Connecting and sharing our culture through Culinary Gatherings

At BTS, we believe cooking together is all about people connecting. Food is one of the universal things that brings everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people some place all get together to eat together.

Yesterday marked the beginning of our culinary gatherings by the Berkeley Turkish Society.  While we prepared our menu, we had the opportunity to meet with new friends, caught up with old ones, discovered and shared our cultural connections to Anatolia over inspiring stories of our childhood dishes.   We thank our teacher Işıl Arıcan for taking us on this delicious journey to Anatolia with her menu.

Those of you who attended our workshop, thank you for supporting our cross cultural initiatives at BTS!

This event was sold out. If you would like to reserve your seats, please check out our events page here and reserve your spot in advance.

We can not wait to do this again!

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“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody. “ -Anthony Bourdain, 1956- 2018

The first of our culinary series is taking place this Sunday and we can hardly wait!

Today we received our keys to Bauman College professional kitchen.

For 30 years, Bauman College has led the way in educating future leaders, thinkers, and creators in the holistic nutrition and culinary arts professions. As BTS we are very excited to be a part of this meaningful community.

If you haven’t booked your seat, join us by booking your seats here.

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DUNYA ATABARI OYNUYOR !

On this rainy May morning, the Berkeley Turkish School Folk dance team joined 100 cities, in 19 countries dancing to Atabari under the beautiful canopy of redwood trees to commemorate Ataturk’s legacy, Youth and sports day. Cheers from all of us!

Dünya ATABARI oynuyor etkinliğine, Berkeley Turkish School Folklor ekibi olarak 100 ekip, 19 şehirin arasına katıldık. Gençlik ve spor bayramınız kutlu olsun! Kalpleriniz hep genc, düşünceleriniz hür kalsın! Sevgilerimizle.

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BTS Folk Dance team performing at Google/ AFS International Student Fair

Our BTS Folk Dance team was invited for a second year to perform at Google in San Francisco for the AFS International Student Fair. Music and dance changes everything. At BTS Folk Dance Team we share our culture with others through dance. Thank you R. Berna Atik Watson for inviting our team again! We had so much fun!

If you like to join our Folk Dance Practices, we practice every week on Tuesday evenings at 7:15PM at the Shawl Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley. You can register online at our site.

http://www.berkeleyturkishschool.org/folk-dance-classes-fo…/

SAVE THE DATE FOR OCTOBER 20th REPUBLIC GALA DINNER

Dear Berkeley Turkish School Community and Friends,

As a part of our new shift of becoming a community service organization, we have been working together with our extended community for an exciting and meaningful event this coming fall.  Please join us on October 20th in celebrating the 95th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic at the Republic Gala Dinner. The Berkeley Turkish School Folk Dance Group is also honored to be dancing at this festive program. The host of this fantastic venue is the Turkish American Association of California (TAAC), a 501 (c) (3) organization and we have been collaborating with them to liven up their local chapters. 

We hope that you join us in celebrating our homeland's 95th birthday by attending this event. Below are the details:

The Location: Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto

Dinner: The three course dinner will have chicken and fish options. Please indicate your choice when you are placing your order

Program: Live music by Alaturca Connection and Mert Ozel, folk dance by Berkeley Turkish School Dance Group.
ChildCare: Onsite childcare is available for $5/child/hour
Tickets: TurkishRepublicDay2018.eventbrite.com

Early bird - TAAC members: $75, non-members $90. Fees applyAfter Oct 1 - TAAC members: $90, non-members $105. Fees applyGroup discounts and table reservations will be available for 10+ Checks are accepted. You can make your checks out to TAAC and mail them to the address: PO Box 404, Monterey CA 93942Becoming a member to TAAC: As you know organizing community events such as these are volunteer intensive efforts. If you go to TAACA.ORG and be a member in order to support our community events such as these, you will also be taking advantage of future discounts.
Program Flow:

  • 6pm Arrival and Reception

  • 7pm Welcome/National Anthems

  • 7:15 Keynote address

  • 7:30 Dinner

  • 7:45 Monterey Kadinlar Korosu

  • 8:15 Alaturca Connection

  • 9:15 Raffle

  • 9:30 BTS folk dance

  • 9:45 Alaturca Connection

  • 10:45 Mert Ozel

Thank you, and have a lovely weekend.

