Turkish American Elected Officials


Honorable Jay Karahan

Judge Jay (Ceyhun) Karahan won re-election in 2014 as the Presiding Judge of Harris County Criminal Court #8 in Houston, Texas. 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 Judge Karahan tried to jury verdict over 100 serious felony cases. He is licensed to practice before the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Judge Karahan is currently the only Turkish American serving in an elected office. In total there have been six Turkish Americans who have been elected to public office, all on the local level.



Honorable Ali Paksoy

Judge Ali Paksoy serves as a district court judge for the 27B Judicial District of North Carolina, which presides over Cleveland and Lincoln countries. Judge Paksoy received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from the University of Alabama.