February 24, 2016

Pic-6-199x300There was nothing grand, nor too Turkish about the Port Grand Turkish Festival. Held from February 19 to 21 at Port Grand in Karachi, the Facebook page for the event clearly stated that, “Port Grand will be dressed in spectacular Turkish themes, with exhibits that will be enabled by a large contingent of artists, performers and culinary specialists all specially flown in from Turkey to mesmerize the audience.”

Pic-4-300x199However, the event was as local as it could get. There was hardly any Turkish food to be seen anywhere, instead stalls of OPTP, Burger King and fried samosas were set up. No Turkish coffee but chai was being sold. At the entrance, one was greeted by obviously local men dressed as dervishes in white robes and with red caps. People expressed their disappointment on the event’s official Facebook page.

Pic-2-388x584 (1)The only element of Turkey was a shop selling colourful wall hangings and decorative lights as well as painted Turkish pottery. Doner Kebabs were also available at a stall. There was a shop selling beautiful paintings of dervishes and famous Turkish sites but the artist sitting outside was drawing sketches of General Raheel Shareef and Shahid Afridi! The entry fee for the festival for Rs. 500 per individual with some even demanding a reimbursement!

Pictures were later shared of Turkish musical performers but as the event started at 5 p.m. and went on till midnight, people who went in the first half were deprived of the performances as backstage work was in process at that time and some of the performances were at night time only.