The streets of Paterson, N.J., which has a large Turkish population, were the scene of celebrations of the seventh edition of the Turkish Day and Festival. The festival, which was attended by Nellie Pou, a senator in the New Jersey State Senate, and Turkey’s Consul General in New York Levent Bilgen, was arranged by the Paterson/Clifton Turkish American Day Parade and Festival Foundation and by the Federation of Turkish American Associations (TADF).
Delivering an opening speech to the crowd, Bilgen underlined that Turkish Americans have in recent decades started to take the place they merit in American society, expressing his pride about this.
During his address TADF President Ali Çınar invited Turks to a parade celebrating Turks in America that will take place on May 19 in Manhattan.
Awards for Turkish Language Olympics
Meanwhile on Sunday, an awards ceremony by Turkish Cultural Center in New York was held for finalists of the 5th International Turkish Language Olympics.
The ceremony attracted a large group of Turks and Americans. Following the start of the ceremony, many people continued to wait outside the hall to be let inside.
The top three students in eight separate categories, including Turkish singing, poetry and folklore, who emerged as winners after competitions between a total of 1,000 students from 40 schools throughout six states, received their awards.
Brooklyn’s Mayor Marty Markowitz, known as being Turkish-friendly, also attended the ceremony. The opening speech was delivered by Zafer Akın, head of the Turkish Cultural Center’s (TCC) New York branch.
“Today we will witness how all these American students have succeeded in learning Turkish,” said Markowitz during his address, adding that Turkey plays a more active role in global affairs day by day and is seeing a significant improvement in its economy.