Adana marks April with Orange Blossom Carnival
ADANA - Hürriyet Daily News
The parade and the opening event of the carnival brought many celebrities together with their local compatriots with plenty of events.Leaving behind a gloomy Istanbul, a brief voyage brings one to the sparkling south and a city suffused with a magical scent and bedecked in a carpet of orange. Accompanied by a spring breeze blowing into the heart of the Mediterranean, the nearly 1.5-hour journey ends up in a land welcoming its visitors with green trees, clear blue sky and warm weather.
Hosting the first edition of a unique carnival named after its symbolic orange trees, Turkey’s close but oft-misread city of Adana and its earnest locals have greeted outsiders for 10 days of events with programs narrating the city’s history and culture amid a message of peace.
Explaining the catalyst behind the “Orange Blossom Carnival” between April 13 and 23 in Adana as an “labor of love” for telling the rarely known story of the city and orange blossoms Ali Haydar Bozkurt, the chair and the CEO of Toyota Turkey, one of the sponsors, said the event was organized under the motto of “In Adana, in April” during the “Orange Blossom Season” as it has been dubbed by locals. Further explaining the symbolism of orange blossoms in Adana, Bozkurt, himself a passionate Adana-born son who first came up with the idea of the carnival, said: “When we were kids, the orange gardens used to be near to the city center and when the night came, the breeze used to bring the scent of the gardens to the city’s streets, waving through the faces of its locals. The orange gardens in the city center no longer exist, but you still can find the same scent.”
According to Bozkurt, the carnival in Adana, therefore, will grant many visitors a chance to experience an “astonishing” orange encounter.
Indeed, through the help of the carnival, the city showed that it is much different than the decades-old stereotype that was used to depict it for years. The urban myths about the city and its locals have perhaps dissipated in the last couple of years, and the city’s vitality doesn’t solely come from its economic vitality, but also its historical, cultural, artistic and touristic riches.
Sitting between sea and mountains
Sitting between the skirts of the Taurus Mountains and the northeastern edge of Mediterranean in the heart of agricultural hub of the Çukurova (Cilicia) region, Adana offers opportunities in its coastal areas for those seeking an alternative route other than Turkey’s well-known southern tourism spots amid the snow-high mountains overlooking them.
The hot weather, with unbearably high temperatures during July and August, leaves its mark on easily angered but still-tolerant locals as well as the cuisine, which carries heavy traces of Syrian food due to the significant number of locals whose ancestors migrated to Anatolia from western Syria on the eve of the establishment of modern Turkey. The visitors were not only introduced to Adana’s well-know kebab, but also the local “circle” and “bici bici” deserts, the fermented carrot drink “şalgam” and many other cuisines and side dishes.
Noting the wide range of leading figures in the artistic, cultural, business, publishing and sports worlds, Azim Öztürk, the mayor of Seyhan (Sarus) district, explained to the Daily News that because attempts to discover Adana have so far failed, the Orange Blossom Carnival will further boost the development of a brand for the city.
Adana Gov Coş, (top L), Toyota CEO Bozkurt
(R) and Seyhan Mayor Öztürk starts the
Orange Blossom Carnival with the opening
bell after a colorful parade.
The parade and the opening event of the carnival brought many celebrities together with their local compatriots with plenty of events. In addition to many exhibits, concerts and other street shows, the locals put the name of Adana into the Guinness Record Book by crafting the world’s largest confetti mosaic, with 17,800 pieces of confetti measuring nearly 11,111 meters, in honor of peace.
Reflecting orange blossoms’ nature of being able to bear fruit while still blossoming, Adana, its locals and the organizers were all in a similar rush for the next carnival during the next “Orange Blossom Season” so that they can greet visitors that would like to have another glimpse at the “orange” fancy along with many other newcomers.