About Us




It is my honor and great pleasure to introduce the website of the Turkish Association of South Australia (TASA) which was formally established in 1979.

The principal aims of TASA are to preserve and develop Turkish culture and heritage, assist members of our community in orientation and settlement into the wider Australian community and the advancement of the cultural, educational and social well-being of the Turkish Community in South Australia.

Our Association welcome all individuals without any prejudice and discrimination irrespective of their race, culture, ethnicity, religion, gender, economic and educational status. We have a high number of members who are not from Turkish background or Turkish speakers but wish to be part of TASA and its activities for many reasons. Some of these members lived in Turkey or have some connections to Turkey or Turkish culture.

I came to Australia many years ago when there were no Turkish speaking people in Adelaide. I had experienced social isolation in my first years of arrival and for this reason I put so much emphasis on social inclusion and my desire to work in social isolation programs was fulfilled 20 years after I came to Australia. Having worked in the education and community sector for many years in various positions including as an advocate, senior social worker, qualified Interpreter/translator and a lecturer, my personal and professional experience has enabled me to utilize my skills, knowledge and network to assist and support the members of the Turkish Community in different areas and I will continue to do so as long as I am able to.

To date, TASA has conducted a Turkish language school, hosted sports teams such as soccer and volleyball, a Radio program through 5EBI FM, a National dance group, women’s group and more. Many of our past and present members have contributed to the preparation and presentation of the radio program on Sunday nights. They have also assisted in teaching the Turkish language on a voluntary basis for many years.

TASA is working closely with Veteran Affairs and the Return Soldiers Leigh (RSL), especially members of 9RAR. TASA takes parts in Commemoration ceremonies, ANZAC day, Youth Vigil Service, flag ceremony and many more.

TASA has proven success with a few stand out projects in the past. During 2005, under the leadership of Prof. Dr Kemal Turker together with RSL 9RAR, five Turkish veterans were brought to Australia to march during ANZAC day and later on two round stone plugs were placed in the Pennington Gardens, opposite the football stadium, carved with the words of the great leader of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s tribute to mothers in far away counties.

Under my leadership TASA had achieved the following projects:

  • Worked collaboratively with the University of South Australia during 2012 and as a result 12 University students went to Turkey to do joint research project on WW1 with the Turkish University students from 18 March University in Canakkale.
  • During 2014, TASA held a Turkish festival at the Migration Museum where more than 1000 people have entered the gates.
  • Taught Turkish language from Primary level to Tertiary level.

Currently the members of the Community meet once a month at the Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia for a social get-together. Every month a guest speaker usually attends to present information about a particular topic. These meetings provide a good opportunity for people to socialize with one another, grow out of isolation, especially for newly-arrived people to meet other members of the community, establish friendships, gain knowledge and have a better understanding of life in Australia and contribute to wider community.

I am proud to admit that my determination and many years of work in Multicultural sector, Turkish and Veteran communities was recognized and I was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) from the General Governor who represents Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2005 I also received an award from the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia (FECCA) for assisting in Multicultural policies and practices.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and say thank you to each and every one, past and present who contributed to TASA and its activities. TASA has been built on the strong foundation of hard work of past members.

I sincerely hope the website will give you some insight to the Turkish Association of South Australia.

Your sincerely,

Tanya Ayşen Kaplan OAM





Greetings. It’s a great honour to be the Patron of the most excellent Turkish Association of SA. I love Turkey, the Turks and especially the Turco-Australian community in South Australia which is a small but dedicated group so proud of both countries. There is no better example of a co-operative national organisation among so many in our multicultural society. You help people, bring people together and celebrate with all. TASA enriches South Australia. It’s been marvellous to see TASA grow and see the Turkish community rightly given precedence on ANZAC Day and to be embraced by the Spirit of Gallipoli thanks to those warm-hearted diggers Warren Featherby and Mick Mummery. We’ve laughed and loved with visiting Turkish Korean War veterans and we rejoice as our nation shares Ataturk’s words at Gallipoli – the most healing words ever spoken about war. No-one has ever been to modern Turkey and not loved it. “Smiling may they come and smiling may they go”. I loved it so much when I was so honoured to live there in the 90s. A piece of my heart is always there. I congratulate and thank all TASA members especially Aysen Kaplan OAM who leads us so remarkably, so generously and so lovingly. “Happy is he/she who can say; ‘I am a Turk'” wherever you are.


