Turkish Cypriots living in Melbourne, Australia celebrated the 70th anniversary of their arrival with a festival attended by thousands of people.
To celebrate the arrival of Turkish Cypriots to Australia, a festival was held at the Sunshine Mosque in Melbourne’s Sunshine neighbourhood.
Turkey’s Melbourne Consul General Mehmet Küçüksakall, TRNC Melbourne Honorary Consul Hasan Sayar, Turkish origin MPs Nazlı Suleiman, deputies representing governing and opposition parties, as well as thousands of people took part.
The Turkish Mehter Team’s show attracted was a great draw at the festival, where traditional Cypriot cuisine as well as live music and folk shows were featured.
TRNC Melbourne Honorary Consul Sayar told an AA News Agency correspondent that 70 years ago Turkish Cypriots set foot on the continent and that a Turkish identity began to form in Australia.
Sami Kemal, one of the 12 Turks who came to Australia for the first time, told of their arrival to Australia after a 36-day journey on an Egyptian-flagged ship. Kemal said that he had a happy life with his children and his grandfather in Melbourne.
Rabia Ibrahim said that he had been living in Melbourne for 67 years and that he had brought them to this country three years after his father immigrated to Australia. “My father found this country and brought us here. I am very pleased that we have lived a beautiful life in Australia.”
The festival continues with concerts by artists and musical groups from the TRNC and will end with a nightly fireworks display.