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A fun read for Ankara Alumni

In this section you can discover what has been happening over the years to students and faculty of Ankara High School/George C Marshall High School.Or you may find something interesting that has occurred in Ankara, Turkey or the world.

Fort Knox - The Comic Strip
Vann Baker, Military Brats Online, is helping promote a new comic strip, Fort Knox. Fort Knox chronicles the life of a military family, including the challenges they all face: making new friends, trying to fit in, and adjusting to life at Fort Lincoln, their new home. Read more and view this funny strip at Military Brats Online.

Call For Volunteer Interviewees
Mary Edwards Wertsch, author of the 1991 non-fiction book, Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress, is looking for interviewees for a new book. The subject is belonging, which of course also covers not belonging, loss, and other topics. The interviewees must have grown up in a mobile lifestyle or in multiple cultures. While this includes military brats, the study also includes those who grew up in missionary, corporate, diplomat, or other such lifestyles. At this time, Mary's top priority is finding volunteers who fit the criteria but are not military brats, since she already has a number of volunteers in that category. However, she could accept 20 additional military brat volunteers as well. The specific criteria are below. If you know anyone who fits this description--whether or not they are Ankara alumni--please feel free to pass along this notice and her email address:

For mobility:
1) Must have moved multiple times during childhood years (up to 18), and:
2) Must have moved because of parental job or profession, or for some reason that made it clear that there would always be another move. In other words, people who moved always thinking the new place would be the last move, where they would settle down and "form roots", would not be suitable for this project (unless they met criteria for multiple cultures, below); the need is for interviewees who lived in a "temporary" mode throughout childhood.

For multiple cultures:
1) Must have grown up in more than one culture, such that they have a feeling of partially belonging to all but not wholly belonging to any. This obviously applies to children who grew up in different countries and were immersed in the culture of those countries (such as going to national schools and learning the language). It also may apply to those who grew up navigating both military and civilian cultures, or navigating vastly different communities (such as tribal reservation and other communities of any kind). The key here is immersion: Living within, absolutely needing to adapt to the ways of the community, figuring out how to be accepted and establish a workable social identity in that community.
2) As above, these cultural adaptation experiences must have occurred in childhood. Persons who began moving only as adults would not be candidates for this particular study.

. Celebrating 10 Years -

. is a continuation of This month marks 10 years that, the first offiical web site for alumni, has been online. Want to see how it looked? Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Anita and Jill, Las Vegas, 2005

In brat tradition, Jill Park 71 and Anita Donohoe 66 did not know each other when they started working together 10 years ago. They just shared the bond of attending high school in Ankara. That was enough. The Las Vegas Reunion 2005 was the first time they spent any time together April 1999:
" was published to the internet on January 2, 1999. The response from alumni has been incredible. We have added approximately 25 school years to our E-mail Address Page which translates into 100 new e-mail addresses. We have found 10 alumni that had been missing. We are averaging 325 visits a month so the site is expected to grow."

  January 1999 January 2009
Email Address Pages 22 Class Years 54 Class Years
Email Addresses 1400 1900
Avg Hits Per Month 100 7,015
Main Pages/Sections 16 37
Photographs 104 300+


Memories Last Forever - March 15, 2007

Isil Oz, journalist for the "Turkish Journal," attended the San Diego mini reunion on March 10, 2007. She enjoyed the dinner at the Birdhouse Grill and wrote, "I was amazed to hear 'Merhaba' from them. I enjoyed their company while they shared their Turkish experience and celebrated their lives in Ankara." Read the article and find out who attended here.

Sixty years of influencing personalities

The Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe is celebrating 60 years of providing educational opportunities to literally hundreds of thousands of American students. We think you will enjoy this fun article. It includes several students who attended school in Ankara, Turkey.

Registry Tops 1700

As of August 18, 2006, our Registry has over 1700 listings! You can use our Registry Search to find old friends anytime you choose! There is no need to register or wait for authorization to use our search. You have the ability to contact hundreds of alumni and faculty within minutes by sending them an email through Connections.