I was born and raised in Turkey. I received my primary and secondary education in Turkey and tertiary education in Australia. I attained a Bachelor of Commerce degree (major in Marketing) from the University of Adelaide in 2004 and master’s degree in International Trade and Development at the Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide in 2012.

I am a business and international development professional with over twenty years of experience in Australia, Turkey and the Central Pacific Region. I am currently engaged as a Labour Market Advisor for the Kiribati Facility, a Skills for Employment Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and I also continue to work as a freelance business consultant.

A dedicated volunteer and a networker, I spend considerable time in community and charity work, supporting organisations and causes about which I feel passionate. This includes volunteer work with the Hutt Street Centre, assisting homeless members of our society; the Motor Neuron Disease Association, supporting those living with MND; Turkish Association of South Australia, connecting and supporting members of the Turkish Community in Adelaide; and my efforts with a national organisation involved in the protection and the preservation of indigenous culture and environment.

Turkiye dogumluyum. Ilk orta ve lise egitimimi Turkiye’de, universite ve  lisans ustu egitimlerimide Adelaide’da tamamladim. 2010 yilindan itibaren Guney Avusturalya Turk Dernegi baskan yardimciligi gorevini surdurmekteyim.

Meslek hayatim ve tecrubelerim, kucuk olcekli isletmelere ticari danismanlik yapmak, ayrica Avusturalya hukumetinin Pasifik ulkelerine yonelik olan uluslararasi kalkindirma projelerinde mesleki egitim programlarinda danismanlik yapmak. 


Gülten (Gül) has been an active member of the Turkish community in South Australia for many years. Born and raised in Adelaide to parents of Turkish descent, she has worked alongside her aunty Tanya Kaplan (the President of TASA) in organising various events for the community to include Turkish nights, cultural days and monthly meet-ups. She is the Founder and Administrator of the Facebook group for the Turkish Association of South Australia and assists new and existing members with various enquiries regarding living, working and studying in South Australia. Her group is also a popular platform where members can connect with one another and stay informed about upcoming events. Gülten owns Istanbul Lounge, a café in Adelaide’s east which she lovingly refers to as her “little piece of Istanbul in Adelaide”. She enjoys connecting visitors to the café that have an interest in Turkey to the Association so they can benefit from participating in the community. Gülten is also the owner and director of Belly Dance Elysium, one of Australia’s leading schools of belly dance. She and her co-dancers take great pride in representing the Turkish community through dance at high profile events such as OzAsia and the Adelaide City Council Multicultural Festival.

Gulten has a bachelor degree in Languages and Intercultural Communication from the University of South Australia


Volkan Demir is a multi-directional scientist and instructional developer who has additional skills in IT systems, web design and social media. He was an assistant professor/researcher in marine sciences and management for 15 years. He worked as a board member, coordinator, manager roles in governmental and private institutions. He also holds a B.Sc in Sociology.


“Gülsüm Hopa Alpan is the owner of Siyez Catering operating with her husband, Dursun Alpan, who is a qualified chef & also co-owner of Istanbul Lounge Adelaide cafe since 2020. Gülsüm’s professional background is actually Urban Planning & Design; however, she decided to set up her own food business with her husband. She was born in Ordu, Turkey, then spent her childhood and education life in Istanbul. She moved to Melbourne in 2012 after graduation from Bachelor Degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Istanbul Technical University. After getting her Masters in Urban Planning & Design from The University of Melbourne, she started working at city council in Melbourne. Then she moved to Adelaide in 2017 for setting up a new life with her husband.

