Members of the Turkish American Community Running for Office in 2018

As of January 1, 2018, there are three members of the Turkish American community running for elected office in 2018. We expect more Turkish Americans to run for office, and we will continue to update you as we learn of any new candidates.


Lauren Arikan

Lauren Arikan, wife of Turkish American Yusuf Arikan, is running for the House of Delegates in Maryland’s 7th District in the Republican Primary on June 26, 2018. The Arikans live with their three children in Jarrettsville, Maryland on their 8-acre farm where they raise poultry and dairy goats.  They own and manage an accounting and staffing firm, Arikan Accounting.  Lauren also owns and operates an investment company, Arikan Investments.

Lauren is a member of the Harford County Republican Women’s Club and the Maryland Federation of Republican Women. She has spent the last several years regularly testifying in Annapolis against legislation that harms parental rights. Community service is a huge part of Lauren’s life. As a teen, she was a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient. In 2014, she founded Birth Circle of Baltimore, which is a monthly community group that offers free peer support to women during their childbearing years and beyond.  She also served on the board of Maryland Friends of Midwives, a local 501(c)3, that supports midwifery in Maryland. The general election in Maryland will be held on November 6, 2018.

To support Lauren Arikan’s campaign you can make contributions directly to her campaign by going to

Alternately, you can help the TC-USA PAC in its efforts to raise funds for Lauren Arikan’s election either by:

  • Personal check (no business checks) payable to TC-USA PAC (Mail to: TC-USA PAC / 1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 1000 / Washington, DC  20036); or
  • Credit card contribution (visit and click “Donate”)


Ben Bartlett

Ben Bartlett, married to Turkish American Yelda Bartlett, is running for California State Assembly District 15. Ben currently serves as a Councilmember on the Berkeley City Council District III in Berkeley, California. Working with Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín and his colleagues on the council, Ben drafted and passed numerous initiatives to address issues such as the housing crisis, homelessness, and inequality.

Prior to serving in the City Council, Ben served on numerous boards and commissions, with a commitment to making local government more responsive to the needs of residents. He built his career as an environmental lawyer uniting industry and government to address climate change, alleviate poverty with green jobs, and expand opportunity for everyone. A South Berkeley native who grew up in a culture of community service, Ben is a respected leader in the community and is also strong supporter of the Turkish American community.

To support Ben Bartlett’s campaign you can make contributions directly to his campaign by going to

Related Links:


Judge Jay Karahan

A principled and dedicated public servant, Turkish American Judge Ceyhun ‘Jay’ Karahan has served on the Harris County Criminal Court No. 8 in Houston, Texas for 14 years. He is seeking a fifth term and will be running in the Republican Primary on March 6, 2018. The general election will be held November 6, 2018. Since 2003, Judge Karahan has managed over 75,000 cases, presided over 550 trials, and supervised more than 12,000 probationers.

Judge Karahan is a native of Tampa, Florida and moved to Texas in 1979 to study law at South Texas College of Law. As both a state and federal prosecutor, he tried over 100 serious felony cases to jury verdict. He is licensed to practice before the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Judge Karahan is one of two Turkish Americans currently serving in elected office.

To support Judge Karahan’s campaign you can make contributions directly to his campaign by going to

Alternately, you can help the TurkishPAC of Houston in its efforts to raise funds for Judge Karahan’s reelection either by:

  • Personal check (no business checks) payable to TurkishPAC (Mail to: TurkishPAC / 613 Rancho Bauer / Houston, TX  77079); or
  •  Credit card contribution (visit and click “Donate”)