Khan Klatt 90 designed the Registry Search specifically for Connections. Among other great functions, we are informed immediately if an email address fails, allowing us to recover the new one. This means you will always be successful in making a connection when you send an email message from our web site.

"It's wonderful to learn about this site from my bestfriend in high school, Liz."
Cathy Ollis 67

We'd like to thank Cathy for her kinds words when she registered with us. Our success is based on your recommendations. Thank you for your support.

e-Citadel Gets An Icon

We are in the process of reformatting several sections of our Web site. Part of that process is removing Shiela Weaver's incredible from our Photographs section and recognizing her accomplishment with an icon of her own.

If you have not visited her site, you need to see it for yourself. In a little over a year, she has uploaded over 46 Ankara high school yearbooks along with a Lore section about the school. And this is only the beginning of what she offers. The site has over 5000 pages! This is an amazing accomplishment unparalleled by any other alumni associations.

Visit her site today!

USA Turkish Times, A Story About Connections

Recently, Isil Oz, a reporter for USA Turkish Times, contacted us. During her interviewed with Anita Donohoe, she was amazed to learn that the founders of Connections did not know each other in Ankara, but have become good friends as they have shared their goal to keep Ankara alumni and faculty connected. She was pleased to discover a group of Americans who enjoyed their experience in Ankara and perpetuate it through reunions large and small.

Rick Donohoe and Rich Biasetti
Ankara Reunion 2000

Innocent Victims - Animals of War

Update: August 27, 2006
There may be a cease fire in Lebanon, but BETA is still in dire need of assistance. Their goal is to find foreign nationals to adopt the animals they have rescued since most people in their country have evacuated or have no home to return to. Learn about their work and follow the link to their web site below.

Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA), Lebanon's only animal shelter, has been rescuing animals in Beirut since the war began. BETA is a registered charity actively working on animal welfare issues in Lebanon and they are in desperate need of help.

On July 25, 2006, volunteers risked their lives to rescue animals being kept under the horror of the attacks at a mini-zoo. On July 28, they re-entered the southern suburbs to feed the stray and abandoned pets. Here they encountered a pet shop and retrieved some of the surviving animals.

With airports, sea ports and roads in ruin, it is nearly impossible to enter or leave the country. Goods to care for the animals are becoming difficult to find and what is available is becoming expensive due to the limited supplies.

More information:
To donate online:

Complete stories with photographs:
War in Lebanon threatens the lives of hundreds of rescued animals
The War Rescues
ABC News, Person of the Week: Linda Nealon

Love Interrupted - Looking for first loves

A Toronto-based film maker is looking for first loves who were separated by a war, parents, or simply lost touch with each other for reasons beyond their control. If they spent years looking for each other and ultimately reunited she would like to interview them for a film. They can be any age or stage in life. It would be great if one of them was a Canadian. Please contact Alison Armstrong.

Okinawa Photos Needed

Shizuo Kishaba, chairman Ryukyu America Historical Research Society NonProfit, Incorporated, is looking for photographs of Okinawa between 1945-1955. This unique program displays photographs of the natives and scenery as well as Military Brats enjoying Okinawa. The Ryukyu America has displays 4-5 times a year in the civic hall in Naha, Nanjo City and Kitanakagusku town hall. They will reimburse the senders and would like authorization to make copies for display giving due credit to the Military Brat. The pictures will be sent back together with some Okinawa souvenirs. Contact Shizuo Kishaba.

e-Citadel Celebrates One Year - March 5, 2006

A year ago, the only Ankara yearbook online was a small portion of 1967. Shiela Weaver 67 started the e-Citadel Project with the idea of completing 1967, nothing else. When she started receiving requests to complete other yearbooks, she thought she would just scan and upload the pages pertaining to the Senior class.

With the help of many alumni and sheer brat tenacity, boasts a collection of 43 complete yearbooks with more than 5000 pages worth of viewing. With only seven yearbooks left, the Project is closing in on the goal of converting all the Ankara yearbooks into a digital format.