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Join Us In Our Fresh & Exciting Journey at BTS this Fall

Dear Berkeley Turkish School Community,

We hope this message finds you well, and that you’re enjoying the remaining weeks of the season with your families.

This summer, we have been strategizing on how we can continue to support and nurture our growing community. Since the inception of our school, we got to know each other closer through activities such as our potlucks, school performances, parent seminars, festivals and celebrations.  As our children grew, our community grew as well.  We thank you for helping us by being integral participants in this endeavor through volunteering your services and your time, and by inviting your own circles of friends and families to our school. We are very happy to be the spark that started this exciting momentum that brought us all together. 

With growth, comes change. After assessing our experiences of the last 3.5 years and weighing many options, we feel we can best meet the needs and desires of our community, and make the most positive impact by implementing an intentional shift of our mission and program from a children’s language school to a community service organization. We will integrate the Turkish Language into this new approach through ‘immersion’ in the community and activities rather than a traditional ‘school’ format.

As such, we will continue developing BTS as an instigator of an active, lively, modern and diverse community hub that it already is, and keep offering opportunities for discovering shared values and respectful engagement with one another.

In Fall 2018, based on demand, we are going to focus our attention to bringing to life adult and children cultural activities such as the following. (We will hold these activities in different local venues we will rent out instead of one location.)

  • BTS Family Club: Continue exploring the Bay Area culture with group outings such as hikes, visits to museums, movies, theaters, symphony or ballet as well as continuing holding group workshops on subjects such as Leadership, KidPower, finances, family dynamics, career development and many more subjects.
  • Arts and Culture: Peer interest groups such as: Movie Club; Book Club; Turkish Conversation Club; Turkish Cuisine Club; Music Club; Literature and Lectures; Theater and Dance classes.
  • Turkish Life & Holidays: Continue celebrating Turkish Holidays with our extended community in a meaningful way.
  • Adult Classes: Lifelong learning is our motto. One great example of this model is the BTS folklore group that was formed last Spring which has been such a pleasure to take part in. Our team danced at the Children’s Day Festival in April, and was invited to the Monterey Turkish Festival to perform a few weeks ago. We will be performing at the Republic Ball Gala in October soon, and more soon after that. We want to keep growing this program and add other diverse adult classes such as a floral design workshop we will hold in October.

While we embark on this fresh and exciting journey, we look forward to our community actively participating in and supporting the continued enrichment of our lives for both adults and children. So, we encourage everyone in our community to think creatively about their talents and interests, and share with us any specific activities or classes you’d like to lead in areas you’re passionate about.

Please email or call with any thoughts or suggestions, and be ready to lead efforts. It takes a village!
Bayramınız kutlu olsun!

Fondly,

Başak Altan & Başak Çakıcı

Join our school's Folkdance Team at the 21st Annual Turkish Festival in Monterey this saturday

Berkeley Turkish School Folklore Team will be performing at the 21st Annual Turkish Festival in Monterey this Saturday at 4 PM. Together with our teacher Mehmet Unal we will be dancing to Artvin, Ankara and Damat Halayi. Come and join us! If you can not make it this weekend to Monterey but are interested in learning folk dancing, join our folk dance practices that we are holding in Rockridge every week.

 

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Thank you and have a lovely summer

Dear Berkeley Turkish School Parents and Community,

As you know, we started our journey with the casual community potlucks in local parks 6 years ago, which later became the foundation and inspiration of the Berkeley Turkish School (BTS), nurturing and supporting our growing and diverse community. This past Sunday, we completed our 7th Semester, and thank all of you for being an integral part of this meaningful endeavour.

While organizing casual community potlucks were fun, running a school, that’s a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit and Public Charity, required a lot more professional rigor and dedication. When we founded BTS, we elected to start it as a nonprofit, because we believed strongly that our growing community needed to own and govern their school instead of an individual private entity.  We also intentionally set our organization’s bylaws in a way that this nonprofit organization would live beyond its founders.  Being a nonprofit in California also means that the organizations’ books are fully transparent, all expenditures are accounted for and audited diligently by an independent certified CPA to comply with the strict CA regulations.


