Turkey Festival in Japan

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has been home to Turkey Festival (Toruko Festival), organized jointly by the Turkish Embassy in Tokyo and Yunus Emre Institute.

The festival, held in one of Tokyo's tourist attractions, Yoyogi, with a view to promoting Turkey and Turkish culture in Japan, has aroused great interest in tourists and local people. During the two-day festival, the participants were able to taste dozens of different dishes from the Turkish cuisine including kebabs, mantı (small dumplings filled with meat and served with yogurt and melted butter), simit and Turkish coffee and learn about traditional Turkish handicrafts at various workshops.

The Mehter Band (the Ottoman military band) had performances throughout the festival, attracting a great deal of attention. Some participants wore Mehter costumes and posed for photos to perpetuate the moment. Some Japanese people who love Turkey attended workshops to learn Turkish.

Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Tokyo Hasan Murat Mercan indicated that they have organized the Turkey Festival in order to promote our country and Turkish culture in Japan. "The Turkey Culture Year is underway in Japan with precious events. As far as I see we love Japanese people and the Japanese love Turkish people and out culture. I hope that we will see that these good ties between our countries and our citizens will improve in the future," he said, expressing his satisfaction for the events.

Yunus Emre Institute President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş said: "We are holding the Turkey Festival as part of the Year of Turkey event in Japan. Our aim is to reach out to diverse groups in Japanese society. Through various activities including the Mehter shows, concerts, dance performances, and souvenir shops, we are trying to create an environment where Japanese people can establish ties with Turkey."