Turkish Heritage on Display at the 2021 DC Turkish Festival (photos)


The rich culture of Turkey was on full display at the 2021 DC Turkish Festival on Sunday, Oct. 3 at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront in Washington, D.C.

It was the 19th Annual Edition of the popular Festival whose aim is to promote cultural understanding and friendship between the Turkish American community and other communities in the DC Metro area. From the reaction of the packed crowd, it was mission accomplished.

The celebration offered “a full day of free activities ranging from breathtaking live performances and cultural exhibits to arts and crafts activities for children and adults, delicious Turkish cuisine, famous Turkish coffee and fortune reading and a bustling bazaar.” It was organized, delivered, and financed by the Turkish American community and businesses in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.

The Turkish Festival has grown substantially from it’s modest beginnings at Cabin John Park in Maryland in 2002. In 2004, it moved to the Freedom Plaza area in the District and became an instant success, attracting over 20,000 visitors every year. In 2009, the Festival for the first time received a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for its contribution to the city’s ethnic, cultural and religious diversity.

Sadly last year’s Festival had to be cancelled due to the COVID emergency. This year, for logistical reasons, the Festival’s organizing group decided to move it to the The Wharf DC from its traditional location on Pennsylvania Ave. “We are extremely happy with the turn out and positive reception from the festival-goers. We think that the comeback of this award-winning festival lived up to the expectations if not exceeded it” remarked Demet Cabbar, a Festival organizer and a founding member of the Kardelen Turkish Dance Ensemble. Other participating local groups included the Nomad Dancers and the Silk Road Dance Company. These were complemented by the MAYT dance group from Ankara, Turkey.

View a slideshow of Jeff Malet’s photos from the 2021 DC Turkish Festival from The Wharf in Washington D.C. by clicking on the photo icons below.

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