To introduce the richness and diversity of Turkish gastronomy to Filipinos, an exquisite luncheon was hosted by Turkey Ambassador Artemiz Sümer at her official residence, to celebrate the first-ever Turkish Cuisine Week. It was organized under the leadership of Turkey first lady Emine Erdoğan, with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
During Turkish Cuisine Week, the book “Turkish Cuisine with Timeless Recipes” was also launched. This landmark cookbook, prepared under the auspices of first lady Erdoğan, was written in collaboration with well-known Turkish chefs, along with leading gastronomy experts and culinary historians.
The Turkish Cuisine Week was organized simultaneously in Turkey and in Turkish diplomatic missions all over the world.
Although Filipinos may be familiar with only a few Turkish dishes, like kebab and baklava, Turkish cuisine is actually one of the most prominent cuisines in the world.
The roots of Turkish culinary culture can be traced back to the 15th century, through many Ottoman cookbooks and has been enriched by many different cultures and traditions.
The guests were welcomed to a warm and elegant atmosphere decorated with the famous Iznik potteries in blue and turquoise (incidentally, “turquoise” comes from the old French word “turquois” or “Turkish,” Turkey being the region of extraction of this beautiful stone).Aside from Turkish Cuisine Week, first lady Erdoğan also spearheads other initiatives in Turkey, which include Come On Girls Let’s Go To School, which aims to provide 100-percent schooling to girls and foster gender equality; the Prolific Forest Project, which aims to expand green areas in Turkey; and Zero Waste Project, which aims to eliminate all waste, especially the kinds that pollute the environment, through recycling and other means.
Zero Waste Project received awards last year from the United Nations Development Program and UN-Habitat program. It was also included in an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development country report in 2019 as a promising project. More recently, it was honored by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean. —CONTRIBUTED INQ