946. He obtained his primary and secondary education in Savur and Mardin, and then received an M.D. degree in 1969 from the Istanbul University School of Medicine. After practicing medicine in Savur for two years he attended the University of Texas at Dallas and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology in 1977 with his work on DNA repair. Dr. Sancar conducted postdoctoral work at Yale university on molecular biology of DNA repair in the period 1977-1982. He joined the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC Chapel Hill in 1982 where he has been conducting research on DNA Repair, Cell Cycle and cancer treatment, and the Biological Clock. He has published 288 research articles and 33 book chapters. Prof. Sancar is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences USA, a Member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of Turkish Academy of Sciences and the recipient of the Vehbi Koc Award from the Koc Foundation of Turkey in 2007, and co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015. READ BIO.

Gwen Sancar, PhD – President (Chapel Hill, NC)

Gwen Sancar, PhD – President (Chapel Hill, NC)

Bülent Ender, M.D. – Chairman of the Board (Raleigh, NC)

Bülent Ender, M.D. – Chairman of the Board (Raleigh, NC)

Dr. Bülent Ender is a gastroenterologist at Wake Gastroenterology. He has been on the staff of Rex Hospital of Raleigh, North Carolina since 1993. Dr. Ender is a member of multiple medical societies including the American Gastroenterological Association and the American College of Physicians.

Bülent is an active member of the Turkish-American community in the Triangle area and is a founding member and the Chairman of the Board of Bridge to Turkiye Fund. He also manages BTF’s Endowment Fund, established with Board of Directors’ charitable contributions. Bulent lives in west Raleigh with his wife Deniz, and enjoys tennis, cycling, swimming and traveling.

Ismail Arslan, BS – Vice-President for Fund Raising (High Point, NC)

Ismail Arslan, BS – Vice-President for Fund Raising (High Point, NC)

Ismail Arslan was born in 1958 in Ispir, Erzurum and has lived more than half of his life outside his home country. He holds a B.Sc. in Business Administration from Kennedy Western University in CA.

He is currently employed by De Leo Textiles (New Jersey) as Vice President of Business Development and is heavily involved with High Point (NC) Furniture Market. Ismail is a strong supporter and volunteer of community non-profit organizations. He is a long-time member of American Turkish Association of NC, serves on the Board of Directors of Bridge to Türkiye Fund (BTF), and President of International Textile Alliance (ITA), the country’s premier and only non profit textile association.

He is married and has three children and two grandchildren, has lived in High Point, NC since 2001.

Nihat Çubukcu, PhD – Vice-President for Public Relations (Cary, NC)

Nihat Çubukcu, PhD – Vice-President for Public Relations (Cary, NC)

Dr. Nihat Cubukcu is a Senior Scientist at Weather Predict Consulting Inc., a subsidiary of Renaissance Reinsurance. He was born in 1973 in Macka-Trabzon Turkey. After completing his elementary school at his village in 1983, he was attended Affan Kitapcioglu boarding school in Trabzon and completed high school there in 1989. Later he was placed in the Meteorological Engineering Department at Technical University of Istanbul where he earned a BS degree. Nihat received a Scholarship from the Turkish Ministry of Education to work on his graduate studies in the USA. After spending a year learning English, Nihat entered Florida State University in 1995. Two years later, he received his MS degree from Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute at Florida State University. He completed his graduate studies in 2001 and earned the PhD in Meteorology. Dr. Cubukcu’s field of expertise is Computational Geophysical Dynamics, Numerical Modeling, Geophysical Hazard/Risk Analysis, and Climate Change. He has various publications in prestigious journals that deal with geophysical sciences and has worked on scientific projects with NOAA, IBM, NASA and various other research Institutions. In addition to his scientific background, he has been very active volunteer at many non-profit organizations since his university years. Dr. Cubukcu is past-President of American Turkish Association of North Carolina ( and an active volunteer for Bridge to Turkiye Fund. He is married, has one daughter, and lives in Cary, North Carolina.

Fevzi Yalın, MBA – Board Member (Elon, NC)

Fevzi Yalın, MBA – Board Member (Elon, NC)

Fevzi Yalın was born in Nicosia, Cyprus to a Turkish Cypriot family. He spent his formative years in Cyprus. He completed his BS in Engineering in Saudi Arabia and obtained a MBA degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has spent over 30 years as an Information Technology professional, working for VF Corporation and Nissan in the manufacturing industry and IBM, EDS and HP in the information services industry. He is currently an IT Project Manager for Carolina Biological Supply Company in Burlington, NC. He also holds professional certifications in Project Management (PMP®) and IT Service Management (ITIL®).

Fevzi is passionate about the equality of rights for persons regardless of their race, gender, ethnic and religious background. He promotes open dialogue in finding common ground in resolving conflicts. As a firm believer that history repeats itself, in his spare time, he is working on a compilation of his journalist father’s broadcasts and news transcripts ranging from 1960s to 1990s.

After having worked in Virginia, Tennessee and California, his family settled in North Carolina. He is married and has two daughters attending NC State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He resides in Elon, NC.

Jordan Michael Scepanski, PHD – Board Member (Chapel Hill, NC)

Jordan Michael Scepanski, PHD – Board Member (Chapel Hill, NC)

Jordan Scepanski joined the AGS board of directors in January of 2018 following service with the Turkish-American charitable organization Bridge to Turkiye. He is a former member of the American Peace Corps, who taught English as a Foreign Language to Lise, middle school, and primary school students in Elâziǧ and Pamukova, Turkey in the mid-1960s. He returned to the country as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in 1981 in the Department of Librarianship at Hacettepe University.

Mr. Scepanski is a graduate of Manhattan College in New York City and holds graduate degrees in Librarianship from Emory University and in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. His professional career includes work in his native New York and in the states of Illinois, North Carolina, Tennessee, and California. He was an administrator at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and at the Joint University Libraries (later the Vanderbilt University Libraries) in Nashville, Tennessee, and has held positions of director of library and learning resources at California State University, Long Beach; executive director of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), a consortium of Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Dean of Library and Learning Resources at Zayed University in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

His lecturing, consulting, and professional association work has taken him throughout the United States and on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, and Russia. In addition he has visited Australia, Azerbaijan, China, Cyprus, England, France, Georgia, Germany, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and Thailand in a professional capacity. He has traversed virtually the entirety of Turkey from Ankara to Adana, Bodrum to Bitlis, Thrace to Trabzon.

Mr. Scepanski is now retired residing in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife, H. Lea Wells.


If you would like to support our cause, please use one of the options below:

Donate via Credit Card

Mail your tax deductible check to:

Aziz and Gwen Sancar Foundation

510 Meadowmont Village Circle #313,
Chapel Hill, NC  27517

Donate via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Türkiye İş Bankası (Branch: Ayaspaşa Şubesi)

IBAN: TR20 0006 4000 0011 0050 5026 02 (TL)
IBAN: TR80 0006 4000 0021 0050 5850 34 (US$)
IBAN: TR90 0006 4000 0021 0050 5850 48 (Euro)

"When sending us a donation, if you would like a receipt or acknowledgment, please send us your email address."
"Bağış gönderdiğinizde bir makbuz veya bildirim istiyorsanız lütfen e-posta adresinizi gönderin."

Aziz and Gwen Sancar Foundation (AGSF) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.
Contributions made to AGSF are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by IRS.
AGSF's tax identification number is 26-0871109.