Throughout the year, 10,000 Turkish-speaking members celebrate their culture with a Turkish theatre troupe and heritage classes.
There were Turks in Canada as early as the 1880s, but the first large group was made up of students and visitors who applied to stay in the country permanently in the 1950s. The last decade has seen the largest wave, with immigrants coming from Turkey and Cyprus, as well as from the neigh-bouring countries of Yugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Middle East countries.
One of the first Turkish organizations in the city was the Turkish-Canadian Friendship Association, founded in 1964 by a group of Turkish workers from Germany. Located in the Kensington Market area, it was a social club and information centre for new immigrants. In the 1970s, the Turkish community helped reconstruct a mosque on Annette Street. Today, the community owns its own mosque at Pape Avenue and Gerrard Street.
In the mid-1990s, Turkish Canadian Social Services was established to help orientate Canadian Turks to their new country. It provides economic and social support, as well as family services.
Mississauga is home to a large number of Turkish Cypriots. Other members of the community are scattered across Toronto with areas of concentration in Don Mills, Thorncliffe Park, and Downsview. Skilled or semi-skilled tradespeople have furthered industry in the city and Turkish professionals include engineers, doctors, dentists, accountants, and teachers.
Turkish folklore groups participate in various cultural activities in Canada.
THE ANNUAL ANATOLIA BALL with a dinner and dance is organized by the Turkish Culture and Folklore Society of Canada in March.
AN ANNUAL PICNIC is organized by the Turkish Canadian Islamic Heritage Association.
THE GREAT FESTIVAL (KURBAN BAYRAMI) is an important religious event.
NOAH’S PUDDING, Turkish communities world-wide commemorate this event in January each year by the sharing of Noah’s Pudding with neighbours, community groups and the poor. The sharing of Noah’s Pudding reminds us that we must all help each other, regardless of differences in cultural or religious beliefs, because we are all part of one community. Noah’s Pudding is a symbol for different cultures living together in harmony while each preserves their original identities.
National Days for Turkish-speaking people:
CHILDREN’S DAY, April 23.
VICTORY DAY, August 30.
REPUBLIC DAY, October 28, 29.
BIZIM ANADOLU, (www.bizimanadolu.com), newspaper published twice a month.
CANADATURK, (www.canadaturk.ca), newspaper, based in Hamilton.
TURKUAZ TV, OMNI TV, 545 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Saturdays, 9:30 a.m to 10:00 a.m. and Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Host: Haber Bulteni.
CANADIAN TURKMEN CENTRE, (29 Tinton Cres).
CANADIAN TURKISH COMMUNITY CENTRE, (51 Lillac Ave).
CANADIAN TURKISH BUSINESS COUNCIL, (Tel. 905-568-8300 ext. 288, Fax (905) 568-8330, www.ctbc.ca, 5995 Avebury Rd., Suite 900, Mississauga). Promotes and facilitates the flow of bilateral trade between Canada and Turkey.
ITU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, (www.itu.ca, P.O. Box 925, Station F).
THE FEDERATION OF CANADIAN TURKISH ASSOCIATIONS, (Tel. 416-915-2331, Fax 416-369-0515, www.cnturkfed.org, 1 Yonge St., Suite 1801). Contact: Ozdemir Asli
TORONTO TURKISH FESTIVAL, (Tel. 416-787-2300, Fax 416-787-2344, 2488 Dufferin St., 2nd Floor, Toronto). .
TURKISH CANADIAN ISLAMIC HERITAGE ASSOCIATION, (Tel. 416-793-9107, Fax 416-469-2610, 336 Pape Ave). Maintains religious ties between the mosque and the community. President: M. Okem.
THE TURKISH CULTURE AND FOLKLORE SOCIETY OF CANADA, (660 Eglinton Ave. E., P.O. Box 50001). Founded in 1976 as a nonprofit organization to promote an understanding of Turkish culture and folklore among Turks and Canadians; its Turkish theatre group is the only one in North America. Although it generally performs plays in Turkish, in recent years, the group has performed in English with Canadian-Turkish born members. President: Mutlu Aycan.
A colourful performance by the Ottoman Military Band at Queen’s Park.
SOLIDARITY OF TURKS FROM BULGARIA, (Tel. 905-949-9309, Fax (905) 949-6970, 4101 Westminster Pl., Unit 47). Contact: I. Vataner.
IRAQI TURKOMAN ASSOCIATION OF TORONTO, (1306 Bloor St. W).
CANADIAN INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE CENTRE, (Tel. 416-787-2300, www.canadianintercultural.ca, 777 Supertest Rd), Canadian Intercultural Dialogue Centre (CIDC) sponsored by Canadian Turkish Friendship Community) has an annual Noah’s Pudding Campaign. CIDC promotes free Noah’s Pudding across the GTA in churches, hospitals, Police Headquarter, City Hall, Universities and Colleges, senior homes, shelters, and more between the months of January and February.