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30-Year Old Wins ‘Sunnysider of the Year’ Award

Oguzhan Turan

Oguzhan Turan

Nov. 2, 2014 By Christian Murray

A 30-year-old Turkish immigrant will be receiving the 2015 Sunnysider of the Year award at the Tangra ballroom (39-23 Queens Blvd) Monday evening.

Oguzhan Turan, who is the executive director of the Sunnyside-based Turkish Cultural Center Queens, will be receiving the joint award from the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and

The award is handed out to someone who lives or works in Sunnyside who has contributed to the greater good without regard to faith, fundraising or politics. Turan was nominated by a committee representing both organizations—as well as past winners– and was voted for the award unanimously, according to Patricia Dorfman, founder of and former Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce member.

The award, officially called the Luke Adams’ Sunnysider of the Year award, was first bestowed on Luke Adams in 2011.

The Turkish Cultural Center Queens is best known in this neighborhood for its Ramadan celebration when it feeds hundreds of people under a tent it sets up in Sunnyside for a number of evenings each year.

The group also gained attention after Superstorm Sandy when it handed out 5,000 cups of soup and made a $50,000 donation to help repair a damaged Queens Library branch.

Turan, as an individual, is known for his personal service to others, wrote Dorfman for the Woodside Herald.

“Turan can always be counted on to show up before anyone else, do physical work if required, and make the charitable activities of others come to fruition. He is there in a crisis, including personal,” Dorfman wrote. “He does car runs for the needy, sets up and builds tents for street fair booths, and gives of his own money and time on a daily basis.”

Turan will be the fifth winner of the award. It has gone to Luke Adams, Queen of Angles priest Brian Dowd, Francis Schmidt (a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club) and Donald McCallian (who runs the community organization the United 40s Civic Association.


email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

I am not Ms. Dorfman. I use a pseudonym because my name has been hijacked more than once on this website.

I like what Ms. Dorfman has done in Sunnyside. If other’s don’t, go do something else.

Implementing your good vision for this town never, ever requires denigrating someone else. So, go ahead, do good things, everyone will be better off for it.


@Heretostay aka Ms. Dorfman

You are clearly defending yourself here and that’s okay, you obviously have that right. But you are also using a false name so don’t be a damn hypocrite.

Anyone that has dealt with any local political or non-political organizations in this neighborhood and knows Patricia Dorfman, knows that she can be very manipulative and hard to work with. Not necessarily for the greater good of the neighborhood, but for her to gain a little control. A lot of free time and a thirst for power.

It’s not all negative. Her work for Manny Gomez on the Sunnyside Art Fair is a nice thing for the neighborhood.


To Bummyside and Nooner,

If the two of you are going to pass derogatory comments using someone’s name you had better use your own. Otherwise you reveal yourself to have the spine of a jellyfish. You are out of line deriding a private citizen who has established and run a non-profit that generates good will among a diverse mix of religious, ethnic, social and cultural groups in Sunnyside.

It seems to me she says a vibrant and enthusiastic “Yes!” to lots of good things. The only time I heard her say no was in regard to situations that stank of abuse of power and financial corruption.

Few people have that courage to point out that kind of social and political disease. We call them leaders where I come from.


@ Anonymous visitor
Naysaying and negativity are exactly what Ms. Dorfman does best. That’s her bag, not Bummysides.

Anonymous visitor

@nooner….i have only had positive conversations and encounters with Ms. Dorfman. She seems willing to help anyone and is involved in the community. Are you sure you have the right person?


Nothing against Mr. Turan here, but does anyone else see the irony in a “Sunnysider of the Year Award” given out by Patricia Dorfman?

What kind of merit does this hold?

Anonymous visitor

Why is that so ironic? Ms. Dorfman is very active in our community. What do you contribute aside from naysaying and negativity?


It is unfortunate that a share the same name with someone who is soo negative to a cause that means only good. May God open your eyes and heart to all of the great work that this community is doing


I don’t see anything in that article that suggests the Gulen / Hizmet movement is in any way political!!!! Except for the part that states “Critics believe….”and we all know that critics will say anything to discredit anything or anyone. I am neither Turkish nor Muslim and even I can see that it’s founder is a man of peace and the world needs more of those at this point in its history!

Sunnyside Is Blooming

Great job. This neighborhood needs more people like this man!

Also, a shout out to the volunteers who came out yesterday morning in the cold, windy weather to plant flowers on 48th street. It would have been easier to just stay in bed. But all of these people want to do something for their neighborhood. If you’re interested in getting involved in planting and other beautification projects in Sunnyside contact us at [email protected].


So apparently this award has gone to men five times in a row? Turan sounds like a great guy, but this sounds like a circle jerk to me.

Patricia Dorfman




Some great raffle gifts like Veuve Cliquot and Moet Champagne and and original artwork.

Among some great Queens musicians featured, two are:

Steven Hitt who heads LaGuardia Performing Arts Theater and a creative executive will be singing “The Trolley Song” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” (The title of the event is “Orient Express” so the music is largely train related.) Hitt is a former Broadway performer but rarely performs in public.

Paula Hostetter whom we have heard sing non-operatically at local events, this time is performing an aria from an opera by Jules Massenet,”Va Laisse Couler Mes Larmes” (Let the Tears Flow), and indeed the tears will flow! Hostetter was with the Metropolitan Opera for 28 years and now sings for New York City Opera.


The menu includes fish, vegetarian noodles, lollipop chicken and rib eye steak cutlets, cake and ice cream. Cash bar with really good wine chosen by Richard Drake.


And, for the first time at the event, there will be dancing!


Thank you, Sunnyside Post, for covering and you for reading! See you there, we hope!


Other info links





Congratulations Oguzhan…. truly a well deserved honor for your tireless and continued efforts in the community.


I am extremely grateful to you, Mr. Turan for making this contribution to the well-being and reputation of my hometown that I love so much.


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