If you haven't visited e-Citadel, you are missing an incredible site unrivaled by any other alumni association. Not only has Shiela uploaded pictures, she provides you with historical facts along with the popular movies and music of the year. Her Lore section includes newsletters, programs to school musicals, prom invitations and an Information Booklet for Dormies, circa 1966, just to mention a few items.

Visit e-Citadal today and wish them a Happy Anniversary by signing the Guestbook.

Ankara High School Connections Celebrates One Year
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ January 29, 2006 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you for your support this year. With over 27,000 visitors from 77 countries this was a big year for us. When the site previewed a year ago, it contained 42 pages. We have grown to 169 with plans to add more this year.

Your favorite section is Photographs. With the help of many alumni we are pleased to offer you over 200 photographs from major, mini and micro reunions. We are averaging about 8000 pageviews a month. During Ankara Reunion 2005 that statistic jumped to 25,857 (July) and 27,407 (August) as you viewed the pictures we uploaded during the reunion in Dallas. Thanks to Wray Woolley 66 you can use our Site Search Function to search our photographs by name or class year.

We are excited to work in partnership with Shiela Weaver (Kenney) 67, the webmistress for Over the last year she has uploaded 39 Ankara alumni yearbooks or 4776 pages. The yearbooks range from 1953 to 2003. She still needs 1956, 1975-77, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1996. Please contact Shiela if you have these yearbooks.

Our searchable database (Registry Search), designed specifically for Connections by Khan Klatt, has 1600 listings. We are the only Ankara alumni Web site with a current database, updated weekly, that allows you to safely contact fellow alumni or faculty.

Our Registry Search is so powerful you have several ways to search such as by state or airport. This allows you to plan reunions or connect with fellow alumni when you are traveling.

Be sure to view the list of people who have helped us make this happen, Trojans Behind Connections. Without their assistance this site would not be possible.

You can read more about Jill, Anita, John and Khan at About Us.

New Cell Phone Directory - Register with the Do Not Call List

The cell phone industry hopes to have a directory for wireless phone numbers by the end of this year. 163 million Americans use wireless telephones in addition to their home landlines, and 7.5 million to 8 million consumers use wireless phones only, according to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.

The new cell phone directory is a good news/bad news scenario for cell phone users. The good news is that people who dropped off all information listings by switching to a cell phone from a land line can now be found again. The bad news is that telemarketers will be able to find cell phone users, too. The answer to this potential problem is the Cell Phone Do Not Call List.

Cell phone owners can sign up for the list by phone or using the Internet. Signing up for the Do Not Call List is supposed to be effective within 90 days of signup date, and is good for five years. At the end of five years, it will be necessary to register again.

To sign up for the cell phone Do Not Call List by telephone, call 888-382-1222. You must make the call from the actual cell phone you want to register - the listing will be accepted only if the calling number matches the registered number. This process takes about a minute and your cell phone number is added to the list within hours. Telemarketers are required to stop calling you after a 31-day waiting period.

To sign up for the cell phone Do Not Call List on the Web, go to and follow the instructions.

Act quickly if you want to prevent most unwanted telemarketing calls. If you receive calls after the 31-day waiting period, keep track of who called and report them. You can use the same Do Not Call website for this purpose.

AARP Nov/Dec 2005

Sylvia Nasar learned about the life of John Nash, the genius mathematician who would make her famous in 1993, a year before he won the Nobel Prize in economics. She was interviewing a source for The New York Times, where she was an economics reporter, and he mentioned the rumor that the long-forgotten Nash was a Nobel contender. As a graduate student in economics, she had studied Nash’s equilibrium theory, first published in 1950. Nasar assumed that Nash was dead, but she soon learned that he was roaming the campus of Princeton University, a ghostly figure slowly emerging from the paranoid schizophrenia that had fractured his mind during his youth and destroyed his comeback career. “I really felt like this was the most amazing story I’d ever come across as a reporter,” she says.

Nasar wrote an article detailing his precocious youth, his decline into schizophrenia, and his remarkable journey back to sanity. Her story drew an enormous response from readers-and lucrative book offers. She hadn’t intended to write a book, but these two factors “made me realize I’ve got to do this,” she says.

