The Türkiye and New Zealand Cultural Society recently had the honour of hosting an incredible event, one that celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye. It was a night which left attendees with lasting memories filled with joy, cultural enrichment, and some truly special connections.
This memorable gathering took place on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at the exquisite Tamaki Yacht Club in Auckland. The room was vibrant with people, all dressed elegantly and flashing genuine smiles, coming together to celebrate Türkiye’s rich history and culture in a way that left a lasting impression.
A special shoutout goes to the members of the local iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, led by Tumai, who added an extra layer of significance to our celebration with a heartfelt karakia, bestowing a sense of blessing upon our event. Tumai’s warm words added a spiritual dimension to the evening, signifying the beautiful harmony between indigenous Māori culture and Turkish heritage.
Our President, Ayla Yenidoğan, extended a warm welcome to our guests with a speech that not only highlighted our society’s history and mission but also emphasized the strong sense of community that brings us together.
We were also fortunate to have the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Wellington, Mrs. Ömür Ünsay, who generously supported our event. In her speech, she expressed the pride of being both Turkish and New Zealander as the children of the Republic of Türkiye.
We’re a close-knit community of people with Turkish heritage living in New Zealand, bonded by shared values, cultural traditions, and a strong sense of belonging. Our society is built on principles of mutual respect, support, and empowerment, encouraging every member to contribute their unique talents and ideas. Our society’s beginnings sprouted from the need to unite and support one another.
Our journey, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the beautiful landscapes of Aotearoa, is a story of adaptation, cultural exchange, and building bridges across continents. We were welcomed with open arms by Aotearoa, and in return, we embraced this land as our second home. As we celebrate this significant milestone, let’s remember the value of unity, diversity, and the lasting bonds that bring our community together.
“An Evening to Remember” was a special occasion that celebrated a momentous event in Türkiye’s 100 years of history. Türkiye and New Zealand Cultural Society extends its heartfelt gratitude to all who attended and contributed to the success of this event. Here’s to the next century of strength, friendship, and shared cultural pride!