City of gastronomy to share its cuisine with world

Cuisine hailing from the southern province of Hatay, included in UNESCO’s “Creative Cities Network” in the field of gastronomy, is now set to be branded and introduced to the world. 

With over 600 dishes, Hatay cuisine is famous for its unique features and rich variety across Turkey. 

Hatay cuisineThe Hatay Metropolitan Municipality now plans to share the province’s tastes with the rest of the world through promotional projects that will help Hatay cuisine become a global brand. 

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Hatay Mayor Lütfü Savaş said the province has been at the center of trade for centuries at the junction of Anatolia and the Middle East. 

“We live in a very important region located on ancient pilgrimage routes. Thirteen of the 23 world civilizations have lived here. We have a historical past, cultural values and civilization accumulation. Here, many food cultures have lived in peace with each other, not conflicted but inspired by each other. And today we are talking about a region that has over 600 dishes. It is unthinkable to not share them with the rest of the world,” Savaş said. 

He added that they have been working since 2010 to make Hatay “the world’s gastronomic city” and noted that the province was included in the Creative Cities Network by UNESCO last year. 

Savaş said they promoted the tastes of the city by organizing “Hatay Days” across Turkey, which they will now take elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East. 

“We organized promotional events during the ‘Hatay Days’ in Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir. We will now share this with the world too. We want to glorify the Hatay brand,” he added. 

Sedat İnanç, the Chairman of the Association of Hatay Cooks, said the region’s cuisine took inspiration from the Arab world, Anatolia, Central Asia and Europe. 

“Turkish cuisine is something separate from Hatay cuisine. Here we have over 250 types of breakfast … We want to gather them all in a book, including forgotten dishes. As fast food has become more popular, these traditional dishes have been forgotten,” İnanç said, adding that people across the world are now seeking new tastes.” 

“There is great interest in Hatay dishes but we still don’t have skillful cooks or facilities to serve them. But if we manage to overcome this problem, I believe that Hatay cuisine will reach the renown that it deserves,” he added.

Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Note: Hatay is also known as Antakya, in ancient times, the city of Antioch

Advertisements

Turkey’s whistled language to get alphabet

Whistled language? What? That’s fairly interesting!

“A group of Turkish academics have launched a project to create an alphabet for the whistled language, which is spoken in northern Turkey’s Black Sea region. Around 10,000 people, mostly in the district of Çanakçı in the Giresun province, currently use and understand the language, according to UNESCO.

whistle languageThe language, Kuşdili (bird language) as locals call it, was listed by UNESCO as being in urgent need of protection last year. It was developed to allow people to communicate across steep mountain valleys but has been dying out, as mobile phones reduce the need for new generations to learn the language.

Prof. Musa Genç, the dean of the Tourism Faculty at Giresun University, told Anadolu Agency the project aims to “pass on this cultural heritage to future generations.”

”To do that, we have formed a working group to create the alphabet of the whistled language,” Genç said.

He said a group of academics, including musicians as well as linguists from Giresun University, will visit Kuşköy village and begin creating the alphabet for the language. According to Genç, records of the language will first be turned into notes and later into letters.

“When the project is finalized, the whistled language, which is used for communication by locals in the region, will become a more common and internationally used language,” he said.

He said the language had been used in Giresun for around 500 years and it was also used in other parts of the world as a communication tool. The human voice can travel up to 500 meters in normal conditions, Genç said, adding that the whistled language allows the voice to reach up to 30 kilometers in good weather conditions.

The practice is one of the dozens of whistled languages used around the world where steep terrain or dense forests make communication difficult over distances, such as North Africa’s Atlas Mountains, the highlands of northern Laos or the Amazon basin in Brazil.

Since 1997, the Bird Language Festival has been held in Kuşköy to promote its use. The district has also provided training programs to primary school pupils for the last three years. However, despite these efforts, UNESCO found that “the whistled language may soon totally disappear unless essential safeguarding measures are undertaken using an integrated approach.”

Source: Hürriyet Daily News

 

Learn another language, become another person

There is an interesting Turkish saying: “One language, one person; two languages, two people.”

I think it’s true. I spend a lot of time speaking Turkish, and I’ve absorbed a host of common everyday phrases that oil the machinery of social intercourse in this country.

There’s the phrase you say to your fellow diners when you sit down to a meal, and when you rise from the table;

Tayyip from God

Follower of a 21st century prophet

There’s one you address to someone who’s been to the hairdresser, or is emerging squeaky clean from a bath or shower;

There’s a friendly wish you express when you enter an office or other workplace where others are working; a standard expression of condolence to people who have lost a loved one; an utterance of admiration for the beauty or handsomeness of a new baby; a polite phrase that passes responsibility for future uncertainty to the Almighty . . .