A Beautiful Mind was published in 1998, when Nasar was 51. It wasn’t an overnight success. But when the book was made into a film directed by Ron Howard-which won an Oscar for best picture in 2002 - it became a bestseller. (And yes, she met Russell Crowe.)

“I didn’t write the book because I thought it would get me somewhere,” she says. “I just thought the story was so compelling.” Nonetheless she enjoys her success. “I’ve met amazing people. I’d never gone to a book reading or an author lecture before I gave them. And is that fun? Oh, yeah, that’s fun.”

Thanks to A Beautiful Mind, Nasar’s now Columbia University’s first Knight professor of business journalism and is busy writing her second book, which is about great economic thinkers of the 20th century. She feels incredibly lucky. “I have options about what to do with my life at an age when a lot of people’s options are narrowing.”

Sylvia Nasar is a 1965 graduate of Ankara High School. For more information on "A Beautiful Mind" see our Archives Page.

- October 4, 2005

LUXEMBOURG - After days of wrenching negotiations, Turkey and the European Union held a brief ceremony here early Tuesday that formally opened talks on Turkey's bid to join the union.

The ceremony, which began just past midnight after an agreement was reached late Monday, set in motion a process that would probably take a decade or more but could end with the European Union's extending its borders eastward into Asia to embrace a predominantly Muslim country.

"This is a truly historic day for Europe and for the whole of the international community," said Jack Straw, Britain's foreign secretary, who was chairman of the negotiations. He said Turkey's entry "will bring a strong, secular state that happens to have a Muslim majority into the E.U. - proof that we can live, work and prosper together."

Turkey has worked for more than four decades to join, restructuring its legal system and economy to meet European standards even as Europe added demands and refused to start formal negotiations.

The agreement on Monday to open the talks was a hard-won victory for the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has staked his political credibility on getting them under way. He hailed the beginning of talks, saying, "Turkey has taken a giant step forward on its historic march."

But the bitter struggle over the terms of the talks reflects Europe's deep ambivalence toward Turkey's membership.

The talks come at a difficult time for the European Union, which is mired in an identity crisis and whose consensus-based decision-making process is already bogged down by the addition last year of 10 members.

Many Europeans - more than half according to some polls - oppose Turkey's membership, arguing that while the country has a toehold in Europe, it is not European at its core. Critics say the union would have difficulty absorbing such a large, poor country and complain that Turkey's membership would open the doors for a potentially huge wave of Muslim immigrants.

By the time it could be expected to join, Turkey's current population of 70 million people would probably have grown to outnumber that of Germany, now the largest European state. Under current rules, that would give it the most seats in the European Parliament, skewing an already complex European agenda.

Read the complete story at the New York Times

During late August 2005 and into October 2005 the Gulf Coast of the United States was ravaged by hurricanes. We kept a daily diary of news reports and alumni email entries to chronicle this event.

The full page is divided into four sections. Follow the links below to view the information:
1. Donate
2. Hurricane Updates
3. Locate Loved Ones
4. Shelter

Turkey said it would extend for another year an agreement allowing the United States to use its Inçirlik airbase for planes supplying U.S. and allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the U.S. embassy in Ankara said it was still awaiting notification and said it remained unclear whether Turkey would grant its request for a widening of the terms of the existing deal, including blanket clearance for all flights.

Diplomats say, Turkish officials seem to want to downplay the logistical support provided to Washington via Inçirlik. Under the present deal, the Americans need permission for each flight to and from Incirlik. The U.S. planes are allowed to carry only logistical equipment, not ammunition or, barring the pilots, military personnel.

