Turkish Delights | Philstar.com

Turkey (officially the Republic of Türkiye) is full of many delights – natural (like Cappadocia) and historical (like Ephesus) sites; the colors (the Grand Bazaar and the ubiquitous carpet shops); and gastronomy.

To introduce the richness and diversity of Turkish gastronomy to the Philippine shores and to celebrate Turkish Cuisine Week, an exquisite lunch was hosted by Türkiye’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Artemiz Sümer, at her official residence. The first-ever Turkish Food Week was organized under the leadership of First Lady Emine Erdo?an, with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

During the Turkish Cuisine Week, the Turkish Cuisine book with timeless recipes was also launched. This historic cookbook, prepared under the auspices of the First Lady, was written in collaboration with well-known Turkish chefs as well as eminent food experts and culinary historians.

Turkish Food Week was held simultaneously in Turkey and in Turkish diplomatic missions around the world.

Although Filipinos only know a few Turkish dishes like kebab and baklava, Turkish cuisine is actually one of the most important cuisines in the world. The roots of Turkish culinary culture date back to the 15th century through many Ottoman cookbooks and have been enriched by many different cultures and traditions. Eating Turkish food has always been one of the highlights of my visits to Türkiye – like Dolma, fish wrapped in bread eaten by the Bosphorus, and of course the various ‘Turkish delights’. I also like to end a meal in Turkey with apple tea and their strong, flavorful coffee.

The guests of Ambassador Sümer’s residence were welcomed in a warm and elegant atmosphere decorated with the famous Iznik pottery in blue and turquoise (by the way, turquoise comes from the old French word “turquoise” [“Turkish”]Turkey being the region of extraction of this beautiful stone).

Besides Turkish Food Week, First Lady Erdo?an is also spearheading other initiatives such as “Go Girls, Let’s Go to School”, which aims to ensure 100% education and equality gender; the “Prolific Forest Project”, which aims to expand green spaces; and “Zero Waste Project”, which aims to eliminate all waste, especially that which pollutes the environment, through recycling and other means. The “Zero Waste Project” received awards last year from the UNDP and UN-Habitat program and was also included in a national report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2019 as what a promising project. More recently, he was honored by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean.

Turkish Ambassador Artemiz Sumer and Consul General of Monaco Fortune Aleta Ledesma.

DFA Deputy Secretaries Keira Azucena and Jaime Leda.

First Lady of Turkey

Emine Erdo?an.

Consul of Angola Helen Ong, Edith Lorenzana, Ambassador Sumer, Consul General Ledesma, Consul of Jordan Michael Ang and Third Secretary of Turkey Zecki Kucuk.

‘Class Night’, 60 years later

After a two-year lockdown due to the pandemic and 60 years since elementary school, nothing has stopped this close-knit group of former Ateneo de Manila bandmates from resuming their “school night,” albeit without chaperones and teachers watching over them – all the way to La Union. Why, this young-at-heart band even jammed with the band at Flotsam and Jetsam in San Juan, La Union!

“It was time for some fresh air and refreshing views; and rekindling friendships that have lasted over 60 years,” says Asterio “Boy” Favis, who led the trip with Johnny Filart and Chito Modesto.

This brought a group of brothers to La Union, where 33 classmates rekindled a school tradition known as class nights. In this case, three days and two nights of unforgettable senior moments.

It was a pleasant, traffic-free ride, with the new highways unlocking the gateway to the north. In no time, the famous sun and surf paradise of La Union was within reach.

“Journey of revenge! Without taboo. No revelers. No goody two-shoes. No stick in the mud. It was non-stop fun and frills,” says Ed Ramirez of his band’s class night.

For these Ateneans, it was a booster shot that energized the spirit and lifted the mask that once stifled their loud laughter.

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