In Turkish, you need never be at a loss for the right phrase to employ in one of the many human interactions that transcend cultural boundaries – but which tax our creative conversational powers in English-speaking countries. When I go back to New Zealand I sometimes find myself tongue-tied, with a Turkish phrase dying on my lips.

And then there is the reverse situation. Turkish people are generally sociable, and especially keen to interrogate a new acquaintance. Questions like, “How old are you?” and “How much is your salary?” tend to crop up rather earlier in a relationship than we Westerners are accustomed to. I used to struggle with the well-meaning inquiry, “Why did you come to Turkey?” In fact, it’s a rather long story, as you can imagine – and not one I am ready to share with everyone on short acquaintance.

Recently I’ve come up with a brief formula that seems to work. “It was fate,” I say. “God took me by the hand and led me here.” In New Zealand, such an answer uttered with straight face would probably be considered an indication of borderline insanity. In Turkey, my new friend will very likely nod wisely and consider the matter satisfactorily explained.

EnochtheProphet

In former times, a long white beard seems to have been a key indicator of prophet-hood – but times change

So I wasn’t at all surprised when I read in this morning’s newspaper that the chairperson of a local women’s branch of the AK Party in Ankara had said that Turkey’s controversial President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was sent by God. In fact, what she actually said (translating from the Turkish, of course) was something like, “Our president is a person so divine, he is a human being sent by Allah and a hope for the global Muslim community. Is there any way other than to follow him, to serve him on his path?”

Now, ok, I have friends in New Zealand (well, one friend, actually) who used to express great admiration for former Prime Minister and unabashed capitalist finance big shot, John Key; and clearly Donald Trump couldn’t have got himself elected president of the world’s greatest democracy if he didn’t have a few enthusiastic fans. Even Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe for thirty years, probably had a few sycophantic hangers-on willing to say nice things about him for the favours he might bestow.

But “sent by God”? “Divine”? “Serve him on his path”? I don’t think so. That’s a Turkish thing. Something definitely gets lost in translation when you try to say it in English. But the interesting thing is, a lot of people here will be nodding their heads in agreement.

In remembrance of Rumi: Şeb-i Arus 17 December

konya

Mevlevi ceremony in Konya

Şeb-I Arus translates literally as “Wedding Night”, but in fact was the date that the renowned Sufi mystic, Celaleddin Mevlana Rumi, passed away. In keeping with his transcendental philosophy, Mevlana Rumi saw his death as the merging of his spirit with the Divinity, hence a “wedding”, and not an event to be mourned.

I’m passing on some extra information from several sources:

The Istanbul Guide:

“He is the most-read poet in the United States and possibly the best-known Islamic figure after Muhammad. His philosophy of divine love has inspired countless artists, musicians, and writers. He created the iconic symbol of Turkey, the sema ritual often known as the “whirling dervishes.” The man referred to is of course Rumi, whose full name was Mevlânâ Celâleddîn-î Rûmî. His death 742 years ago is commemorated every year on December 17.  

Every year on December 17, people flock to Rumi’s mausoleum in Konya to pay their respects and experience a powerful ceremony of remembrance.”

The official Mevlana website:

rumiWho is Mevlana?  Hz. Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi is the great Anatolian mystic, poet and the father of the Mevlevi Order. He is known as Hz. Mevlana in the East and as Rumi in the West. At birth, his family named him Muhammed, though he came to be nicknamed Celaleddin. As for “Mevlana”, it connotes to “our master”, while “Rumi” relates to “the land of Rum” or “Anatolia”, where he lived. In his lifetime, he was also referred to as “Hudavendigar”, meaning “distinguished leader”, whereas his present internationally renowned title “Mevlana” was very seldom used.

Hz. Mevlana was born on 30 September 1207 in the city of Balkh, Horasan, which at the time was inhabited by Turkish tribes; (Balkh, today, remains within the boundaries of Afghanistan). His mother Mümine was the daughter of Rükneddin, the “emir” (sovereign ruler) of Balkh and his father, Bahaeddin Veled, was “Sultanu-l ulema”(chief scholar). Their clash of opinion with Fahreddin-i Razi, one of his contemporary mystics, along with the probability of a Mongol invasion urged him to desert his hometown accompanied by his entire family. Their migration, via Baghdad, Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Malatya, Erzincan, and Karaman, ended up, on 3 May 1228, in Konya upon the invitation of Alaeddin Keykubad, the Seljuk Emperor.

As Mevlana began attending his father’s lessons at a very early age, he pursued the divine truth and secrets. He acquired Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and common Greek as well as Classical Greek. He studied the other religions along with Islam. From history to medicine, he received his initial education from his father and then from Seyyid Burhaneddin Tirmizi and other top scholars of the time. Later on, he himself, in turn, taught hundreds of students in Madrassahs (theological universities).

