The “Turkish Cuisine Week” kicks off with the Balıkesir Gastronomy Festival, organized under the auspices of the presidency and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wife, First Lady Emine Erdoğan, and Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy attended the event.
Turkish Cuisine Week is celebrated with a determined theme every year in 81 provinces and in Turkish embassies, consulates, overseas consultancy offices and representative offices with promotional activities all over the world.
Within the framework of the week, the book “Centennial Recipes and Turkish Cuisine”, which was prepared under the guidance of First Lady Emine Erdoğan with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and aims to promote Turkish cuisine in the international, will also be launched. . She also announced that from May 21 to 27 will be celebrated Turkish Cuisine Week every year.
With the events to be held during Turkish Food Week, traditional foods will be promoted internationally with recipes that mark not only the past and tradition, but also the future.
In his speech at the Balıkesir Gastronomy Festival, Erdoğan said that it was impossible to count the beautiful aspects of Balıkesir. Highlighting the abundance springing from the ground, the flavors of the dishes, its deep-rooted history, Blue Flag beaches and healing waters, Emine Erdoğan pointed out that Balıkesir is a summary of Turkey’s potential.
Stating that they aim to promote Turkish cuisine in all its aspects and get the place it deserves in the world rankings, Erdoğan said: “Of course, Turkish cuisine is already known all over the world. It even makes some of the best cuisines, but we know that a few dishes form the main lines of this reputation.Here we are talking about thousands of years of history in Anatolia and an essence distilled from different civilizations.
“Our Gaziantep, Hatay and Afyon are also included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Every corner of our country is a gastronomic paradise. Let us bring this title to many more of our cities together,” she said. declared.
“We also have dishes protected by UNESCO. Many other dishes can be added to this list, such as ‘abugannuş’, ‘oruk’, ‘künefe’, ‘Turkish delight’, ‘kaymak’, ‘sucuk’ and “pöç”. , but we have many more dishes that can receive geographical indications. Our duty is to work to revive this heritage and not to leave any aspect of it unexplored. I take this opportunity to say that I I’ve always been a fan of original projects in this area,” she said.
Expressing that gastronomy is expanding its sphere of influence every day, Erdoğan said, “Many new terms such as gastro-culture, gastro-tourism and gastro-diplomacy are proof that cuisine has become a power in itself. In particular, gastro-diplomacy is at the forefront of states’ soft power elements. Therefore, ethnic restaurants opening one after another in metropolises are not an ordinary eating and drinking place, but rather waving national flags,” she said.
Noting that the doors of ethnic restaurants open pathways to geographies, civilizations, ecologies, traditions and beliefs, she said, “These are the places where prejudice melts the fastest. Therefore, we offer not only taste but also a world of culture on the plate. When we take all this into consideration, the potential of Turkish cuisine to become the premier cuisine in the world with its wide range is very clear. »
“The legacy we have is a unique tool to strengthen our country’s image and express ourselves in the rightest way. I think we have taken the right path together by declaring Turkish Food Week under the leadership of our Ministry of Culture and Tourism.”
The first lady also noted that since cuisine is a mirror of a culture, Turkish culture would also be recognized internationally. Explaining how the Turks consider even a piece of bread a “blessing”, giving our friends seats of honor at our tables, not touching the food until the elders start eating, she said the Turkish cuisine provides a lot of information, from our family values to our world of belief.
In a global community where fast food culture is spreading rapidly, the first lady stressed the importance of healthy, local dishes. “Halal, vegetarian and organic options are some of the most preferred. I think the best answer to this search is in Turkish cuisine. When you look at Anatolian cuisine, you will see that many recipes are quite healthy. There are recipes that heal the soul and the body,” she added.
Stressing that industrialization has changed the face of kitchens like everything else, Erdogan said: “When we talk about hybrid seeds, genetically modified organisms, carbon footprint, fast food culture, we are is removed from the essence of the table. In fact, when we look at the origin of preventable diseases today, we find that most of them are caused by what we eat and drink,” she said.
Noting that tourists now want to know about the history, culture and life of the destination, she added how nice it is to see that authenticity is rapidly gaining in value.
Moreover, these days when some countries are facing lack of food, Erdoğan said that Turkish cuisine promotes waste-free methods.
“Our kitchen, the transformation of leftover produce into different dishes, is an important solution to the global problem of food waste. Because what makes a kitchen waste-free is the mentality and teaching behind it. People are looking for ways to be eco-friendly. However, our kitchen’s nature-friendly identity is not a new concept. It’s about thousands of years of experience. I sincerely believe that bringing this experience to light with the right communication plan will bring us to the forefront of the international arena.”
Emphasizing that anyone who knows the intricacies of Turkish cuisine can be an ambassador for gastro-diplomacy, Erdoğan called on everyone to promote Turkish cuisine together.
After the speech, the apron-wearing ceremony of the first-year students of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Gastronomy and Culinary Arts of Balıkesir Burhaniye University was held.
First Lady Erdoğan helped student representative Melisa Selen with her apron, then took photos with the students and attendees.