This week, the theme was learning about Our Families. 

The Elma classroom had Sema Altan as their visiting teacher. Together they learned about different geometric shapes, and forms. They conversed  about different kinds of families, with two moms, two dads, one mom and one dad, single mom, single dad etc. The children enacted stories with puppets, and created their own penguin families from the geometric shapes that form the foundational understanding of geometry. The Magnolia class begin with their Mindfulness session with Irem Radzik, and transitioned to a very focused folklore class after learning about the Alphabet with Gulten Demirbek and Pelin Bektur. 

This Past Sunday was also our first held Adult Folklore Class with Mehmet Unal. We had a great turnout and are looking forward to learning more. We began learning our Artvin and Ankara dance moves. It is so much fun. So here is your chance, please join in as next weekend is the last weekend to join the class. 

Here are some images from this past Sunday. Thank you and see you next Sunday!


Every semester we learn new things, together as a community.

This semester is the first time our school will be offering a Folk Dance class with our new instructor Mehmet Unal. We are super excited, and looking forward to our new folk dance group which is forming from our parents as well as the little ones in Magnolia class.

In an effort to have well functioning class time, we have implemented a set of new initiatives.  We saw immediate positive results in the classroom so we will continue to follow suit with the implementation the remainder of the semester. We thank all of our parents for participating and supporting us on this. Here are the new initiatives:

  • Children line up int he hallway by 10 AM,  and each classroom teacher greets their students as they enter their classroom. 
  • Magnolia class begins their session with a mindfulness session by Irem Radzik
  • In order to not interrupt the flow of the class we have asked our parents who arrive after 10:15 to wait outside until the next entry time to enter the class.
  • In order to better integrate our library to our curriculum, during class time students will share the books they read and they will sign out new ones.

We also welcome our new teacher aid for the Magnolia class  Pelin Bektur. 

Here are some photos from our day.






Today we opened our doors to our Berkeley Turkish School community for a 3rd year..

Our spring semester began with a bunch of excitement and great energy. We held an informative seminar for our parents about our story of where were were and what is new. Together we began a great momentum for a busy semester ahead of us. Fatosh Arabacioglu discussed our Children's Festival, we started our lists for Folklore classes and committees to participate in.
Thank you all for being a part of this fantastic community. Here are some images from our cameras.


Thank you all for coming to our holiday party today! As the Berkeley Turkish School, we ended our semester with a sweet note and lovely songs by BTS chorus.  Special thanks goes to the Alp Can Utku and Fatosh Arabacioglu for the lovely live music.

We also thank all those who have contributed to our fall fundraiser. As of today we were able to raise $5230 dollars. Special thanks goes to Sema Hanim, who spent many hours preparing the beautiful holiday wreaths, together with gift table combined she raised over $1200 for our school. We also thank BDE Architects via Mark Schirmer for 1000 dollar contribution to our Fundraiser. Thank you all for coming, and being a part of our lovely community. Happy Holidays from all of us at the Berkeley Turkish School!  Emegi gecen herkese tesekkur ederiz! Yeni yiliniz kutlu olsun!


Remember to select Berkeley Turkish School as your charity at Amazon Smiles!

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Dear Berkeley Turkish School Supporters!

We all hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving! For your Black Friday Shopping and gifts remember to select Berkeley Turkish School as your charity at Amazon Smiles...

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation.

Sayın Berkeley Türk Okulu Destekçileri,

Black Friday alışverişlerinizde, Amazon Amazonsmiles’dan Berkeley Turkish School'u seçmeyi unutmayın ... AmazonSmile'de alışveriş yapmak için bilgisayarınızdaki veya mobilinizden adresine girebilirsiniz. Ayrıca, AmazonSmile'de alışveriş yapmaya başlamanızın daha kolay olmas için'a bu linki işaretleyebilirsiniz. AmazonSmile'u ilk ziyaretinizde, alışverişe başlamadan önce uygun satın alımlardan bağış almak için sizden bir hayır kurumunu seçmenizi isteyecektir. Amazon Berkeley Turkish School seçiminizi hatırlayacak ve sonra adresinde yaptığınız her uygun satın alma, okulumuza bir bağışla sonuçlanacaktır. Şimdiden teşekkür ederiz.…

Commemorating Atatürk, and reflecting on his legacy...

oday we are remembering the founder of Modern Turkey, Atatürk, and the great legacy he left behind. At the Berkeley Turkish School we believe that secular and democratic education ensures public sovereignty and rationality. In our curriculum and in our school's diverse activities we celebrate Atatürk, and his legacy in meaningful ways that connect our children to their Turkish history. On this day, while you commemorate this great leader’s achievements, consider making a donation online in his name to directly support our school’s operations so we can connect our past with our future.

Thank you,
Basak Altan & Basak Cakici

A Great Mindfulness Seminar

Thank you Irem Radzik for a great workshop on mindfulness meditation... Here are two quotes that stood out from the many valuable resources and insights Irem shared.

