Oil wrestling and sword dancing make a mesmerising start for Stoke Newington’s Anatolian Cultural Fete

The sixth annual Anatolian Cultural Fete got off to a mesmerising start in Stoke Newington’s Clissold Park, with oil wrestling and a sword and shield folk dance.

The idea is to raise awareness of Anatolia, which lies inside Turkey’s borders.

“It is important for us to inform people about our culture,” said festival organiser Hakan Yildirim.

“For thousands of years, Anatolia welcomed many civilisations such as Roman, Byzantium, Seljuk, Ottoman and Turkish, and for those thousands of years people from every faith, nation and culture lived in this area peacefully.”

Visitors can taste traditional Turkish food, tea and coffee and this weekend there will be cooking contest with Mrs Emine Beder, Turkey’s most famous cook.

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There will be an Ottoman Marching Band concert every weekday at 6 pm, and the free festival runs until Sunday July 1 at 7pm.

All funds raised through the festival go to a children’s education charity.

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