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Haldun Yavas Talks about Turkish Cuisine and Culture
Janine Aloisi: Another special guest is Haldun Yavas he is the Executive Director of the Turkish Cultural Center. This Center focuses on strengthening the ties between the United States and Turkey. In the month of February, they will be organizing several events in celebration of Asure Day. We had the chance to speak with Mr. Yavas, let’s watch.
Haldun Yavas: You organize seminar s, concerts, trips to Turkey, lectures and courses. For example, as a concert we had Ambrosias concert with the volume there which is 12—. We organize annual holiday receptions which represent Hanukkah, Christmas and at the same time our holiday which is the holiday for sacrifice which is called Eid el-Adha also.
We have educational lectures, seminars, which is for example small business administrations consultants came to the Cultural Center and they told the listeners how to manage the business, how to become a successful businessman. Even though a Turkish Cultural Center had just six months of experience in the city, the center did a great job like our biggest event was in Waldorf Astoria and it was named as Annual Ramadan Friendship Dinner. It was in Waldorf Astoria one of the best hotel in the City, it was in October 5, 2006 and Hilary Clinton the first lady came to the event and she gave a wonderful speech. She had some wonderful words in terms of the necessity of inter faith dialogue, the necessity of inter cultural dialogue plus what Turkish Cultural Center brings to the city.
Also we organize lectures within our cultural center like the previous one was the vice president of Horton University. He was our guest and he joined one of our seminars, we have also your Turkish Language Courses here and we teach Turkish. On the other side, we give ESL courses for the Turkish Students who come from Turkey and they need assistance and especially for speech, for spelling.
We have a library here and the Turkish library, the Turkish Cultural Centers and library is a resource for the people for the American people, for the academicians who make research. In the history of Turkey, history of Ottoman’s, this library is a resource for everyone. We will start Turkish cooking classes here. Turkish American Women’s Association which is one of our committee within the Turkish Cultural Center they are starting the Turkish cooking lesson, I guess which is amazing. I mean most of the American people love Baklava. They love dolma so the Turkish Cultural Center is the place for them to learn also how to cook Baklava.
As Turkish Cultural Center, we spend the whole month of February as the month of Asure and we will make several events. Normally, Asure day is 29th of January but instead of just celebrating one day of Asure we make a whole month of Asure which is February will be the month of Asure for us. So like we will expand our celebration to a month and we will give out Asure to the people who need the homeless people and especially in New York City.
There are 7,000 homeless people in New York City and we will try to reach as much as we can .And we just had a meeting with the commissioner of the New York City for the homeless department and we told him about our idea what we will do and he said please I mean make the event as much as possible and reach out as much as possible to the homeless people. And at the same time we will give Asure to the elder people and we will visit nursing homes and we are planning to give out like almost 10,000 Asure in a whole month.
We as Turkish Cultural Center believe in that the inter faith dialogue, the inter cultural dialogue is the only solution for the global peace. For this purpose, Turkish Cultural Center strengthens the ties between the people of United States and Turkey.