Sri Lanka Food Festival 2020, Turkey concluded on a high note in Ankara and historic city of Istanbul. The Embassy of Sri Lanka, Ankara coinciding with the 72nd anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Hilton hotel Colombo, Qatar Airways, Swiss Hotel in Ankara, Hotel Anemon Galata, Istanbul and Beta Tea House, Istanbul organised Sri Lanka Food Festival 2020 Ankara segment from 4-5 February and Istanbul segment from 8 -10 February.
The Chairman of Turkey-Sri Lanka Inter Parliamentary Friendship Group Ahmet Hamdi Camli inaugurated the Ankara segment of the Sri Lanka Food festival which held at Swiss hotel. Deputy Chairman of the Turkey-Sri Lanka Inter Parliamentary Friendship Group, Husret Dinc, Heads of business chambers in Ankara, representatives prominent business conglomerates, representatives of political parties, diplomatic corps, officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government institutions attended at the inauguration.
Popular and enticing Sri Lankan cuisines – hoppers, ghee rice, devilled prawns, spicy crab curry, Ambulthiyal and kotthu roti attracted the attendees. The chief guest, Ahmet Hamdi Camli along with the Ambassador Rizvi Hassen joined with the two Chefs Amila Boteju and Asanka Kumara of Hilton Colombo for kotthu roti making demonstration. A live solo Sri Lankan music performance by Sri Lankan student studying at Tbilisi Medical University, Tharuka Fernando entertained the gathering with Sri Lankan songs.
Addressing the gathering Chief Guest, Ahmet Hamdi Çamlı conveyed the greetings of the Turkish President and the Foreign Minister and stated that the opportunity to taste the Sri Lanka cuisine will help to understand the Sri Lankan culture. He added that he and Turkey- Sri Lanka Inter Parliamentary Friendship Group will soon visit Sri Lanka to experience the same in Sri Lanka.
Further, the Embassy for the first time organised a Sri Lanka Food Festival in the heart of Istanbul’s bustling historic peninsula, yet at most unassuming and most popular locations, Hotel Anemon Galata on 8-9 February and on 10 at the Beta Tea House, a historic inn first (known) place where coffee was roasted and processed in Istanbul, the once-beating heart of the multicultural Ottoman Empire.
Former Parliamentarian and Member of Parliament Foreign Relations Committee Faik Tunay addressing the gathering at the Anemon Galata event said that food could be a unifying element between people and cultures and expressed his wish for the event to contribute to the development of people to people contacts between Turkey and Sri Lanka.
Mayor of Fatih district of Istanbul Ergün Turan, during the event at BETA Tea House said that the deep rooted relationship between the two brotherly nations carry their relationship with mutual trust and respect and support each other on various international platforms. He further added that two countries share the same memory and appreciated that gastronomy will allow Turkish people to discover Sri Lanka and it is important to bridge the cultures.
Ambassador M. Rizvi Hassen addressing the gathering stated that Mission organised series of events in Ankara, Istanbul and Trabzon during the month of February, the month of Independence to showcase Sri Lanka in Turkey. This is the first time the Embassy organised a food festival in the nerve centre of the Turkey, Istanbul and more promotional events will organised in the coming months.