Turkey Travel Centre

Rumi and the Annual Whirling Dervish Festival in Konya

“From the 10th of December to the 17th, thousands of people will descend on the Turkish city of Konya. Hotel accommodation will be fully booked up and any latecomers that do find spare rooms will have to pay heavily to secure them. Konya is bracing itself for one of the most important events of the year and that is the annual celebration of Rumi and the whirling dervishes’ festival.

For many, this is a journey to commemorate the death of a poet and his works that continue to penetrate everyday society.

Who was Rumi?

MevlanaRumi was born on the edge of the Persian Empire, in the city of Balkh which is now part of Afghanistan. In 1273, he died in the Turkish city of Konya. Despite his departure from this earth over 700 years ago, his poems and quotes are still widely read today by millions of people all over the globe.

Rumi Poems and Quotes

The work of Rumi is extensive and often called words of wisdom by modern day artists and authors. His words spoke about every aspect of life but mainly focused on love and inner peace.

Famous quotes include

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”

“Come, come, whoever you are. Heathen, fire-worshipper, idolater, it doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”

What is his significance to the west?

Despite his origins in the east, Rumi is widely known in western countries. He was the bestselling poet in America for a number of years and his poems have been globally translated into many languages.

As a practicing Sufi, his beliefs lay in a branch of Islam yet his followers include Christians and Jews along with Muslims. He did what many others have tried to do and failed miserably at. He connected people of different religions and it all began with his words.

Read any poem or quote, and there is no bias against cultures. There is no preference of one race against another. Muslims are not favored over Christians or Jews.

He found a way to communicate with the world without excluding one single person, hence his popularity in the west.”

Visit these sites for more information:

https://www.everfest.com/fest300

https://www.everfest.com/e/mevlana-anma-torenleri-konya-turkey

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/dec/18/whirling-dervishes-at-the-rumi-festival-in-konya-a-photo-essay

Triplets in Turkey named after President Erdoğan – Today’s happy news!

Came across this article in today’s newspaper. I’m giving a translation for readers who don’t know Turkish. The original is a bit repetitious, so I’m abbreviating it a little:

Triplets

Little Recep, Tayyip and Erdoğan with mum, dad, big sister and the president

“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with three-year-old triplets named Recep, Tayyip and Erdoğan at the office of the governor in Sivas [a historic city in the east of Turkey].

“President Erdoğan had met them for the first time during a visit to Sivas in 2015. After the meeting, the father and mother of the triplets, Dilek and Kemal Akıncı said they were very happy. ‘We met Mr Erdoğan for the first time in 2015 and afterwards we spoke on the telephone. We’re grateful that he visited us in Sivas. We met up at the governor’s office. We’re so happy,’ they said.”

Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan Minik Adaşları İle Görüştü

Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 3 yaşındaki Recep, Tayyip, Erdoğan isimlerini taşıyan üçüzler ile Sivas Valiliğinde bir araya geldi.

Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, ilk kez 2015 yılında ki Sivas ziyareti sırasında tanıştığı; 3 yaşındaki Recep, Tayyip, Erdoğan isimlerini taşıyan üçüzlerle bugünkü Sivas ziyaretinde yeniden bir araya geldi. Sivas Valiliğindeki ziyaret sonrası üçüzlerin annesi Dilek Akıncı ve babaları Kemal Akıncı çok mutlu olduklarını belirterek, “İlk kez 2015 yılında görüşmüştük. Daha sonra telefonla görüştük. Sivas’ı ziyaret ettiği için kendisine çok teşekkür ediyoruz. Valilikte kendisi ile görüştük. Çok mutluyuz” dedi.

Celebrating World Turkish Coffee Day!

turkish-coffee-pots-for-saleSorry I’m a bit late with this. If it’s not too late, get down to your nearest “Kahve Dünyası” – I’m told you’ll get a cup of Turkish coffee on the house!

Here’s a little Turkish verse to accompany it:

Gönül ne kahve ister, ne kahvehane

Gönül ahbap ister – kahve bahane.

The heart needs neither coffee not coffeehouse.

The heart seeks friendship – coffee is the excuse.

turkish-coffee-640x480

Peel me a(n) grape/orange

Orange Peel – the Cinderella of Foodstuffs

. . . with thanks to my good friend and ally in the political struggle, Andreas Schmidt.

Just like Cinderella, orange peel is one of those things that, once you’ve discovered their true worth, you won’t be able to live without. Orange peel is a food superstar that came from the shadows, overlooked and underappreciated. But no more!

