Turkish Student Association hosts night of food, music

By Natalie Hansford, Contributing Writer

A collaborative night filled with aromas of authentic Turkish cuisine and spirited music provided a welcoming environment for students in NYU’s community to convene. Taste of Turkey showcased the partnership with the Turkish Student Association and Embrace Relief organization on Sept. 25 in Kimmel 405.

School of Professional Studies junior and treasurer of the Turkish Student Association Safiye Embel said he wanted the event to enrich both Turkish and non-Turkish students’ understanding of Turkish traditions.

“Turkish culture is rich and very diverse,” Embel said. “We want to build bridges with other cultures. We also want to create a space for Turkish people to know and help each other.”

The event consisted of traditional Turkish cuisine, including baklava and a bagel-like sesame bread known as simit, which was handmade by club members. While eating, guests mingled at dining tables and sat in an Ottoman styled corner, as videos showcased Turkey in the background.

While the event’s main focus was to inform students about Turkish culture, the club also hoped to raise funds for a water well they sponsor in Kenya.The Turkish Student Association is sponsoring a water well in Kenya and the club wishes to reach its $2,500 goal.

Donations were accepted the entire night, and the box was often found at the calligraphy table.  Columbia student and artist Omer Yatkin, who headed the calligraphy booth, had been commissioned by the club for his talents. Despite not being part of the NYU community, Yatkin was a fan of the event – especially the food – and spoke highly of the community-oriented message of the club.

“It’s an impressive event, and certainly an important one. It’s good to know different people from your community,” Yatkin said.

As the celebration ended, Embel encouraged the crowd to enjoy the food, dance to the music, take photos in traditional Turkish dress and most importantly, continue bonding over the culture that brought everyone together.

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