Yunus Emre Institute is carrying out a collaboration with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to promote the Turkish culture in the USA. The first of the program series within the scope of the project was delivered by Gizem Şalcıgil White, who works to increase the recognition of the Turkish coffee culture worldwide.
Yunus Emre Institute initiated a cultural collaboration with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL), Turkish Language Program in the USA. A large number of events will be organized in relation to the Turkish culture within the scope of the cultural collaboration supported by the US Department of Education, Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program.
The first of the event series regarding the promotion of the Turkish culture was held on February 23, 2021 by Gizem Şalcıgil White, who organizes events to promote the Turkish coffee. The event was held at Zoom, a social media platform, and the Turkish Coffee Lady Gizem Şalcıgil White, who organizes tours with the Travelling Turkish Coffeehouse to introduce the Turkish coffee to the world, delivered quite a comprehensive and enjoyable presentation about the culture and history of the Turkish coffee.
NEW EVENTS WILL BE ORGANIZED WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE CULTURAL COLLABORATION
Bülent Üçpunar, Yunus Emre Institute’s Director of Strategic Development and Corporate Communications, gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the program. Üçpunar expressed the following in his speech:
"Yunus Emre Institute is a foundation that organizes events to promote the Turkish language and culture abroad. We have cultural centers all around the world. In addition, we support the departments and platforms that teach Turkish and collaborate with them in promoting the Turkish culture. We are also pleased to collaborate with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Turkish Language Program. I hope we further this collaboration in areas such as the Turkish cinema, Turkish literature and Turkish music.
A 500-YEAR JOURNEY: TURKISH COFFEE CULTURE
Gizem Şalcıgil White first mentioned the story of introduction of the Turkish coffee in the Ottoman lands in her presentation about the 500-year Turkish coffee culture. Şalcıgil also stated that the Turkish coffee is included in many traditions such as asking for a girl's hand in marriage and has an important place in the Turkish lifestyle.
TURKISH COFFEE FROM A TO Z
Throughout the presentation, Şalcıgil mentioned subjects such as the Turkish coffee boiling technique, the first coffee brewing technique in the world, the development of the Turkish coffee culture in the Ottoman Empire since the 16th century, the place of the Turkish coffee in the gastrodiplomacy, and the grinding and boiling techniques of the Turkish coffee.
IN THE UNESCO INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE LIST
Şalcıgil mentioned that the Turkish coffee has been the symbol of peace and hospitality for centuries and stated that the first coffeehouse on the Ottoman lands was opened in 1554.
The first coffeehouse was opened in 1554 on the Ottoman lands, where the first coffee was brewed.
Şalcıgil mentioned that the coffeehouses were places in which subjects such as science, religion, politics and philosophy were discussed, and reminded that the Turkish coffee culture was in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
ONE OF A KIND FROM ITS COFFEE POT TO ITS CUPS
Şalcıgil mentioned that the Turkish coffee was made from the most finely grinded coffee beans and that it had finer grains than the coffee used in the famous Italian espresso.
Şalcıgil said that features such as fine grinding, rich aroma, foam and pleasant smell, boiling technique and the intensity of the taste that remain in the mouth are the things that made the Turkish coffee unique.
She stated that the base of the coffee pots used for boiling the coffee were made larger in order to preserve the balance, and the narrow neck of the pot was preferred for having more foam and making it easier to pour the coffee into cups.
Şalcıgil mentioned that the coffee beans were obtained from regions such as Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Honduras, Sumatra and that the grinded beans from each region had different tastes. Şalcıgil said that there were two basic coffee types called Arabica and Robusta and explained almost all coffee brewing techniques in the world.
A CULTURE THAT IS ALIVE THROUGH ITS IDIOMS
Şalcıgil mentioned that there were special servants in the palace who just boiled coffee and explained the important idioms in the Turkish culture that included coffee, such as "A cup of bitter coffee is remembered for 40 years".
MANNERS FOR HOSTING GUESTS AND ETIQUETTE
Şalcıgil also mentioned the Turkish coffee was served to the arriving guests and helped the host understand the hungriness level of the guests. She explained that if the guest first drank the water that was served with the coffee, it meant that the guest was hungry and the host prepared food for the guest without asking and emphasized that the Turkish coffee was one of the elements that ensured the etiquette in hospitality.
During the questions and answers section of the program, which attracted great deal of attention, the participants asked very colorful questions to satisfy their curiosity about the Turkish coffee culture. Şalcıgil answered the questions of the participants and explained in detail how a delicious coffee with a lot of foam was boiled and served in her own kitchen.
THE TURKISH CULTURE WILL BE PROMOTED WITH EXCITING EVENTS
Other events about the Turkish culture, language, art and literature will be organized within the scope of the cultural collaboration between Yunus Emre Institute and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
AWARD WINNING REPRESENTATIVE OF THE TURKISH COFFEE CULTURE
The Turkish entrepreneur Gizem Şalcıgil White, who promotes the Turkish coffee culture in the USA and Europe with her venture called the Turkish Coffee Lady, initiated in the USA in 2009, has embarked on a 4-year journey with the Travelling Turkish Coffeehouse. Şalcıgil White organizes events all around the world to promote the Turkish coffee and creates bridges of peace between the cultures with the Turkish coffee. Şalcıgil received many awards. She received the Spirit of Humanity Award from the Bridge to Turkey Fund, established in 2012 by the Turkish people living in the United States of America, the Cultural Diplomacy Project of the Year Award from the Digital Diplomacy Review in December 2013, and ... Award in February 2014 from the Istanbul Tourist Guides Union for her Turkish Coffee Truck project.