Aziz & Gwen Sancar Foundation

Sancar Turkish Cultural & Community Center (STCCC) – Construction is underway!

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Sancar Turkish Cultural & Community Center – Ground Breaking Ceremony

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Sancar Turkish Cultural & Community Center (STCCC) – Groundbreaking Ceremony- August 30, 2018

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Sancar Turkish Cultural & Community Center (STCCC)

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Aziz Sancar receives Nobel Prize in Chemistry

President Obama greets Aziz & Gwen Sancar

Aziz Sancar visits Anitkabir

Aziz & Gwen Sancar meet with President Erdogan

Aziz Sancar meets with Chief of Staff Gen. Hulisi Akar

AGS Foundation Board Members

Fazil Say & Sancar Foundation Board at Duke

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.

Logo Contest

Future Sancar Turkish Cultural & Community Center (STCCC)

– A project of the Aziz & Gwen Sancar Foundation

STCCC Logo Competition

The Board of Directors of the Aziz and Gwen Sancar (AGS) Foundation announce a competition for a logo representing the mission of its Sancar Turkish Cultural and Community Center (STCCC). Currently under construction in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the United States, the Center will provide a venue for celebration of Turkish cultural events as well as focus on educational and cultural activities that promote closer ties between the United States and Turkey. When fully completed the center will encompass two structures. A building housing meeting and office space along with a library and areas for community activities is to be the focal point of the site, which fronts on the main street through the town. A residence for visiting scholars and students associated with the nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and with Duke University, North Carolina State University, and other distinguished institutions in the Research Triangle area, also is a central part of the plan. Details about the Center can be found at

Individuals and organizations are invited to submit entries in a contest for a logo that is creative and original and conveys the center’s purposes in a concise and impactful way. The contest winner will be awarded a $1000 prize and recognized on the Foundation’s web site and in other venues. Guidelines for submissions and rules of entry are as follows.

Contest Rules

Submissions will be considered for use as a logo on Sancar Turkish Cultural and Community Center documentation, identification, and publicity materials, with the winning entry becoming the property of the AGS Foundation.

Entrants agree to convey to the AGS Foundation all rights of usage including those for print, digital, and other media, should their submission be selected as the winner. A signed entry letter confirming transfer of copyright ownership to the Foundation will be required.

Entries in the contest can be submitted in JPEG, PSD or PDF Formats and sent to by the end of the day on June 24, 2019. A committee to be named by the AGS Foundation will select three finalists for consideration by its Board of Directors, who will determine the winner. The decision of the board will be final.

Entries should convey the mission of the Sancar Turkish Cultural and Community Center and focus on its multifaceted purposes rather than on individuals, including the Foundation’s namesake.


Download as pdf: STCCC Logo Contest Announcement

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.

Board Members

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

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

Jordan Michael Scepanski is Dean Emeritus, California State University, Long Beach. He holds an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College, and graduate degrees from Emory University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville. He most recently was Dean of Library and Learning Resources at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, prior to which he held the position of Executive Director of the Triangle Research Libraries Network, a consortium of Duke, North Carolina Central, and North Carolina State Universities, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked in libraries, library organizations, and academic institutions in California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee, in Ankara, Turkey, and in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the U.A.E. Mr. Scepanski has taught at California State University, Long Beach and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he has lectured and made numerous presentations at other institutions in the U.S. and abroad. In September he visited four Brazilian cities on behalf of the U.S. Department of State under its Speaker and Specialist program and in May he will travel to Indonesia in a similar capacity.

His acquaintance with Turkey dates from the mid-nineteen sixties when he lived in that country as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching English as a foreign language to elementary, middle, and secondary school students. He returned with his family in 1981as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Librarianship at Hacettepe University in Ankara and since has been a regular visitor and a presenter at Turkish professional conferences and other scholarly events.

Mr. Scepanski resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife, H. Lea Wells, a former librarian who is a specialist in university faculty development and student learning outcomes assessment. They work together as Jordan Wells Associates, consulting on library and information issues and facilitating organizational and staff development.


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.