Turkish Restaurant Week, an annual celebration of Turkish cuisine organized by the American-Turkish Association of Washington DC (ATA-DC), kicked off on Friday. 

The 10th edition of the annual event will not be limited to one week this year and runs through Oct. 25, during which the Turkish restaurants in the DMV area (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) will offer all sorts of Turkish delicacies for foodies.

The participating restaurants include Istanbul Grill and Meze restaurants, with the full list available at https://turkishrestaurantweekdc.org.

According to the event website, diners can enjoy rich and authentic cuisine in a special brunch and three-course prix fixe lunch – both for $22 – or a three-course prix fixe dinner for $35 or $55.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the phone, Mert Arikan, head of Turkish Restaurant Week, said the event aims to promote Turkish food and culture among American people in the DMV area.

He said the coronavirus pandemic has put many businesses in trouble across the US and such events could give a boost to local food businesses.

Arikan urged members of the Turkish-American community to support the initiative and give their American fellows a taste of Turkish hospitality.

“When people discourage, we encourage. When people boycott, we support. When people divide, we unite under the wings of Turkish hospitality,” he said.

Owners of the participating restaurants are also excited for the event, hoping that it will help them make a mark and bring their food to a wider range of people.

Turgut Yigit, the owner of Virginia-based Istanbul Grill, said the pandemic impacted his business too and the two-week event will draw many food lovers.

“Apart from promoting Turkish cuisine, this year’s event will bring some financial comfort to many of my fellow restaurant owners,” said Yigit.

Meze Restaurant has been serving the Turkish community and Americans in Washington since 2001.

“This event will help us reach more people. I believe we will have a good one,” said Suleyman Gunes, Meze’s owner.

Specially priced family-style to-go dinner meals will also be available throughout the event.

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