Gülsüm Hopa Alpan, Siyez Catering sahibi ve eşi Dursun Alpan ile birlikte 2020 yılından itibaren yemek işini yürütmektedir. Eşi Dursun aynı zamanda Istanbul Lounge Adelaide cafenin sahibi ve şefidir. Gülsüm’ün profosyonel işi aslında şehir planlama ve tasarımdır fakat Gülsüm, şef Dursun ile birlikte kendi yemek işini kurmaya karar vermiştir. Gülsüm Ordu’da doğdu ve İstanbul’da çocukluğunu ve eğitim hayatını yaşamıştır. İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi Şehir ve Bölge Planlama’dan mezun olduktan sonra 2012 yılında Melbourne taşınmıştır. Melbourne Üniversitesi’nde Kentsel Planlama ve Tasarım bölümünde master eğitimini tamamlandıktan sonra belediyede çalışmıştır. Sonra 2017 yılında eşiyle beraber yeni bir hayat kurmak için Adelaide’da taşınmıştır.


I was born and bred in Istanbul, Turkey and studied Public Relations and Advertising at Marmara University.  I am married to a British guy, Matt, and have a 7-year-old son, Emir Kai. We lived in Dubai (7 years) and Melbourne (1 year) before moving to Adelaide in Feb’ 2018. I have been lucky to acquire genuine friends and employers and be part of inspiring, culturally and linguistically diverse communities in each city I have lived. Although I have almost 20 years of experience working in Marketing and Communication sector, our recent move to Adelaide has inspired me to follow my passion, which is to support people from a refugee background. Thankfully, the karma worked again, and I started working for the STTARS (Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service) with different cultural groups who had to flee their home countries. Meanwhile, I am studying Community Services at TAFE at the moment.

I feel privileged to be a part of the TASA, which is nurtured by valuable members of the thriving Turkish community. TASA guides and supports every person who needs a helping hand in South Australia. This always reminds me of the powerful African sayings, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”

Doğma büyüme İstanbulluyum. Marmara Üniversitesi’nde Halkla İlişkiler ve Reklamcılık okudum. Eşim Matt ile 7 yaşında Emir Kai adında bir oğlumuz var. Şubat 2018’de Adelaide’e taşınmadan önce Dubai’de (7 yıl) ve Melbourne’da (1 yıl) yaşadık. Yaşadığım her şehirde hakiki dostluklar ve işverenler edindigim, farklı kültürel toplulukların bir parçası olduğum için kendimi şanslı hissediyorum. Pazarlama ve İletişim sektöründe neredeyse 20 yıllık bir deneyime sahip olmama rağmen, Adelaide’e tasinmamiz, bana, mülteci geçmişine sahip insanlara destek olma tutkum konusunda harekete geçmem için ilham verdi. Her zaman oldugu gibi, karma tekrar çalıştı ve STTARS’da (İşkence ve Travmadan Kurtulanlara Yardım ve Rehabilitasyon Servisi) kendi ülkelerinden ayrılmak zorunda kalan farkli kültürlerdeki mülteci gruplarıyla çalışma fırsatı yakaladım. Bu arada da TAFE’de Sosyal Hizmetler okuyorum.

Güney Avustralya’da gelişen Türk toplumunun değerli üyelerinden oluşan TASA’nın bir parçası olduğum için kendimi ayrıcalıklı hissediyorum. TASA, Güney Avustralya’da yardıma ihtiyacı olan herkese destek olup, rehberlik ediyor. Bu bana her zaman, “Hızlı gitmek istiyorsan, yalnız git; ama uzağa gitmek istiyorsan birlikte git.” diyen Afrika atasözünü hatırlatır.


Kateryna Tyshchenko is a professional linguist, interpreter and language tutor. She was born in Siberia, then spent her childhood in Crimea. After getting her Masters in Turkish language and literature she started working at the Turkish governmental agency, providing international technical assistance. She has 9 years of working experience in the sector of international aid and a PhD in linguistics from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. 

