Fort Lee BDA welcomes Turkish restaurant to the business community

FORT LEE, NJ–– The Business District Alliance (BDA) of Fort Lee, joined by Mayor Mark Sokolich and Fort Lee council members, welcomed Turkuaz to the business community with a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 16, 2016. Turkuaz specializes in fine Turkish cuisine and is located on 1550 Palisade Avenue in the Fort Lee Plaza.

The grand opening featured refreshments such as fresh fruit juices and samples of authentic Turkish dishes including: Turkish delight, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, yogurt spreads, baba ganoush, spinach and feta cheese pies. The restaurant had a middle-eastern ambience, with live music, waitresses dressed in colorful Turkish attire and a belly-dancing performance.

Owner, Ali Kocak, has been in the restaurant business for sixteen years and is also a full-time forensic science professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. A native of the city since graduate school in the 1990s, Kocak decided to open the first Turkuaz location in Manhattan in 2000. “Getting into the restaurant business was not planned or expected,” Kocak explained, “it just happened.” Kocak then moved to Fort Lee in 2004 and eventually decided to open another Turkuaz location there.

“I live in Fort Lee and it is one of the most important towns in New Jersey. It’s growing fast and is a huge attraction to people. We want to be part of that attraction,” the restaurateur stated.

Turkuaz is the first Turkish restaurant to open in Fort Lee and restaurant-goers can expect live music and belly-dancers on Friday and Sunday evenings. Their menu offers a wide variety of dishes that combine authentic Turkish cuisine with Mediterranean flavors and includes many vegetarian options. “If we just keep doing the same old thing, we will always be the same old,” Mayor Sokolich said prior to cutting the ribbon, “Businesses like Turkuaz are very important to our community because they help us grow.”

Fort Lee BDA Executive Director Stuart Z. Koperweis is also delighted to welcome Turkuaz to the business community. “I am eager to see the positive impact Turkuaz will have on the Fort Lee community and I am confident that they will draw people from all over that want to try something new,” he commented.