The Edmond Sun

Opinion

April 29, 2013

Turkish festival highlights culture in Oklahoma

OKLA. CITY — Several weeks ago young men in bright red Turkish historical costumes stood on Classen Boulevard in the MidCity area and welcomed people to the Turkish Festival at the Raindrop Foundation on that thoroughfare.  In the main hall of the foundation building a line of smiling women of Turkish heritage who now live in the Oklahoma City area made a variety of Turkish and Mediterranean foods that were dispensed to festival patrons. The women who were preparing the Turkish pastry toward the end of the line were working with elongated thin rolling pins and it was explained that those are used in Turkish cooking.

A tall young man in a dark blue robe and a brown turban explained that he was dressed as the Turkish Sultan. The main hallway featured posters of famous sites in Turkey, including the Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque that are located in the Turkish capital of Istanbul. Other posters told of the history of the Turkish Empire and how it at one time included the Middle East and sizable portions of both Europe and Asia.

Several different exhibits were made available throughout the day, and one of the more popular ones  demonstrated the Turkish art form that has become known in English as water marbling. It consists of placing bright colors of paint in a tray of water and stirring them and then placing a page of newsprint in the tray. The paint adheres to the newsprint and when it is removed from the tray it is transformed into a page of bright colors. The artist that presided over that exhibit gave the works of art that resulted from it to the patrons who were present.

Several Turkish artists who work in ceramics, including  one, Morad Jasim, who is based in Houston, but sells his work primarily in Turkey and the Middle East, offered their work for sale at the event. Jasim explained that  his ceramics, which feature birds, flowers and sailing vessels, are hand-painted by him.    

A Turkish woman who now lives in Edmond, Sevim Cumpian, offered samples of the Turkish cheese that she  offers for sale. Cumpian explained that she is a native of Turkey who met her American husband when he was stationed at an American Air Force Base in the Turkish Republic. She recently began to make and sell the cheese out of her home, and that she is grateful to the people of Edmond for the warm welcome that she has received from them.

Many  different groups of Turkish dancers in traditional costumes performed as well, and many of the attendees used cell phone cameras to capture images of them. There also was a solo performance by a young man who was identified as a whirling dervish. A brief film was shown before he began his performance explained that whirling dervishes are based primarily in Turkey, and are part of the Sufi tradition of Islam that stresses the connection of all people and faiths to God. They dance to celebrate that connection. The film included footage of Muslims, Jews, Christians and Buddhists at prayer. He whirling dervish answered questions about his tradition from patrons after he completed his dancing.

Orhan Kucukosman of the Raindrop Foundation reported that close to 3,000 people attended the festival and that it is the fourth year that it has been held. Kucukosman also thanked the Kirkpatrick Foundation for its support of the event and said that that foundation’s generosity assisted in bringing the artists to Oklahoma City for the festival.

WILLIAM F. O’BRIEN is a retired Oklahoma City attorney.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Why poverty across the world matters to Americans

    A child starving in South Sudan should matter to Americans. That was the message delivered last week by Nancy Lindborg, whose job at the U.S. Agency for International Development is to lead a federal bureau spreading democracy and humanitarian assistance across the world.
    That world has reached a critical danger zone, with three high-level crises combining military conflict with humanitarian catastrophes affecting millions of innocents in Syria, the South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
    But back to that child.

    April 18, 2014

  • Government leadership complicit in overfilling prisons

    One of the thorniest problems facing any society is the question of what to do with transgressors. Obviously, the more complicated a culture becomes, the more factors come into play in trying to figure out what to do with those who choose not to “play by the rules.”

    April 18, 2014

  • My best days are ones normal people take for granted

    It is a weekend for working around the house. My fiancee, Erin, and I have the baby’s room to paint and some IKEA furniture to assemble. I roll out of bed early — 10:30 — and get into my wheelchair. Erin is already making coffee in the kitchen.
    “I started the first wall,” she says. “I love that gray.” Erin never bugs me about sleeping late. For a few months after I was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, I often slept 15 hours a day. The doctors said my body needed to heal. It must still be healing because I hardly ever see 8 a.m. anymore.

    April 18, 2014

  • Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

    A bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly.

    April 18, 2014

  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

    This coming Friday, to “celebrate Earth Day,” the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. “Bears” is about grizzly bears.
    The trailer says, “From DisneyNature comes a story that all parents share. About the love, the joy, the struggle and the strength it takes to raise a family.”
    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency.
    The dispute presents two very serious questions. Was the program consistent with American values and did it produce valuable intelligence? And is effective congressional oversight of secret activities possible in our democracy?

    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, is posting on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals billed the program for in 2012, and how much they were paid.
    This new trove of data, which covers 880,000 health professionals, adds to a growing body of information available to patients who don’t want to leave choosing a doctor to chance. But to put that information to good use, consumers need to be aware of what is available, what’s missing and how to interpret it.

    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

    Hopefully we agree it should be a fundamental right to voice criticism of any religion you wish. And you should have the right to sing the praises of any religion you choose. If criticism of religion is unjust, feel free to make your best argument to prove it. If criticism is just, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and embrace it. If songs of praise are merited, feel free to join in. If not, feel free to ignore them. But no American should participate in curbing free speech just because expression of religious views makes someone uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2014

Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results