Judge Jay Karahan was named #30 in Turk of America Magazine’s list of 50 Most Influential Turks. Below is the text of the article about him. You can see the original article HERE.
Jay (Ceyhun) Karahan is the highest ranked Turkish American who serves in elected office. Presiding Judge at Harris County Criminal Court #8 in Houston Texas, Karahan has served successfully in this position since January 1, 2003. He has been re-elected twice since then. He won re-election in 2010 with a 56.9% margin.
He will seek re-election on November 4, 2014 for another four year term. His father, Necmi (nash) Karahan (87) was one of the first heavyweight professional boxers in Turkey and emigrated to the United States in 1949. He earned a living for his family fighting in tournements across the country. He trained with Rocky Marciano, the World Heavyweight Champion from 1952 to 1956.
While he was fighting in New York, he met his wife. He fought as a boxer in 1o matches and a wrestler in 31 matches in 1954. According to wrestlingdata.com, there are 31 matches fought by Necmi Karahan. After traveling for the tournements, finally the Karahan family settled down in Tampa, Florida. He opened a wholesale business and was an honorary consul general of Turkey for Florida from 1970 to the late 1980s. His son Ceyun (Jay) was born in 1954. He is a 1978 honors graduate from Florida State University with a baccalaureate degree in Music Theory and a certificate in vocal performance. Before attending law school, he interned for a year at the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office in Tampa.
Judge Karahan moved to Texas in 1979 to study law at South Texas College of Law. He attended law classes at night and interned during the day at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in the intake and grand jury divisions. He graduated with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1983.
Judge Karahan is licensed to practice before the Texas Supreme Court, The US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Judge Karahan has been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a Criminal Law Specialist since 1988.
Judge Karahan served as an Assistant District Attorney for Harris County, Texas from 1983 to 1987. He was a member of the Districe Attorney’s child abuse committee and specialized in child abuse prosecutions. In 1987, the US Attorney General appointed him an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. As a federal prosecutor, he served in the Major Offender Division, Bank Fraud Task Force, and as a district coordinator for child exploitation investigations and prosecutions. As both a state and federal prosecutor, Judge Karahan tried to jury verdict over 100 serious felony cases.
Judge Karahan has presided over 400 jury and court trials and has managed the disposition of over 66,000 cases since his investiture on January 1, 2003. He loves to play billiards and Semih Sayginer, the Turkish professional carom billiards player, his idol.
Karahan is a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church where he serves as an Adult Christian Education Teacher and is a member of the choir. Judge Karahan also serves as a visiting judge for moot court and mock trial competitions at South Texas College of Law and at the HISD High School for Law Enforcement.