It’s been 70 years since the first Turkish Cypriots arrived in Australia and to celebrate, the Turkish Cypriots of Melbourne are throwing a day-long festival.

Festival committee president Janev Aziz said the celebration will be a mix of food, dance and reflection.

“The festival is going to really showcase everything that’s great about our culture,” Ms Aziz said.

“There’ll be plenty of food, we’ll have music, and we’ll even have a folk dancing group coming down from Sydney.

“Then, at the end of the night we’ll finish the event with a fireworks show.”

While the occasion is one of celebration, Ms Aziz said it’s also an opportunity to recognise the first settlers.

“The first settlers arrived here with a suitcase and nothing more. They didn’t know the language and had nothing more than a dream to start a new life,” she said.

“To help honour them, we’re hoping to have a photo display featuring the first migrants.”

Although the festival is celebrating Turkish Cypriots culture, Ms Aziz encouraged everyone to attend.

“This isn’t just for Turkish Cypriots. We want to share our culture and we’d encourage everyone to come down and share.

“We did one of these celebrating 60 years and it was a massive success, so we’re expecting a big turnout of about 8000 people across the day to mark 70 years.”

The festival will be held on Sunday, March 4 at the Sunshine Mosque and will run from
9am to 10pm.