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Cumhurriyet Bayram Dinners  2008

Washington, DC Arkadaşlar Cumhuriyet Bayram Celebration
October 26, 2008

Festive balloons—Turkish flag and blue bead boncuk motifs—welcomed the ninety people who came to Kazan Restaurant to celebrate Turkey’s national day.  CNN Turk was there to record the event for Turks in Turkey.   

This was the 45th anniversary of the arrival in Ankara of Turkey II [and a couple of other groups?], so that group took the lead in what is becoming a ritual at the Washington dinner—a somewhat shaky rendition of the Turkish anthem.   As we stood and sang the old familiar words, “Korkma, sonmez bu safaklarda yuz en al sancak…”, scenes of the distant past floated before our eyes.  Students gathered in schoolyards while we teachers stood by every Monday morning.  Squawks from loudspeakers all over Turkey as citizens paid tribute to a country literally hobbled together by Ataturk from the ruptures of the Ottoman Empire.

Dave Weinman, our first director and general guru, took the podium to thank a few stalwarts who make Arkadaslar what it is—people who have already been mentioned by our new Arkadaslar president, Mike Jewell.  Representatives of the Turkish Embassy were on hand.  So was the Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen and the head of RPCV organization, Kevin Quigley.  All speakers agreed that Arkadaslar is the gold standard of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer groups.  No other group has held together so tightly—something amazing when you realize the last volunteers left Turkey in early 1970!

There seemed to be general agreement that the main reason for this cohesion that can bring 100 people together 40 years after the fact lies in Turkey itself—the beloved ikinci memleket of each Peace Corps volunteer.

Photos from the Bayram Dinner
Page 1

Pat Fesci (T-4)

Yıldız Yağcı of Anatolian Artisans 

Yıldız Yağcı and Margaret Hamill Patterson (T-4)

Kazan Restaurant ready for Bayram Dinner

Sandy Anderson (T-13) & Billie Day (RPCV Sierra Leone; Friend of Turkey)
Page 2

Mary Helen Madden (T-10) and Linda Scheffer (T-8)

Kevin McCarthy (T-2)

Peggy Hanson (T-1) and Mugs Mast (T-2)

Alan Gall (T-1) and Chuck Mast (T-2)

Dave Weinman, Amca
Page 3

Joanne Omang (T-4), Ramazan Tuzun, Beth Healey (T-4)

Jim Healey (T-4) and Joanne Omang (T-4)

Kazan owner, Zeynel Uzun, with Ken Hill (T-9)

Ayhan and Cemal from Kazan Restaurant
Page 4

James Weslowski, Marie Zeller (T-2), and Mugs Mast (T-2)


Ed Hearn & Kathy Markley Scruggs (T-2)

Tony (T-2) and Cathy Venegoni and John Wintrol (T-2)

Lin Lougheed (T-16) and Ken Hill (T-9)
Page 5

Myles Denny-Brown (w/ glasses)(T-8) and Tony Whitehead (T-12)

Kevin Quigley, Ken Hill (T-9), Winnie Hill, Mrs. Kevin Quigley & Erdeniz Şen

Demet Cabbar, Pres. ATA-DC, Mrs. Quigley and Kevin Quigley

Dave Weinman, Tony Venegoni (T-2), & John Wintrol (T-2)


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