By Hakan Copur
A U.S.-based Turkish businessman has received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, sponsored by National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, at a ceremony held in New York.
Murat Guzel, a U.S.-based Turkish businessman in charge of the Democrat Party's National Ethnic Coordinating Council, received the award for his project on preventing drug use and abuse by secondary school-age girls living in poverty.
Speaking at the ceremony, Guzel, the founder and CEO of Natural Food Group based in Pennsylvania, dedicated the medal to his mother and his country, Turkey.
This year, the 32nd edition of the ceremony was held. Among the other recipients were Oscar-winning actress Rita Moreno, entrepreneur Larry Gagosian and Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Seven U.S. presidents, Frank Sinatra, and Muhammad Ali have also received the honor in the past.
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is officially recognized by House of Representatives and the Senate.
The award is given to “American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life,” according to the organizer’s website.
The names of the recipients were announced on March 10.