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The Turkish Cultural Center, the Council of Turkic American Associations and the Peace Islands Institute hosted the The Friendship Dinner and award ceremony at the Radisson hotel in Manchester. Among the participants enjoying the evening are, from left, Ugur Yrmaz, Nedim Aycaner, Yusuf Demir, and Gent Cav. Award recipients included Commissioner of Education Dr. Virginia M. Barry, New Hampshire state Attorney General Michael Delaney, WMUR anchor Jennifer Vaughn and Exeter swimmer Victoria Arlen, a gold medalist at this year's Paralympic Games. (BRUCE PRESTON/UNION LEADER)

Turkish Cultural Center honors four from NH at Manchester event

MANCHESTER — The Turkish Cultural Center New Hampshire and Peace Islands Institute on Monday honored four New Hampshire residents for helping promote peace, tolerance and mutual understanding across cultures.

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael A. Delaney received the community service award; state Education Commission Virginia M. Barry received the education award; and WMUR-TV anchor Jennifer Vaughn was presented with the media award at the first Annual Friendship Dinner & Award Ceremony.

Exeter Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen, who won a gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympics, was honored with a special recognition award.

The four were selected for their contributions to strengthen peace, harmony and diversity in New Hampshire and the United States.

Civic, legislators and education leaders were among the estimated 100 people who attended the dinner and award ceremony at the Radisson Hotel.

Turkey and the United States are both nations that have successfully hosted diverse colleges, Turkish Cultural Center New York vice president Mehmet Kilic told the gathering.

&#';We are very ambitious to work so hard and contribute to the qualify of life in New Hampshire and the United States,&#'; Kilic added.

The Turkish Cultural Center New Hampshire will be opening its official offices here in the next few months. The civic, non-profit organization is dedicated to promoting peace and tolerance through mutual understanding and respect.

Peace Islands Institute recognizes the altruism, philanthropy and commitment of the four recipients.

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