Speech by Ambassador N.Murat Ersavcı for the inauguration of the Flanders Week of the Taste

N.Murat Ersavcı 12.11.2009
Madam Minister,
Beste gasten,
Members of the City Council of Ghent,
Değerli Konuklar,
Distinguished guests, Dames en Heeren,

It is a privilege and a great pleasure to participate to the opening ceremony of the Week of Taste in Flanders.

As you may know, I have been appointed as Turkey’s Ambassador to Belgium very recently. I have submitted my Credentials to His Majesty the King on October 27th. This is our first trip to the beautiful city of Ghent with my wife.

First, I would like to thank the Flemish Ministry of Culture for choosing Turkey as guest of honor to this year’s edition of the Week of the Taste.

Thousands of years of different cultures involving peoples who settled or passed through Anatolia left their own stamp on Turkey’s culinary traditions and dishes. In fact, imperial Ottoman cuisine was the evolved synthesis of the influences of Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Our land displays no less diversity, with striking climatic variations from North to South and East to West which provide an additional source of abundance.

Culinary art also reflects the traditions of a community. All our social events and celebrations, involve food. Hence it is an instrument for peace and harmony. So what better reason for us to gather here today!

We are delighted of the way the Week of the Taste is able to reach large numbers of people and of the possibilities of interaction it creates between the Turkish Community and the rest of the Belgian population. The Turkish community has indeed been very active in preparing culinary events.

I would like to pay tribute to this active involvement, often led by Belgian politicians of Turkish origin and Turkish associations. Our embassy has been very pleased to work on the preparation on this events with Flemish authorities and with FARO. I would like to thank Turkish Airlines for providing us with free airplane tickets for most of our cooks and academicians.

I also would like to thank those who, on the Turkish side, have contributed voluntarily a great deal of time and energy to the preparation of these events, especially The City of Gaziantep, starting with his mayor, Mr. Asım Güzelbey, who has sent in a large team. Mrs. Zeynep Goğüş, who organized Gaziantep’s involvement in the first place, Mr. Yaşar Tümbaş, who contributed very actively in the organization of their trip, the Turkse Unie, who sponsored their trip.

Our main Turkish partner in this event has been TAF, the Federation of All Chefs, who organized the arrival of many of our cooks. We are thankful to them and to everyone else who worked on Turkey’s participation in the Week of the Taste.

I would like to conclude my remarks with a light-hearted Turkish maxim.

“Here is the sweet, here is the plate, now get on and eat!”

Thank you.