By Ismail Veli….
I will never forget when I walked into a Greek Restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard in 1987. It was around 3-4pm so the place was empty, a man came up to me and showed my wife and I to a nice table.
As it was quiet the chap started to chat and was mildly happy and surprised that we were of Turkish Cypriot origin. We also noticed on the wall a photo of Turkan Soray, which naturally caught my attention as she was Turkey’s leading female star. After saying how nice it was to see her photo he asked if we watched Turkan Soray’s films, I said, of course, we all loved her. He then told us that he was her father, I was a little sceptical, and I think he realised it and he went and brought wedding photos of Turkan Soray with him standing next to her.
I was shocked, what a small world. Here we were 6.000 miles from London, in a Greek restaurant, talking to the biggest Turkish star’s father. It turned out his wife was from Thessaloniki and I guess with so many Greek speakers in the USA it made sense in 1987 to promote a Greek style restaurant.
We had an amazing meal and the couple treated us to a Turkish coffee and as no one else was there we had a long chat. One regret is I never had a camera handy, after all, we were only having a walk and looking for something to eat.