Dried-Oranges_-27-1024x683What do the Turkish Rivera, German Christmas food, an aromatic scent in your kitchen, your next BBQ, as well as ways to brighten your skin and, maybe, even to lower bad cholesterol and fight depression have in common? You guessed it, orange peel! Orange peel, a food by-product really; because, after all, we usually just peel our oranges or tangerines, eat the flesh of our grapefruits, squeeze the juice out of our lemons and discard the skins without second thought. Well, this has to stop! Orange peel is a treasure, and not something for the trash can.

A sun-soaked little helper

4672871254_bcb353d526_b

Orange trees in Antalya

When you think of citrus fruits, you inevitably think of the sun, the sea and holiday. Because, after all, where do most of these little delicacies come from? Sun-soaked places, of course: Spain, Italy, Greece Florida and Turkey to name but a few! Turkey, in fact, is not only one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, but also one of the global players in the citrus fruit market. Grapefruits and, now even, Kiwis from the Mersin and Adana regions. Oranges from Antalya and the world-famous Bodrum tangerines. All of them chock-full with the energy of the Mediterranean sun that kisses the shores of Asia Minor for over 300 days per year. And it’s this sun which powers up our little friends with vitamins, and minerals, gives them taste and makes them an unmissable addition to any healthy diet.

But after we’ve let our palates savour the sweet aroma of that plum and juicy orange or have added zest to our salads by sprinkling them wish freshly squeezed lemon juice, what do we do with the skin protecting our little helpers? One thing, we certainly shouldn’t do, is to throw them out. And here is why:

Combine them with other things to create an explosion of flavours.

What is German Christmas famous for? Well, snow, fairy tales, the Christmas tree, markets, gingerbread and that weird but wonderful hot mulled wine they drink while standing around outside tables in sub-zero temperatures. But did you know that the last two things wouldn’t be half as tasty without the help of orange peel? The age-old recipe for German gingerbread, known as ‘Lebkuchen’, doesn’t contain even a trace of ginger but lots of candied orange peel. It’s added to offset the pungent flavour of the cocktail of spices that is used to make these delicacies with a zesty, yet sweet note. And the same is true for the hot mulled wine, aka ‘Glühwein’ – literally ‘glowing wine’ – which is drunk by Germans around Christmas time: a variety of choice red wines is reinforced with spices ranging from cinnamon and cloves to ginger. Then this mixture is heated slowly with the addition of lemon or orange zest. Some like the taste of it, others disagree, but one thing is for sure: it smells like heaven! And smells lead us to yet another use of orange peel.

The smell of a citrus grove in your home

Sometimes that kitchen or bathroom just has this weird, unidentifiable smell which doesn’t go away however much we scrub the floor and wipe down the kitchen cabinets with our supermarket-bought cleaning products. But help is at hand, and it’s completely organic: vinegar infused with orange peel! It’s true vinegar by itself often has an uncomfortable smell, even though it is a potent cleaning and anti-bacterial agent. Infusing orange peel with vinegar makes the unwanted smelliness of it vanish in a heartbeat and what is left, is an organic cleaning product that smells like a citrus grove in Tuscany, Italy, or Bodrum, Turkey. By the way, the same is true if you add orange or any other citrus peel to

your trash can or rubbish chute. No more embarrassing odours, just the sweet scent of oranges, tangerines and lemons!

Which might also be an interesting addition to your meat at your next BBQ. 

A citric fire starter

6dd6e70243a645ffc78e21371394c5d0--cleansing-foods-benefits-of

Just look at that! You can probably smoke them too, I wouldn’t be surprised.

You want to preserve those trees (you might even live in one of those country where trees are usually only found in shopping malls), but still want to get a real BBQ – and not one of those electric or gas- fired ones – going? No problems, simply buy some traditional charcoal and dry that orange peel you have left over from your last attempts to live a healthy lifestyle. Dried orange or any other citric peel works perfectly as a fire starter for your BBQ – no petrochemicals needed – and they add that special aroma to the smoke that marinates your meat. And, hey, you’re burning the peel of citrus fruits. That must mean you are adding vitamins to your greasy fix – who says, you aren’t living healthily!

Speaking of health…

Orange peel has been shown to have some serious health benefits

More than one serious scientific study has shown that using orange peel in cosmetic or medical products can bring significant benefits. Cleopatra is believed not only to have bathed in donkey milk, but to also have used orange peel as a skin scrub. And who would argue with the Queen of Egypt? Traditional Chinese medicine has also long since used orange peel as a drug of choice to fight off viral infections and to combat digestive problems. More recent experiences have shown orange peel to aid the lowering of bad cholesterol. And therapist rely on the scent of citric fruit in the treatment of their patients with depression, especially those with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

All in all, not a bad performance for a mere food by-product. A Cinderella-food if ever there was one. And I am certain that you will look differently at orange peel from now on!