Organised by the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA), the Grand Central Terminal was adorned with traditional Turkish and Grand Bazaar decorations and Istanbul 2020 branding. Vendors treated visitors to the delights of Turkish food and the beauty of handcrafted Turkish souvenirs that they could expect to encounter in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. Dating back to the 15th Century, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar consists of over 60 covered streets and has more than 3,000 shops which can attract as many as 400,000 visitors a day.
Chairman of Istanbul 2020, Hasan Arat, commented:
“This is a great opportunity to take Turkish culture to a foreign city and showcase Turkey’s famous warmth and hospitality internationally. Turkish culture already inspires over 30 million visitors to our country each year, with over 11 million visiting Istanbul alone. If we are awarded the honour of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, the Olympic family will experience the region and its people, our legendary hospitality and our passion for sport, for the very first time. Istanbul 2020 will be a bridge to a new culture for the Olympic Movement.”
Istanbul 2020’s presence in New York is set to continue over the next few days. As one of the main sponsors of the 32nd New York Turkish Day Parade, along with Turkish Airlines, Istanbul 2020 will have a float which will parade down Madison Street on 18 May. The Turkish and Istanbul 2020 flags will also be raised during the Turkish Flag Ceremony on Wall Street on 17 May.