Fatma Haydaroğlu Alpengin ACG 42 Recalls Foundational Years

Confidence and hope defined her time at ACG.

Some of the RC alumni witnessed the 100 years of the Republic in full and live to tell the tale. Fatma Haydaroğlu Alpengin is one of them. She was a boarder and recalls both growing up in the Republic and her time at ACG fondly: “We were confident about the future and full of hope. We were very proud of our War of Independence and our Republic. We wanted for nothing, and even during World War II, we did not feel lacking.

She also compares those early years with today: “Compared to those foundational years, a lot has progressed in terms of receiving news. Gone is mailing and sending postcards, we can now video call. In 1939 there was an earthquake in Erzincan. My parents were there, and we did not hear from them for days. ACG was understanding through this ordeal. Now there is no gender segregation at school. That normalizes communication between boys and girls When I was a senior at ACG; the boys were at RC. A boy from RC was chosen King and chose me to be the Queen, but because I assumed my parents would be conservative about it, I rejected being Queen.”

ACG gave Alpengin a love of reading and coffee: “Our library was incredibly rich. I read all the classics there. I cultivated my love for reading at RC. I also cultivated a taste for coffee. In our senior year, after dinner, waiters would serve us Turkish coffee at Yellow Parlor!”

Published January 2024

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