ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Saving Turkey's lost cultures, forgotten tastes and abandoned people

Culinary anthropologist Musa Dagdeviren on giving hope to the vulnerable

Turkish chef Musa Dagdeviren joins local women in Senkoy, a town in Hatay province in Turkey's southeast, who bake bread similar to pita in a tandoor. (Photo by Engin Tokur)

TOKYO -- As a nine-year-old boy in the 1960s in the Kurdish quarter of Nizip, an Anatolian town 157 kilometers from the Turkish-Syrian border, Musa Dagdeviren was mesmerized by the eccentric food traditions of the Turkoman, Arab, Kurdish, Armenian and Turkish communities living, feasting, laughing, and crying side by side in his hometown.

One custom even involved some kind of black magic. "In large gatherings of women cooking, the wife would spit in the cig kofte (raw meatballs) that she had prepared for her husband so that he wouldn't turn his eyes to other women," chuckles Musa.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more