Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Mayor Gurduna!

by Andrea McMahan

ISTANBUL - Recently in Istanbul we celebrated the birthday of former Mayor Ali Mufit Gurduna. Mayor Gurduna served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1998 until 2004 and is still a very popular figure around town. Our gracious and ever-social host, Allen Collinsworth, first met Mayor Gurduna while working at the East West Institute in New York (as did Justin) and then later served as the Mayor’s advisor when he moved to Istanbul in early 2000.

We joined the Mayor, his wife, daughter, and a few other close friends and family for an intimate party at Supper Club, a South Beach meets Bali-themed nightclub in downtown Istanbul. Here the crowd lingered over exotic cocktails while belly dancers and drag queens performed on stage. We joined our group by first kicking off our shoes and nestling into the oversized pillows that decorated our Moroccan-styled table. The club generously provided slippers for those squeamish about going barefoot. Allen made the initial introductions while we then proceeded to spend the evening getting to know our new Turkish friends over mojitos, champagne and an unforgettable chocolate pistachio cake.

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