" Between stimulus and response, there is a space in that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom." - Victor Frankl, Man's Search of Meaning

"Only the present moment contains life.  If we are not fully ourselves truly in the present moment we are missing everything. "- Thich Nhat Hanh


Fantastic Seminar

First Sunday of every month Berkeley Turkish School hosts a parent seminar. Today's topic was presented by Suna Yalaz Angell on college savings. Over 20 parents attended this very informative session. It was a fantastic overview of the possibilities to consider when investing in our children's future. Thank you Suna. 

We also hosted a luncheon to say many thanks to our teachers and volunteer coordinators without whom this school will not exist. Here are some images of our day. Thank you everyone for making today a special one!

College Savings Seminar this coming Sunday

Hello & Merhabalar!

We are very excited to let you know that currently we have over 40 children registered at Berkeley Turkish School for the Fall Semester, and we still have new ones that are in the process of registering.

  • Please set up your tuition payments to be automated: Both Basak Cakici and I wanted to remind you that we are volunteering our time because we believe in the mission our school and love our growing community. We both would like to spend more of our time on strategic initiatives, and less on chasing monthly invoices of tuition payments. So if you haven’t set up your tuition billing to be automated, please do so before this Sunday. This will save you the hassle of remembering, and us the very valuable time that we in turn can spend on meaningful efforts. If you have any questions about how to do this, please ask Deniz Barın when you sign your children this Sunday.
  • College Savings Seminar this Sunday: We are delighted to have the opportunity to serve our community with a great parent seminar on college savings this Sunday. Suna Yalaz Angell who is currently a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in San Francisco, and a BTS Parent will be conducting the workshop. We are very lucky to have had her professional opinion from day one on this journey of starting our nonprofit school and are looking forward to her expertise in this topic as well. This is an event that is open to you and your guests. So if you have friends, and would like to invite them, please feel free to do so. Make sure to sign up on the document link hereA donation of $20 or more in sliding scale will go to BTS Fundraising efforts
  • Need Your Help in: 
    • Leading/organizing the Potluck for October 29-Cumhuriyet Bayramı
    • Organizing Art Supplies & Boxes: We will be consolidating some of our storage boxes during Sunday. If you are not attending the seminar, and will be in the garden, Deniz Barın and our teachers would appreciate your help in sorting out the art materials into categories, so they can re-group and place them back into the boxes with labels at the end of the day. If you are interested in helping out please contact Deniz at

Thank you and looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

On behalf of the Berkeley Turkish School,

Basak Altan


Could you nominate The Berkeley Turkish School to your company's employee giving program?

Hello & Merhabalar, 

As you all mostly know, The Berkeley Turkish School is a 501 (c) (3) public charity, and we rely on donations from our extended community. Tuition alone is not sufficient to cover our operations. If you or someone you know works for a mid to large size company (ie Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon etc.) and they have an employee giving program, please consider to add us to their list before the year's end. Your meaningful contribution will be put to a great cause directly going towards our operations. Should you like to set this up immediately, or will meet up with a friend who may know people below are some details that you may need to proceed:

Mission Statement:
The mission of the Berkeley Turkish School is to inspire the children of the Turkish American community and their ability to understand, speak, read, and write Turkish. In addition, the students learn about their cultural heritage through creative play, songs, traditions, geography, history, and literature.

Our intent is to create an environment where our school enhances our students' self-confidence and provides a setting that encourages forming of new friendships with other Turkish speaking children.

We are a volunteer based 501 (c) (3) nonprofit public charity. 
EIN Number: 47-4053354

On behalf of the Berkeley Turkish School, Thank you for your time.

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A Sunny September Morning

On this beautiful September morning there was quite a bit of activity in the garden as much as inside the classrooms. We kicked off our BTS library's book lending spree for the semester. We enjoyed lovely conversations over coffee and had some delicious Gumushane style helva offering in memoriam of Murat Altan, Sema Hanim's father and Basak Altan's grandfather under the Oak tree. We thank our volunteer coordinator Deniz for our smooth transition of signing in and out our students. Here are some pictures from our day.



Our Second Weekend At Berkeley Turkish School

The Fall semester at the Berkeley Turkish School began in an exciting way. The buzz over coffee at the school was the fantastic Nostalgia Night Fundraiser event that was hosted by Nurdan Civi in San Ramon where over 100 guests attended. We thank our teachers Gulten, Sema and Fatos who helped us at the gate with ticketing. We also thank Mark Schirmer for being the keeper of the bar. In addition many thanks go to all who attended, or couldn't attend but donated to support our school's mission. What a meaningful way of getting our extended community together. Thank you Nurdan and Ester for the lovely songs. 

This morning we also had quite a busy morning with all four classrooms getting in the swing of the year.  Here are some photos from our weekend's activities.  Looking forward to seeing all of you next weekend!

Below are photos from our second weekend at our school. 

We Started our Fall 2017 Semester with a warm welcome!

Berkeley Turkish School opened its doors today welcoming 27 families, and 35 students. There was a lot to cheer for: 

  • We now have a beautiful new location- thanks to Jefferson Elementary.
  • A new and improved curriculum that incorporates music,theater and mathematics to our  classes.
  • An expanding lovely teaching team
  • Mostly a growing student and family community.

Here are some lovely photos from the day that were taken by our teacher Hande. We are looking forward to celebrating many Sundays together!