Managing and leading any organization requires diligence, sacrifice and a stomach to handle the stress of being a public figure, at times making the not-so-popular hard decisions and having difficult conversations, all with professionalism and goodwill. Volunteering to manage and run a community school which leverages volunteer support is even more challenging and requires dedication to the cause like no other. As the founders and board members of BTS, we want to remind you that we’ve been living up to this challenge of donating our own time, expertise and professional and personal resources, because we strongly believe in the mission of the Berkeley Turkish School and the positive impact our school has made on our diverse Turkish- American community.

The Berkeley Turkish School’s mission is to:

Inspire the children of the Turkish-American community to learn about their rich and diverse Turkish heritage and language, to engage confidently with and within a changing diverse world, lead positive, peaceful and purposeful lives in their communities, and become strong world citizens with solid foundations and values.

The Guiding Principles of the Berkeley Turkish School:

  • We Believe in standing as a community united against hate.
  • We Welcome anyone who wants to join our community where peace, diversity, inclusivity are valued, respected and encouraged.
  • We Collaborate as a tight volunteer team to teach the children of the Turkish-American community in their ability to understand, speak, read, and write Turkish.
  • We Foster a safe and secular environment through our school program, curriculum and community events which enhance our community members' understanding of the rich and diverse Turkish Culture and heritage while welcoming different backgrounds.
  • We Facilitate innovative solutions to challenging problems relevant to their lives in our evolving curriculum.
  • We Encourage a global perspective and learning that’s inspired by different traditions and encourages different ways of thinking.
  • We Learn together as a community so we are better stewards of a peaceful and sustainable world.

Together and with your help, feedback and our community’s endless energy and support we:

  • Celebrated four International Children’s Day Festivals, three Republic Day Ceremonies, three Holiday Parties, three Mothers’ Day Events, four Graduations, six Parent Registration Events, three teacher appreciation dinners, and many birthdays
  • Hosted Parent seminars and workshops where we explored relevant topics to our community including: Kidpower; how to save for college; how to care for ourselves as parents; how to parent by connection; how to pursue excellence; the nuances and intricacies of multicultural parenting; how mindfulness can help our resolve and many more
  • Shared our favorite family recipes and dishes at our countless garden potlucks where important and meaningful conversations began over coffee, while most of us pondered over how delicious Yildiray Bey’s Suboregi is and how he achieves excellence consistently every time
  • Made some mistakes which we quickly learned from and took cautious steps to not repeat the same ones again
  • Built East Bay’s first Children’s Turkish Library
  • Rejoiced with a sense of pride and a feeling that we are connecting our past with our future when our children performed and sang our childhood songs in Turkish under Fatosh Hanim’s leadership
  • Learned how to folk dance ourselves and danced with our children with Mehmet Bey’s leadership
  • Established our Adult Folk Dance Team and had so much fun learning together
  • Collaborated as families on collective art workshops including ebru painting
  • Hosted meaningful conversations between other Turkish organizations and their leaders such as American Turkish Society, TCA, TAAC and many others
  • Lead the Engage innovation studio where the CCA industrial design Students designed Turkish Cultural educational products with the help of our students and teachers under Basak Altan’s leadership
  • Played informal Sunday soccer games
  • Laughed, Cried and danced hand in hand to many halays together

We accomplished all this together as a community through our collective efforts and dedication to our mission, and by not tolerating divisive and disruptive behaviour.

However busy and sometimes overwhelmed we may be, we wanted to take this moment to say thank you and to congratulate our community for supporting our school by being here, bringing your children, attending our events, by being ambassadors of our school’s mission and by volunteering your valuable time and resources so we can continue to serve our community through meaningful programs that are aligned with our mission.

BTS is evolving, and adapting as our community’s needs change. We have more plans that we will be sharing in the coming months. One plan, for example, is to establish our Advisory Board, with carefully vetted leaders in our community to help sustain alignment of our mission and our programs. We will share more on this and other developments at a future date.

