I was honored to co-host an event at the Turkish Residence last night with Ambassador Noghès of Monaco in support of my friend and fellow Turk, Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.

Along with dozens of distinguished guests, including Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), we came together to hear about The Coca-Cola Company’s commitment to bring clean water to communities in need.  When I first heard about a great invention called the Slingshot, I couldn’t believe that it was possible to turn dirty water into drinkable water that efficiently. I had to see it for myself.

Ambassador Namik Tan shaking hands with Clyde Tuggle, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer at The Coca-Cola Company.

Many of our guests were just as surprised as I was when Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway, showed our guests just exactly how the “Slingshot” works.

The Slingshot Unit

His company, DEKA R&D, and Coca-Cola are partnering to bring this technology to parts of Latin America and Africa – places where clean water is increasingly hard to come by.

Dean Kamen speaking at the event.

As a Turk, I’m very proud to see Muhtar leading an organization that’s making a positive difference all around the world. In many countries, Coca-Cola is a symbol of hope and goodness. It is important that, as the head of that company, he sets an example to others about the importance of giving back. When I offered to contribute to this project -in a small way- by hosting this event, he kindly agreed.

I was also pleased to invite my fellow Ambassador from Monaco to co-host the event, as through his foundation, Prince Albert II of Monaco is a world leader in conservation and notably involved in water resources management.

I was particularly impressed by what inventor Dean Kamen had to say at the event last night.

It’s easy to take ordinary things like drinking water for granted. So when people like Dean and Muhtar come together to remind us that we can all do something – even something small – to make a difference in the lives of others, it’s incredibly important that we pay heed to their words.

Ambassador Namik Tan is the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the U.S. You can follow Ambassador Tan on Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for even more details on DEKA and the Slingshot? Visit Coca-Cola Journey for an overview story and an Unbottled post by Dean Kamen himself.