Zoo Lake’s beautiful trees and green grass had an extra touch of magic on Sunday 13 March.

The second Turkish festival was held here and Vuvuzela had to go see what the hype was about. The festival showcased a range of traditional Turkish music, dance, band performances and various examples of Turkish food. The queues were long and the sun was hot, but it was all well worth the wait.

Turkish dancers welcome festival goers. Photo: Mignionette de Bruin

The homemade food looked good and tasted even better. The baklava,bisi (bread dish similar to vetkoek), sϋtlac (rice pudding) and the Turkish coffee were all equally delicious.

The entertainment was traditional Turkish and included some beautiful Mozambican dancers and singers. There were also stalls featuring carpets, clothes and ebru (paper marbling). Ticketholders also stood a chance to win trips to Turkey.

According to the festival’s website it aims to “demonstrate the potential of Turkey in terms of tourism, food, culture and music by displaying samples”. They lived up to their goal because the atmosphere made it feel like you were walking on the streets of Turkey.

The festival was organised by four NGOs namely, South African Turkish Business Association (SATBA), Turquoise Harmony Institute, (THI), Horizon Education Trust (HETR) and Fountain Education Trust (FET). These organisations were established by the Turkish people in South Africa to give back to the community.

SATBA said last year’s festival was on a smaller scale and about 5 000 people attended; while they were expecting around 15 000 people to attend this year.