Please also check out our events page during the summer. Our community expands beyond the walls of our schoolyard. It is about getting together to have meaningful conversations that spark a sense of belonging in a loving, supportive and true community. So join us for our picnics that will be coming up soon as well.

Should you have any questions about our organization, please feel free contact our board.

Thank you,

Başak Altan, Founder & President

Başak Çakıcı, Co-Founder, Vice President

Alpay Soyoğuz, Board Member & Treasurer

Completing our 7th Semester at The Berkeley Turkish School

We thank all our students, teachers, and our community members for supporting the Berkeley Turkish School’s mission which is to:

Inspire the children of the Turkish-American community to learn about their rich and diverse Turkish heritage and language, to engage confidently with and within a changing diverse world, lead positive, peaceful and purposeful lives in their communities, and become strong world citizens with solid foundations and values.

The Guiding Principles of the Berkeley Turkish School:

  • We Believe in standing as a community united against hate.

  • We Welcome anyone who wants to join our community where peace, diversity, inclusivity are valued, respected and encouraged.

  • We Collaborate as a tight volunteer team to teach the children of the Turkish-American community in their ability to understand, speak, read, and write Turkish.

  • We Foster a safe and secular environment through our school program, curriculum and community events which enhance our community members' understanding of the rich and diverse Turkish Culture and heritage while welcoming different backgrounds.

  • We Facilitate innovative solutions to challenging problems relevant to their lives in our evolving curriculum.

  • We Encourage a global perspective and learning that’s inspired by different traditions and encourages different ways of thinking.

  • We Learn together as a community so we are better stewards of a peaceful and sustainable world.

Together and with your help, feedback and our community’s endless energy and support we:
 

  • Celebrated four International Children’s Day Festivals, three Republic Day Ceremonies, three Holiday Parties, three Mothers’ Day Events, four Graduations, six Parent Registration Events, three teacher appreciation dinners, and many birthdays

  • Hosted Parent seminars and workshops where we explored relevant topics to our community including: Kidpower; how to save for college; how to care for ourselves as parents; how to parent by connection; how to pursue excellence; the nuances and intricacies of multicultural parenting; how mindfulness can help our resolve and many more

  • Shared  our favorite family recipes and dishes at our countless garden potlucks where important and meaningful conversations began over coffee, while most of us pondered over how delicious Yildiray Bey’s Suboregi is and how he achieves excellence consistently every time

  • Made some mistakes which we quickly learned from and took cautious steps to not repeat the same ones again

  • Built East Bay’s first Children’s Turkish Library

  • Rejoiced with a sense of pride and a feeling that we are connecting our past with our future when our children performed and sang our childhood songs in Turkish under Fatosh Hanim’s leadership

  • Learned how to folk dance ourselves and danced with our children with Mehmet Bey’s leadership

  • Established our Adult Folk Dance Team and had so much fun learning together

  • Collaborated as families on collective art workshops including ebru painting

  • Hosted meaningful conversations between other Turkish organizations and their leaders such as American Turkish Society, TCA, TAAC and many others.

  • Lead the Engage innovation studio where the CCA industrial design Students designed Turkish Cultural educational products with the help of our students and teachers under Basak Altan’s leadership

  • Played informal Sunday soccer games

  • Laughed, cried and danced hand in hand to many halays together

We accomplished all this together as a community through our collective efforts and dedication to our mission, and by not tolerating divisive and disruptive behaviour.

Should you have any questions about our organization, please feel free contact our board.

Thank you, from all of us at The Berkeley Turkish School

 

The Berkeley Turkish School commemorates Atatürk, and Youth and Sports Day.

Today, May 19th, marks the 99th anniversary of the start of the War of Independence after the Republic of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, journeyed from allied-occupied Istanbul to Samsun on the Black Seat on May 19, 1919. The Berkeley Turkish School commemorates Atatürk, and Youth and Sports Day. 

19 Mayis Ataturk'u anma, genclik ve spor bayraminiz kutlu olsun... Gençlerimiz için barış, sevgi ve umut dolu bir gelecek bırakmak için hep birlikte elele. Berkeley Turkish School’dan sevgilerimizle...