We saw an extraordinary vivacity in our neighborhood this evening. Some people were setting up a music system in front of our building, some were placing plastic chairs in the shape of a circle. These are signs of a ceremony, so we thought that there would be an engagement ceremony or a party for a bride and her friends (called “kına” in Turkish), which is a common tradition held in the evening followed by the wedding ceremony on the next day. However, we were wrong.
While were trying to guess what was happening, the door bell rang. It was our neighbor from the first floor. She invited us to the ceremony they were holding for their son, who would join the army to carry out his military service. ıt is compulsory in Turkey for all males at the age of 20 to complete this military service. It may last from 5 months to 15 months according to the education level of soldiers and some other reasons. If they are studying or working at this age, they can delay it until a certain age.
In Turkey, people hold a ceremony, generally outside their houses for their sons just before he leaves his home and goes to the city where he gets the training. There is a music system or a timpanist is hired. Neighbors, relatives, the boy’s friends all gather here and they dance. The boy’s family serve some drinks. People dance, especially the boy’s friends and family members. Older relatives give some pocket money to the young as a gift. Then his family takes him to the bus station to send him off. His friends and some nighbors accompany them and they go on singing songs and dancing until he gets on the bus.
I prepared a quick borek with what I had in my pantry and took it to my neighbor and she served it to their guests. She also served pilaf with chicken and cold ayran. It was a great party for their son before his military service.
– 1 stalk leek, chopped thin
– 1 potato, grated
– 2 carrots, grated
– 1 big onion,diced
– 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
– 2 tbsp olive oil for sauting
– 3tbsp olive oil for spreading between sheets
– 1 egg
– ½ cup yogurt
– 5 phyllo sheets
Saute all the vegetables in olive oil for about 10-15 minutes. add some salt.
Mix egg, 3 tbsp olive oil and yogurt.
Preheat the oven to 180C (400F)
Lay one of the phyllo sheets and spread the yogurt mixture on it. Lay the other sheet and spread the half of the sauted vegetables on it, then sprinkle the half of parmesan and lay another phyllo sheet on it. Brush it with the same egg and yogurt mixture. Lay the other sheet and spread the rest of sauted vegs and parmesan. Cover this with the last phyllo sheet and spread the rest yogurt mixture on it. Cut it with a knife as squares or triangles before putting it in oven so that its inner part also cooks. Cook this in oven for about 50 minutes.
By the way, I’ll be away for a few days as I’m traveling to Istanbul today for a work. Besides this work, I hope I can visit some good restaurants. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences.