On Monday morning, a small group of guests gathered at the residence of the Turkish Ambassador Niyazi Evren Akyol and his wife, Mme. Indri Akyol, for a special breakfast event in celebration of the centenary of the Republic of Türkiye.

The occasion was also an opportunity to learn about the rich traditions and cultural significance of the traditional Turkish breakfast known as “kahvaltı.”

“Breakfast is not just a meal in Turkey, it is a social event,” explained Ambassador Akyol. “It is a time for family and friends to come together and share food and conversation. We take great pride in our breakfast traditions and the quality of the ingredients we use.”

Ambassador Akyol further shared how the Turkish breakfast is different from the breakfast culture around the world. “In Turkey, we have a very different culture. It is more on the Mediterranean side. It has been influenced by many different cuisines. So, what happens is that breakfast is made with lighter ingredients but with a lot of variety.”

Turkey Ambassador Niyazi Evren Akyol with Mme. Indri Akyol at their residence.

And true enough, we were treated to a lavish spread of traditional Turkish breakfast food including a variety of white cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, breads, jams, butter, as well as eggs cooked in different ways

— hard boiled, sunny side up with meat and scrambled with tomato paste.

“Oh and olives! Olives are very important. Only Turkish people eat olives at breakfast!” Ambassador Akyol said when one guest joked about how Greece also has a variety of olives on its menu.

Turkish tea, which is an integral part of the breakfast ritual, was also served in its traditional tulip-shaped glass.

“In Turkey, tea is king. Coffee is usually taken after lunch, but at a Turkish breakfast, 99 percent of the time, it will be tea, but not in a tea bag,” he said. “And for the sweet side, it’s also very important because you have to have something sweet, and it’s usually jam with butter and honey. Turkey has hundreds, maybe more of different types of honey, so that’s also included.”

The event served not only to bring guests together to enjoy a delicious breakfast but also to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Turkey. From the variety of ingredients used in the breakfast spread to the traditional tea glasses, every aspect of the event captured the essence of Turkey’s unique cultural identity.