Celebrating 50 years of Turkish migration

Australian Turkish community celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first group of migrant Turks arriving to Sydney with a major food and culture festival.

Taste of Turkey – Food and Culture Festival is a celebration of the Turkish cultural contribution to the greater multicultural fabric of Australia.

The festival is being held over the weekend of 13 – 14 October, exactly marking the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first group of migrant workers from Turkey to Sydney on 14 October 1968.

A special ceremony will be held on Sunday to acknowledge the contribution of first generation migrants to Australia at 1pm with Federal and State level attendance.

Five decades ago, thanks to the already established Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, Turkish migrants were able to find tastes familiar to them in their new country.

Later, like many first generation migrants, Turks began operating family owned food businesses as a means of earning their livelihoods and easing their homesickness.

Turkish food in Australia has since evolved into one of the most sophisticated and favourite tastes, with the dedicated and passionate work of chefs like Somer Sivrioglu, the owner of Efendy and Anason, who will be a part of the Festival.

Doner kebab, Gozleme, Turkish delight and Turkish bread have become staple food items in our lives.

The festival is aimed at celebrating the diversity and richness of Australian food and culture by highlighting one of the contributors.

From horizontal kebab to mussel dolma, from Turkish dumplings to Turkish sausage sizzles, there will be a wide range of food stalls. The dessert section of the festival will feature baklava, lokma, Turkish delights and Turkish waffles.

Tumbalong Park’s big stage will host performances by dance groups, rock bands and more traditional Turkish entertainment.

Visitors will have a chance to learn how to dance like a professional belly dancer.

A yogurt eating competition will be a testament to the old Turkish saying – Her yiğidin bir yoğurt yiyişi vardır – meaning that every hero has their own way of eating yogurt.

This year’s festival is taking place with the generous support of both the Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams and Multicultural NSW as well as the major sponsorship by well-established Australian-Turkish businesses, including Promax and Xavier Advertising, and further backed by Gallipoli Home Aged Care facility, the Turkish business chamber MUSIAD, Gozleme King, home appliances firm BEKO, and new to Australia, the Turkish global waffle franchise “Waffle Stop”.

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