New York Goes Turkish

The World's oldest Military Band, Mehteran
By Cemil Ozyurt -
Probably most New Yorkers are getting tired of national parades on Madison or Fifth Avenue. Closed streets, blocked pedestrian walkways might make some of them angry. Every other weekend some ethnic communities march on the streets of Gotham City and only a few them get attention from national press, such as the Irish, Israeli, or Puerto Rican Parades. To get more attention from the national press and public for the Turkish Parade, Turks have made some new attractions for this year.
Maybe most New Yorkers even don't know it, but this is the 32nd year of the celebration of the Turkish Parade on New York's streets on May 18th. The Parade will begin at 56th Street and Madison Avenue and will march down to the Festival area which is located at Dag Hammarskjold Park on 47th Street between 1st  and 2nd Avenue.

The parade is organized by Federation of Turkish American Associations, which is the oldest umbrella organization for Turkish American associations, established in 1956, and they bring to the City Mehter Band, the world's oldest military band with 80 members from all the way from Bursa, the first capital of Ottoman Empire, the forerunner of modern Turkey.

If New Yorkers do not want to watch the oldest army band on the street, Turks have another attraction for them. For the first time ever Turkish Restaurant Week will be organized between May 13 to May 20th and 25 Turkish restaurants will be participating in the New York metropolitan area. The restaurants will give their customers 15 percent off  during the week and New Yorkers will get a chance to taste Turkish food if they haven't done so yet.

Brooklyn will also get a taste of the Turkish Culture as the FTAA will be organizing the “Brooklyn Turkish Cultural Celebration” event on Thursday, May 16th starting at 5PM at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Ali Cinar, President of the Federation of Turkish American Associations, says Turkish Americans enrich New York's city culture and "We just want to show how impressive cultural values we have," he adds. Mr Cinar, 37-year-old Wall Street professional, explains that this is the first time they will celebrate Turkish heritage the whole month of May. The Turkish Parade and Restaurant Week are not the only events, Turkish Americans will have a day event at 100 year-old Grand Central on May 14th as well. The theme of the event is going to be "Grand Bazaar to Grand Central". The Grand Bazaar, the oldest mall in the world, in Istanbul will be carried to Grand Central with Turkish music, dances and foods and Turkish culture will fill the Grand Central Vanderbilt Hall during the day. "We are part of community and want to show Americans what we have and share with them those nice values," Cinar says.

- Turkish Restaurant Week, May 13th-20th
- Grand Bazaar to Grand Central, May 14th, 9am-7.00pm - Grand Central Vanderbilt Hall
- Brooklyn Turkish Cultural Celebration, Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York, May 16th - 5.30pm
- Turkish Parade on Madison Avenue, May 18th - 12.00pm
For more information
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07