Complete Story at Reuters

NEW TURKISH LIRA - January 1, 2005
This great information was provided by The New Turkish Lira Home

The New Turkish Lira or Yeni Turk Lirasi entered the Turkish market today and became legal tender. In 2005 the old Turkish Lira will gradually be phased out of circulation. December 31, 2005 will be the last day the old lira will be accepted in shops. From 1 January 2006 onwards, any remaining old lira will have to be converted at either the Turkish Central Bank or T.C. Ziraat Bank branches

The main difference between the new and old liras is 6 less zeros. For example: 1,000,000 old liras will convert to 1 new lira. Modern Turkey has had a history of hyperinflation. Rare has a year past when the inflation rate was less than 30%. In the last 30 years the lira has devalued from 14 to 1,500,000 for USD $1. At one stage a few years ago, the lira was over 1,800,000 to USD $1. The hyperinflation has gone and inflation is currently below 10%.

The Turkish government thought removing the zeros will help wipe away the past and hopefully, start a new era of economic confidence in Turkey. A new era when people don't expect price rises every few months, businesses don't automatically lift their prices each quarter and new, higher denomination notes are not issued every 2 years.

March 28, 2004
On March 28, 1930, the names of the Turkish cities of Constantinople and Angora were changed to Istanbul and Ankara.


FAMOUS BRAT - Did you know...
Sylvia Nasar, author of the book "A Beautiful Mind," now a major motion picture with 8 Academy Award Nominations, is a 1965 graduate of Ankara High School? Ron Howard directs Russell Crowe in this biopic about Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash, Jr.
  Book Review
"A Beautiful Mind" is a splendid book, deeply interesting and extraordinarily moving, remarkable for its sympathetic insights into both genius and schizophrenia. It is equally gripping as a portrait of the mathematical community at Princeton and of Nash's friends and family, and the perhaps crucial part they played in his psychic survival eventual emergence." --OLIVER SACKS

NEW BOOK - "A Brief History of Ankara"

By Tami Cross and Gary Leiser
This book is for students or tourists headed to Turkey's capital. The city, population 3.7 million, is at least 3,000 years old but until now has had no handy history book - in any language. It traces the history of Ankara from the Stone Age to its metamorphosis into the capital of the Republic of Turkey.

Leiser's brother-in-law did many of the illustrations, a cousin drew up the maps, and wife, Pat handled the calligraphy.

His co-author, Toni Cross, is an archaeologist and director of the Ankara branch of the American Research Institute. Gary Leiser finished his part in 1992, but for various reasons, above all illness, hers was delayed.

Want a copy?


SARAH BIRD - Air Force Brat & Author
Subsequent to the events of September 11th, Sarah Bird was invited to several gatherings in Austin, Texas to discuss her new book, "The Yokota Officers Club." Instead, she gave a talk on how the terrorist attacks had affected her as a military brat. Many of you will identify with the images and scenes she gathers from childhood and why the recent events struck a familiar chord. All of you will understand her concerns for the future.

With encouragement, Sarah submitted the text of that talk to the Austin American-Statesman and it was published on Monday, September 24th, 2001. With Sarah's permission we have posted a copy here.

On a trip to Viet Nam, two businessmen were disgusted when they found U.S. dog tags being sold as souvenirs in Vietnam. The men, who prefer to stay anonymous, have made it a crusade to buy as many tags as possible and return them to the families of U.S. servicemen killed in the Vietnam War. If you are a family member or friend of a POW-MIA in Vietnam, check out their Web site: Found Dogtags. There's no catch...they just want to help.

The site allows you to search through the names of dog tags that have not been returned by using the first letter of the last name. You can also view the names of the tags that have been returned. Some are returned to family members while some to the serviceman who relay the history of how the tags were lost ... or given up at gun point.

NEW MILITARY BRAT BOOK - "The Yokota Officers Club"
June 19, 2001 marked the release of this book by Sarah Bird. Sarah is a military brat who has a very typical trail of schools and bases in her record. She is also the author of "Virgin of the Rodeo," "The Mommy Club," "The Boyfriend School," and "Alamo House."

Set against a background of post World War II Japan and Vietnam era Okinawa, the new book by author Sarah Bird, "The Yokota Officers Club" is the fictionalized story of an Air Force family caught up in both the adventure and the politics of living on the local economy and the politics of rank and power in the "little Americas" that are US military bases abroad.

