A museum at Space Camp Turkey to commemorate Kaya Tuncer, the founder of ESBAS (the Aegean Free Zone Development and Operating Company) and Space Camp Turkey was officially opened on July 1, 2013. Together, U.S. Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone, Governor of Izmir, Mustafa Toprak and Chairwoman of ESBAS, Mary Tuncer cut the ribbon for the grand opening.
The ceremony was also attended by Deputy Mayor of Izmir, Dr. Sirri Aydogan, Ali Susam, Member of Parliament from Izmir, Ekrem Demirtas, Chairman of Izmir Chamber of Commerce and Greek-American businessman, Michael Parlamis.
Photos that document Mr.Tuncer with NASA astronauts, visiting teachers and Turkish government officals, including the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul,are on display in the museum. Other items being showcased include congratulatory messages sent to Mr. Tuncer and news clippings about Space Camp Turkey when it opened in 2000 .
Visitors to “A Man With a Vision” museum will be greeted by the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which was given to Mr.Tuncer in 2004 by the National Ethnic Organization Coalition in the United States. Mr. Tuncer was nominated for the prestigious award by his Greek-American friend, Mr. Parlamis. The medal recognizes Mr. Tuncer`s contributions to world peace by bringing children from different countries together at Space Camp Turkey.
”Today we are here to dedicate the ‘Man with a Vision’ museum to honor my late husband, Kaya Tuncer, for his role in the creation of Space Camp Turkey. In Kaya`s words, Space Camp Turkey is ‘a gift to the youth of the world`,” remarked Mrs. Tuncer.
“To quote a famous American, ‘some men see things as they are and ask why; I dream of things that never were and ask why not?’ Kaya Bey was in that latter category of people who—through their vision and hard work have made the world a better place”
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