How Professional Women With Ties to Turkey Connect
As a professional Turkish woman working abroad, Melek Pulatkonak felt a disconnect, like something she needed was missing.
This time in her life was the catalyst for launching the Turkish Women’s International Network (TurkishWIN) in 2010. Its model has a distinguishing element that makes it unique among other women’s organizations: it is not just for professional women living in Turkey. Stemming from Melek’s need for a network when she was abroad, she wanted to create a platform for women with ties to Turkey no matter where they were in the world.
That’s precisely what she did. Today, TurkishWIN is a “vibrant and global networking platform for women with family, cultural and professional ties to Turkey.” They seek to empower, support and connect, both through in-person events as well as online. The women involved uphold four important values in common: curiosity, generosity, transparency and courage.
“I know many strong, successful and amazing Turkish women in Turkey and abroad. I am confident there are hundreds or thousands whom I do not know. As an entrepreneur, I decided to do something about it,” Melek said.
As members aspire to excel in their careers, they also work inspire others and unleash the power of the network. They do this through giving scholarships to girls in Turkey, mentoring younger members, and strengthening the image of the Turkish women in Turkey and outside. The immediate goals of Turkish WIN are to increase the number of members to 10,000, use the internet and video to showcase women as role models, and export its unique business model to other countries. They also plan to launch the ‘TurkishWIN Angels and Advisors’ program to connect entrepreneurs to a capital and advice.