Kateryna Tyshchenko profesyonel bir dilbilimci, tercüman ve dil öğretmenidir. Sibirya’da doğdu, çocukluğunu Kırım’da geçirdi. Türk dili ve edebiyatı alanında yüksek lisansını yaptıktan sonra, uluslararası teknik destek sağlayan Türk devlet kurumunda çalışmaya başladı. Uluslararası yardım sektöründe 9 yıllık iş deneyimine, ayrıca dilbilim alanında Kiev Milli Taras Şevçenko Üniversitesince verilen Doktora derecesine sahiptir. 




Doğma büyüme İstanbulluyum. İstanbul da rehberlik yapıyordum. Evlilk vasıtasıyla 1979 Aralık ayında Avustralya’ya geldim. Uçak Sydney’e inerken Avustralya’nın inanılmaz orman yangınlarını gördüm. Eşime endişeli gözlerle baktım, o “her yaz olur burada, normaldir” dedi. Sakinliğine şaşırdım. 3 gün Sydney de kaldıktan sonra, memleketi olan Barossa Valley’e gittik. Orada bazı geçici işlerde çalıştıktan sonra Adelaide’e geldik. Grosvenor Hotel de iş buldum. Otele gelen Türklerle tanışmak gayet güzeldi. İstanbul’dan tanıdığım arkadaşlarla temasa geçtim. TASA’ya katıldım ve uzun yıllar görev yaptım. Özellikle Türkçe Radyo programlarını hazırlayıp sunmak çok zevkliydi. 1995 senesinde ikinci eşim olacak nişanlımla İstanbul’a gittik. Niyetimiz 6 ay içinde onun vize işlemlerini tamamlayıp Adelaide’e geri dönmekti. Evdeki hesap çarşıya uymadı ve 2 buçuk sene sonra Amerika’nın yolunu tuttuk. Birmingham, Alabama da 21 sene kaldım. Orada da Alabama Türk Derneğinin faal bir elemanı oldum. 2018 de Adelade’e geri geldim.Sayın Başkanımız Tanya Kaplan’ın çalışmaları dolayısıyla Türk Radyosu tekrar 5EBI-FM de başlayacak ve tekrar sizlere güzel sunumlar dinletmeyi arzuluyorum.



I was born and bred in Istanbul, where I used to guide tourists mainly camping tours that were popular at the time. I arrived in Australia in December 1979, by way of marriage. I witnessed the unbelievable bush fires in NSW as the plane was descending to land in Sydney. I looked at my wife worried about the fires and I was surprised at her calmness as she said “It happens every summer here, it’s normal!” We went to Barossa Valley where she’s from, following our visit to Sydney for 3 days. We moved to Adelaide after working casual jobs there. I got employed at the Grosvenor Hotel in Adelaide. It was nice to meet the Turks that came to the hotel. I caught up with a few friends who already migrated to Adelaide. I found out about TASA and helped out several years, especially by preparing and presenting Turkish Radio programs at 5EBI-FM. In 1995, I went to Istanbul with my fiancee who would be my second wife. Our intention was to get her Australian visa and return to Adelaide in 6 months. Unfortunately, not everything went as we hoped and 2 and a half years later we moved to the U.S.A. I lived in Birmingham, (sweet home) Alabama for 21 years. I became an active member of the Turkish American Association of Alabama. I moved back to Adelaide in 2018. Turkish Radio Programme will start again on 5EBI-FM due to hard work by our dear President Tanya Kaplan OAM. I look forward to broadcasting enjoyable presentations to you, on Turkish Radio.

Yours Sincerely


“Among all of the nations, the most honorable and the most friendly people are only the Turks. If you go to a Turkish village that has not been under foreign influence; you will see and learn what true hospitality is in fact.”

– William Martin Leake


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We acknowledge all First Peoples of this land and celebrate their enduring connections to Country, knowledge and stories. We pay our respects to Elders and Ancestors who watch over us and guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

The members of LGBTIQA+ communities are welcome. The Association is not discriminate people on their gender or sexual orientation.