People of Balkan origin living in Turkey will gather on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. at Istanbul's Sirkeci Terminal, the place where they first arrived when they migrated to the country, to celebrate their past and to share their hopes for the future.
Starting in 1912, 100 years of Balkan migration saw many immigrants seek new lives in Turkey. To stay in touch with their past, Balkan immigrants gather every year for the event "A Suitcase, a Coffer," organized by the Cultural and Beneficial Association of People from Prizen, Kosovo, at Sirkeci Terminal.
First held in 2008, various events will take place at this year's gathering, including performances by Arif Şentürk, Faruk Yılmaz, Ramazan Güney, Rumeli Ekrem and Rüstem Avcı. Balkan folk dances, plays depicting migrations prepared by Orhan Kurtuldu and featuring tenor Aykut Yılmaz and local dishes will also be part of the event's activities. In addition, traditional Balkan clothing prepared by fashion designer Müesser Kurt will be presented in a fashion show with choreography by Asil Çağıl. The event aims to attract attention to the lives of those affected by migration and also to promote Balkan cultures.
In the event area, a Balkan photography exhibition will be on display in addition to books on Dilek Ünal, Haluk Ecevit, Ramiz Çınar and Salim Nizam written by authors of Balkan origin.
'We should remember migration'
Gülen Aksu Türker, president of the Cultural and Beneficial Association of People from Prizren, Kosovo, stressed that no matter where it is throughout history, migration is a painful memory for all: "Migration is one of the hardest and most painful experiences for societies. We should derive lessons from these events and transfer them to the next generations. We are trying to remember the hardest parts of migration and show it to our children at this event. We have taken on this responsibility and welcome all Balkan immigrants to the event."