Many guests including foreign diplomats and press members got a taste of Turkish cuisine in New York on Monday.
Organized by the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Consulate General in New York to mark "Turkish Cuisine Week," the event took place at the Türkevi Center, or Turkish House, in Manhattan.
The guests were offered meals prepared by famous Turkish chef İsmet Saz. The event also featured folk dances by the Izmir Dance Art Group.
Speaking at the opening of the event, Turkey's U.S. Ambassador Hasan Murat Mercan said gastro-diplomacy is one of the leading soft powers of nations and also a strong representative of a nation's culture and identity.
Stating that the event aims to create awareness about the historical and cultural past of Turkish cuisine, Mercan said Turkey has a rich cuisine from its north to south and its east to west.
Consul General Reyhan Özgür, for his part, praised Turkish cuisine, which he said has tastes from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Black Sea, the Balkans and Central Anatolia.
Turkish cuisine is based on healthy recipes and serves as an "antidote" to ready-to-eat meals, said Özgür.
Led by Turkey's first lady Emine Erdoğan, Turkish Cuisine Week is organized under the auspices of the Turkish Presidency and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Held for the first time this year from May 21-27, Turkish Cuisine Week aims to showcase Turkish dishes "with all their original qualities as the crown of our tables," according to the presidency.
"During Turkish Cuisine Week, meals prepared with creative presentations by Turkey's world-famous cooks will be offered to visitors in their own geography, with hospitality held in different countries."