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Anatolian festival kicks off next week

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Previous years have seen widespread attendance and some colourful scenes

The 11th annual Anatolian Culture Festival is to be held over an extended weekend beginning 11 May in North London’s Clissold Park.

The festival has made a name for itself as an environment where traditional Turkish values could be conveyed to younger generations. Theatre, picnics and music all dominate the proceedings.

The big event will be on Saturday 13 May, when dignitaries and local politicians will attend. It will run until 15 May.

In previous years, organisers have said the festival had been held for eight consecutive years with this in mind and thanks all private and official organisations for their support.

Previous years have seen widespread attendance and some colourful scenes

The widely attended events particularly attract interest from local schools and have seen as many as 35 stalls erected. They offer a range of different samples of Anatolian culture, many popular with families. The food on offer was wide and varied, including lamb shish, doner and tantuni kebabs, alongside more traditional Anatolian home cooking.

Also on display were some fine examples of handiwork, painting and calligraphy.

Alongside a traditional Bursa Mehter performance, the visiting children have in previous years had the opportunity to watch Nasreddin Hodja and Ibish sketches, as well as the a shadow puppet Karagöz-Hacivat show.

Perhaps the most interest of all was generated by the olive oil wrestling tournament, in which professional wrestlers from the Turkish Wrestling Federation competed, although it is not clear yet if this will be repeated this year.

Kırkpınar wrestlers Fatih Sultan Mehmet Alabacak, Hakkı Ceylan, İsmet Karabulut and Kemal Kurt have attended in previous years, with Fatih Sultan Mehmet Alabacak becoming London victor.