It’s been an oasis in a desert of closed stores – the kebab shop here in North Berwick, south of Edinburgh.
Where a haggis supper (that’s battered haggis and chips) is even better than your most succulent T-bone steak.
Heck, it always has been.
And also a doner, or shish kebab, or pakora.
Tastes of our adolescence which have stayed with us into adulthood.
And not just if you live in Turkey or the Middle East, but very much a staple growing up in Scotland.
And in the Bazar restaurant https://www.hotelbazar.nl/en/restaurant-bazar-amsterdam/ in the Middle Eastern De Pijp district of Amsterdam.
Which is a converted mosque and harvests the spices and flavours of North Africa and Asia.
Which are showcased out on the Albert Cuyp Markt on Albert Cuypstrasse in Oud-Zuid (Old South).
They had come to Amsterdam (https://www.iamsterdam.com/en and Pictures of Amsterdam) to work in the Heineken factory.
A taste of Jordan
Where you can take in the whole Heineken Experience https://www.heineken.com/gb/agegateway?returnurl=%2fheineken-experience.
Our server Rasha was fresh into the great old Dutch city from Jordan.
And regaled us with stories of her homeland.
Which I was lucky enough to visit with G Adventures https://www.gadventures.co.uk and http://www.visitjordan.com.
And eat in the Wadi Rum desert… The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.
It was, of course, the Turks who introduced the kebab to this gastronomically-challenged Glaswegian.
Which introduced me to Turks. And I’m very glad it did.
I introduced myself to Turkey on a family holiday to Bodrum https://www.bodrum.org where they took to us immediately.
And particularly the Son and Heir who they swirled around at the market on account of his near-Muslim name Ally.
I returned a couple of years ago, to Istanbul https://visit.istanbul.
As a guest of Turkish Airlines https://www.turkishairlines.com to their headquarters.
And to see the new $12bn Istanbul Airport, the biggest in the world.
And eat their speciality kofte meatballs, and kebabs, at the Istanbul institution, the Sultanahmet Koftecisi http://www.sultanahmetkoftesi.com.
The Turks https://www.goturkeytourism.com and their kebabs have been part of British culture from my childhood and before.
They have helped to feed me since I were a boy, and not just after a slew of beer on a Friday and Saturday night.
Thank you Turkish Airlines
And they are here for us again in our time of troubles.
With Turkish Airlines at the heart of the mercy mission to cargo PPE to the UK.
They deserve our gratitude and acknowledgment.
And on this their National Sovereignty and Children’s Day an apology for the insults thrown at them during the Brexit referendum.