DNR Turkish Restaurant is a partnership between Zekeriya Kizilova and Ugur Daler founded in 2010. In 1968 Mr. Zekeriya moved to Karabuk city, in 1984 he opened Hayat Pide Kebab Restaurant in Ankara. 1992 he opened Murat Pide Kebab Restaurant in Ankara. 2010, he opened DNR Turkish Cafe and Restaurant. Mr. Ugur Daler academically completed SHS in Electronics in the year 1993, he did his telecommunications and wireless systems at the university in 1995. He was Managing Director at the Murat Pide kebap Restaurant in 2007 and now with DNR Turkish Restaurant in 2010.
At the time Mr. Kizilova (Uncle Zekeriya) was over 60 and retired. he became the owner of several houses as a result of his long years of work. His income consisted of rents from these houses and the small family kebab in Ankara. he was enjoying his retirement days. One day, he watched a TV program called “Ayna”; the show’s host Saim Orham was visiting Ghana. he got so impressed by the show and by Ghana that he decided to travel there. For 6 months he tried to reach somebody from Ghana but failed. After 6 or 7 months, when he told one of his friends “I really want to visit Ghana but I could not find any acquaintances there,” his friend replied: “My son is arranging worker travels to foreign countries, let me ask him if he knows anyone.” So they found people to contact in Ghana and the journey began. He was on his own and could not speak English at all.
In Ghana, Uncle Zekeriya was the guest of Mr. Celal. His host prepared “Cig Kofte” (Turkish hand cooked minced meat) that evening When they were eating it, uncle Zekeriya asked the Ghanaian woman working as a maid at the house, “Is it tasty or hot?” When she replied “Tasty but not hot” he made his decision; he would move to Ghana and open a kebab restaurant. When he returned to turkey, he announced this decision to his family. He justified his decision by saying that Ghanaians loved hot foods. At the beginning, his family saw this as a whim but he was determined. Only his nephew Ugur supported his idea. Ugur would later work with his uncle in their kebab restaurant in Ghana.
Uncle Zekeriya visited Ghana after a few months again on his own. for a month he looked for a place to rent but could not find any suitable locations. Before returning to Turkey, he entrusted 5000 Euro to a person he met there and asked him to rent a place if he could find a good one. After 3 months, just when he was about to lose hope, there came the good news from Ghana. A place was found for the restaurant. This time he went to Ghana with Ugur, his nephew. The friend to whom he gave money greeted them and they immediately rented the place. They showed the location to Mr. Ismail, who has been living in Ghana for 10years. However, Mr. Ismail’s comments shocked them: “I will only come to the opening and once again for a meal, that will be it.” The reason was that there was no car park and the place was not suitable for this business. They got very upset and the next day they decided not to rent the place. They shared their thoughts with Mr. Ismail.
He got upset as well because after months of searching, they were back to square one. Meanwhile, they also received bad news from their restaurant in Ankara. Uncle Zekeriya said: “Let’s go back and keep what we already have”. Uncle Zekeriya was diabetic. Getting stressed had not been good for this health. Thirty minutes after he uttered these words, they started their return journey to Turkey. On the way to the airport, they saw a “for rent” signboard. When they followed the signboard, they realized that there was another “for rent” sign right next door: The owner was a very easy-going and fatherly man. It was as if all the doors were opened to them after a long and exhausting struggle. They designed the place nicely, brought foremen from Turkey and decorated the place with photos from Turkey; Ghana’s first Turkish restaurant had officially opened. They considered every detail from the car park to children play areas. They moved their house to Ghana where a new life started for uncle Zekeriya and his family.
DNR Turkish Restaurant serves not only to Turks but also to people in Ghana and Lebanon. Today, it is one of the most popular places in Accra. Most of the days in Ghana, we eat DNR’s delicious meals and feel ourselves at home. I believe Mr. Kizilova will be a good example for our businessmen who hesitate to invest outside their own countries.