Turkish Kitchen
Berkeley, CA
April 18, 2009

Connecting with ex-Ankaraites was much more than I expected. ~~ Nelia Athey 64

The first reunion of 2009 was organized by Melissa Miller 68. This very successful mini took place in Berkeley, California at the Turkish Kitchen with its lovely murals on the walls and ceiling. The Turkish Kitchen was established in 2007 and is the recipient of numerous awards including "Best Turkish Restaurant" by local newspaper.

For Nelia Athey 64, this was a unique opportunity. She had never been able to attend a major Ankara Reunion or participate in a mini. It was the first time in forty-five years that she was able to spend time with Ankara alumni. Nelia had not met most of the people that were at this mini, but she walked away discovering she had many new friends

Nelia's photographs and experience follow below.

Anita Donohoe 66

Oh my, where to begin? Everyone that told me that I would be amazed, astounded, and emotionally blind-sided was absolutely right! Connecting with ex-Ankarites was much more than I expected. And all in a good way.

I met up with Anita in Fremont and then John kindly picked both of us up and drove to the Turkish Kitchen. Not only was this a real help in avoiding navigating Berkeley, but John turned out to be an excellent guide – pointing out various landmarks. Anita was in full regalia and even provided me with a hip sash to make our grand entrance. We both brought finger cymbals, too. I’m a belly dancing class drop out. Had taken a class back in the 70’s for some long forgotten reason – maybe a link back to Turkey. All that’s left now is the cymbals. And I cleverly managed to drop one of them on our way in. (grin)

John Batt 63 at the counter talking to the owner.

There was a long table set up in the Turkish Kitchen for our group. The others were already there when we arrived. The TK is quite interesting inside, as there are murals on all the walls and even the ceiling. And the aroma of the various dishes took me right back to my days in Ankara.

And the people… They were what this was all about. I felt I’d dropped into a group of close friends – most of whom I’d never met. Everyone there “gets” the Turkish experience we had. That we had a rare opportunity to experience another very different culture and have our lives shaped by it.

Nelia Athey 64; Kathleen Curry 66; Bonnie Moran; Jerry Moran; Chris Baetge 67; Melissa Miller's 68 arm; Melinda Miller Collins 65; Karen Olson Arnold 72; Tim Arnold 71

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Mini Reunions Page