2nd edition of Turkish Cuisine week celebrated

He is the CEO TurkAfriq ([email protected]).

The Turkish Embassy in Ghana celebrated the second edition of the Turkish Cuisine Week on May 26 at the Ambassador’s residence here in Accra. The event was launched by the Turkish First Lady, Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, last year. The week-long celebration was held in over 100 countries around the world, and Ghana was no exception.

The event was attended by members of the diplomatic community, members of the business community, as well as Turkish nationals living in Ghana. Guests were treated to a variety of sumptuous traditional Hatay province dishes.

The Turkish Cuisine Week celebration was a great opportunity for Ghanaians to learn more about Turkish culture and cuisine. It was also a chance for Turkish nationals living in Ghana to connect with their homeland and share their culture with others.

The highlight of the event was when the invited guests had the opportunity to sample the excellent traditional Turkish meals on display. However, before that, Turkish Ambassador-Designate, H.E. Mr. Hüseyin Güngör, gave a few remarks to help invited guests better appreciate the background of this annual event as well as educate them on the context of this year’s celebrations.

The Ambassador took time to explain the uniqueness of Turkish cuisine. According to him, the current traditional Turkish cuisine is an exquisite combination of traditions stretching to the Balkans, Anatolia, and Central Asia. A culmination of centuries of blending between cultures, regions, and even continents. It is thus no wonder that Turkish cuisine is known globally for its incredible diversity and richness.

The Ambassador further stressed the role of food in Turkish society. He said that food is far more than merely a source of nutrition and sustenance. Rather, it is an inextricable element of Turkish tradition. Thus, even the preparation of food is sacred in Turkish culture, as each dish has its own story, told through generations of recipes.

In explaining the wide variety of tastes and foods across different parts of Turkiye, Turkish Ambassador explained that, Türkiye has four seasons across the different parts of the country, so food profiles change from town to town and region to region. While in some places meat is the main delicacy, others prefer fish, depending on their geographic profile.

Finally, Ambassador Güngör highlighted sustainability as a crucial feature of Turkish cuisine. According to him, in preparing Turkish dishes, every part of an ingredient is used in the kitchen, and nothing gets wasted.

After the Ambassador’s remarks came the moment all in attendance had been waiting for. It was time to eat. A unique feature of this event is that every year, cuisine from a very specific part of Türkiye is featured. This is aimed at getting global audiences to thoroughly appreciate the depth and diversity of Turkish traditional cuisine, as already discussed.

Last year, invited guests were treated to a sumptuous Istanbul menu that featured palace food. This year, guests enjoyed rich traditional cuisine from Hatay. Perhaps many will recognize this part of Türkiye as one of the key places heavily affected by the recent unfortunate earthquakes. However, Hatay is a gem of a city. It embodies the peaceful diversity and coexistence synonymous with Türkiye. It is a city where people of various ethnicities, religions, and cultural backgrounds live in harmony. Given the recent sad events, it was very fitting that cuisine from this wonderful city was highlighted this year. The rest of the night was as fun as ever, as guests wined, dined and networked till late.

Clearly, the Turkish cuisine week is here to stay. As indicated at the outset, it took place all over the world. The Turkish government needs to be congratulated for this awesome initiative. There’s no better way to experience a country’s culture more closely than through their traditional, home-cooked cuisine. In our case, the event was a very laudable way to promote cultural understanding and cooperation between Türkiye and Ghana.

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