The annual Turkish food and culture festival, featuring fresh food and shopping took place on Saturday 20 May at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg. The carefully – curated food festival celebrated the nuances of Turkish cuisine, a culinary experience that is unmatched.
The event was a resounding success with many stands selling both South African food and Turkish delicacies.

A wide variety of Turkish treats including baklava, kunefe, sutlac, and kofte were enjoyed while being washed down with a warm cup of Turkish tea or Turkish coffee.
Some of the other stands had offerings like grilled food, chip ’n dip, pasta , hot roasted nuts, toys, scarves and fragrant perfumes.

A favourite for the women was the ancient body art that can cover most hands or feet in intricate floral patterns in just 30 seconds.Henna artist Fatima Mendhi darted out ornate minimalist and graphic designs with rapid swirls of brown from a wand-like cone onto ladies hands.

The family friendly environment had guests enjoying live entertainment like a performance by Guellord Luseko who wrote a song for the Turkish Embassy after the devastating earthquake that took place in February. Laezonia Primary school impressed the audience with performances from their school children, there was a gum boot dance, a Sepedi dance and a Zulu dance. Zyle clothing graced the stage with a mini fashion show where they showcased their beautiful handmade blanket jackets, they use different cultures times and ethnicities to create the designs. All their garments are produced locally.

Raffle draws were done throughout the day with fabulous prizes like three one night stays at the Four Seasons Hotel, 3 vouchers for AlaTurka to be used at the restaurant or spa, tickets to watch Mzanzi Tenors, tickets to watch Pieter Dirk Uys, a one night stay at the Houghton Hotel and many more.

Not only was it a day to taste flavours of Turkiye but also a day to learn more about Turkish cuisine. This year the Turkish Cuisine week was incorporated into the festival, “ Turkish Cuisine with timeless recipes “ prepared under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkiye and with the support of the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkiye, under the leadership of First Lady Emine Erdogan, spouse of the President of the Republic of Turkiye. Guests were able to taste a menu prepared from the book pertaining to the province of Hatay in Turkiye in honour of those people who lost their homes and loved ones in the earthquake.

Special mention went to Turkish companies Like Turkish Airlines who supported the day as well as SAMPA, AKSA, Defy, Emir sweets, Aselsan and Tuquas. INX was the media partner for the day.

Turkish Ambassador H.E Ms Aysegul Kandas thanked the diplomatic community for their support as well as all participants for their efforts and contributions towards the earthquake victims. All money raised on the day was put towards the much needed homes being built in Turkiye for those families who sadly lost theirs.

A fun filled day where visitors got to enjoy the amazing culture and hospitality of Turkiye.

By Marion Kate