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Maneesh Bakshi
Yunus Emre Doha, Turkish cultural centre, organised a dinner in honour of the outgoing Turkish Ambassador to Qatar HE Ahmet Demirok at Westin Doha recently.
Addressing the gathering, the outgoing Turkish envoy said, “Qatar and Turkey have close relations in the political field. We are very keen on strengthening our relations further in the field of culture as well. I foresee a very important role being played by Yunus Emre Doha Centre in the days to come as it holds cultural events promoting Turkish culture.” In this context, he pointed out the successful Turkey-Qatar Cultural Year in 2015, under which over 40 different cultural activities were held showcasing the cultural richness and diversity of Turkey. “No wonder Turkey has turned out to be one of the most loved tourist destinations among Qatari holiday makers,” the Turkish envoy said.
“As a result of our consistent endeavour to promote Turkish culture here in Qatar, we hosted around 40,000 Qatari tourists in Turkey last year. With the establishment the Yunus Emre Doha Centre, the responsibility of promoting Turkish culture in Qatar will rest upon this institute and the Turkish Embassy will extend support in all their future endeavours.
“Qatar and Turkey enjoy a long history of friendship and common cultural roots that make it an apt time to unravel the secrets of our shared heritage.
I believe Yunus Emre will work towards strengthening our historic cultural ties even more aggressively. And a step in this direction is already visible through the Turkish language learning centre at the institute since October this year,” he added.
“I am very sure that Yunus Emre Centre will not merely restrict itself to teaching Turkish language but rather expand its operations to many different facets of our culture and endeavour to showcase our diversity before our Qatari brothers and sisters,” he said.
Besides the official engagement, the evening was turned into a memorable gourmet night by well-known Turkish chef Hasan Korkmaz, who was flown from Turkey especially to delight the guests and display his culinary magic by preparing an authentic Turkish buffet that included around 100 items.
Chef Korkmaz is the captain of the Turkish National Culinary team and also a certified judge for the World Association of Culinary Society. He is a highly accomplished culinary perfectionist with 19 years of diverse experience as an executive chef in various chains of hotels, resorts and luxury hotels.
When asked about the secret of his cooking, he replied in one word: Patience. According to him, slow cooking is considered to be most healthy way of preparing food.
The dish absorbs the flavours of the ingredients, thus, making it very healthy and tasty.
“That is the thumb rule of my cooking,” Korkmaz replied.
“Contrary to slow cooking is fast food, which we all know is scientifically proven to be unhealthy and promotes obesity. Besides, Turkish sweets are well known and are must during the Ramadan. I have prepared about 15 different kinds of desserts today and I hope they are liked by the guests,” Korkmaz said.
Talking about desserts, the chef said, “Almost everybody knows of our baklawa. In today’s menu, another item worth tasting is the Turkish Kazandibi, which is made of milk, cream, vanilla and sugar and it tastes heavenly,” he said.
Rightly so, food can be a very important cultural element in bringing people closer and spreading the message of peace.
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