It's all here ..the trip to post war Japan on the troop ship USS President Wilson with its attendant sea sickness for some; the mother's struggle to give some stability to a family moving every couple of years; a father always leaving on classified missions on an hours notice and not being able to tell the family where he was going or when he would be back; the forever attempts of military children to fit in wherever their father's assignments landed them; and the base politics of the general's daughter married to a wing commander who wears both her husband's and her father's ranks on her shoulders.

Go to and click on Brat Store and look for the "Yokota Officers Club" under books to place your order.

Military brats and their teachers gather for a reunion and park dedication
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Virginia Search Chessnoe studied a model of the buildings that will become the closest thing to a hometown the 55-year-old has ever had.

Her former high school has closed. The house she grew up in belongs to somebody else. Even the country where she spent her formative years has changed. West Germany is now just Germany. But this weekend, Chessnoe came together with more than 1,000 others children of military personnel and their former teachers to dedicate a museum and historical park for military brats.

For many of those who gathered for the four-day "Homecoming 2001," which ends Sunday, life was a series of adjustments to one foreign place after another. With Saturday's dedication of the American Overseas Historical Park, scheduled to open here in 2003, the military brats say they finally have a place to come back to, a permanent hometown. "It will always be here," said Chessnoe, who graduated in 1964 from Frankfurt American High School. The school closed in 1994.

The dedication of the $12 million, seven-acre park, which will contain a museum and archive, was held in conjunction with the reunion of military brats held every two to three years at various locations around the country.

"There's a common thread, a common denominator to our stories," said Joy Harper Bryant, 47, who attended Jonathan Wainwright School in Tainan, Taiwan, until 1971. "Most of us can't go back to our schools and visit our old hangouts. But when we come to these, we can sort of go back to those places."

In a nearby hotel, June Mitchell, a former guidance counselor in Seoul, South Korea, and Walter Peik, 72, a former principal from a school in the Philippines, scanned a computer database for former co-workers and students. "There's as much a bond with the teachers as there is with the brats. You shared your life with these people," said Mitchell, 72

Ms "E"- January 12, 2001
Hello To All My Wonderful Students!!!!!!

Thanks to each of you for the memorable 2000 Ankara Reunion. It was such a great time for me. Little did I know that while working, playing and reveling in your progress and success during the late 60's and 70's that you would be such an inspirational support for me in my retirement days! (Not really retired). Thank you so much!

Seeing "all" of you, hearing news about your parents, your children, old friends, and in many cases your continued involvement in the "arts," made me feel SO PROUD.

Hats off to those who took the challenge of doing a solo. What wonderful presents for me! It was just like "opening night." The jitters still come and that's good. All of you performed beautifully and so improved. Just think what we could do with six weeks of rehearsal!

Ms Elmore
Ms "E"

I missed working with my dancers. They were always such show stoppers! After seeing you in "action" on the dance floor that last evening, I'm sure you are still capable of a smashing performance. Maybe we can pull it off, NEXT TIME.

THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS---It was amazing that most of you remembered all the parts. It was beautiful. You gave me goose bumps and a few tears.

Perhaps you have noticed that I have not mentioned any names. So afraid I might leave someone out!

I want each of you to know (after all these years) that I feel so privileged to know you once again. It was great to hear and see those creative juices still working at peak performance.

Love you,


MRS. ULKU RETIRES - April 25, 2000
At the end of this school year, Mrs. Patricia Ulku will retire after 33 years of teaching at George C. Marshall High School in Ankara, Turkey.

Awards: 1998 DoDEA District Teacher of the Year, DoDEA European Area

DoDEA WALL OF FAME - March 2000
The Heidelberg District has created a "DoDEA Wall of Fame" for all DoDDS/DDESS graduates. This wall celebrates all our graduates' successes. We invite graduates to send us an 8X10 color photo with their name, their school, year of graduation, and their current job title/position to: Superintendent of Schools, DoDDS Heidelberg District, Unit 29237, APO AE 09102. For more information, contact Deborah Debiec.