Ottawa’s Turkish-Canadian population might be small, but that didn’t stop tens of thousands of people from attending the fourth annual Ottawa Turkish Festival over the weekend — and festival volunteer Selim Asmer has a pretty good idea why.
“Turkey has a very rich history,” said Asmer. “It’s the only country in the world located on two continents — Europe and Asia.” And it combines the best of both, he said.
The festival, said organizer Ahmet Sanli, “allows us to share our culture. Here, they can discover the wonders of Turkish culture.”
That includes the food — while there was a long line for gözleme, or Turkish pancake, festivalgoers also enjoyed kebabs, donairs, börek, a Turkish pastry, baklava, Turkish delight and coffee — and demonstrations of Turkish ceramic art, ebru or water marbling and calligraphy.
The Youth Folk Dance and Music Ensemble of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism performed Turkish dances.
“The aim of this is to share our cultural values with Canadians and others,” said Kemal Sekmen, art manager for the ministry.