January 2005 -- A delegation of four Turkish hide and skin professionals traveled around the United States from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5, meeting with associates of the pelt industry. One of their stops included the American Sheep Industry Association, where they met with Rita Kourlis-Samuelson, deputy director of operations and wool marketing, to discuss the pelt markets of both the United States and Turkey. The delegates expressed their concern of the Turkish pelt market becoming softer due to a slow-down in exports to Russia and an increase in Russian import costs.
Turkey is one of the major importing markets of U.S. pelts.
Visitors Included: Mustafa Sepici, board member of the Aegean Leather and Leather Products Exporters Union and Aegean Organization for Businessmen; Mustafa Yetkin, import/export manager at Kopuzlar; Ibrahim Sirtioglu, USDA agriculture marketing specialist at the Istanbul American Consulate; Halil Altug Uygner, in charge of national sales and production facilities at Uyguner Tannery; and Mike McWhorter, international training coordinator at Texas A&M University.