The “Mut Grass Festival” organized by Mersin Metropolitan Municipality in cooperation with Mut Municipality, chambers and non-governmental organizations for the first time this year attracted great attention for 2 days. Meral Seçer, President of Mersinden Women's Cooperative, and cooperative partners also visited the festival. The festival, in which natural herbs unique to the Mediterranean were introduced, made the people of Mut happy.
Mut Municipality, Mersin Power Union Development and Future Association, Mut Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mut Chamber of Agriculture, Mut Drivers and Automobile Tradesmen's Chamber, Mutlular Culture and Solidarity Association, Mut Producers Agricultural Development Cooperative, Mut Nature Sports participated in the festival organized under the leadership of the Metropolitan Municipality. and Photography Association, Mut Kurtuluş-Çatalharman- Hacıahmetli Kızılova Obruk Cheese, Mut Women's Initiative Production and Business Cooperative, Slow Food and mutil provided support.
President Seçer: “This first festival is very important”
The festival started with a cortege march in front of the Government House on Saturday, May 7, with the participation of Mersin Metropolitan Mayor Vahap Seçer. Speaking at the opening ceremony held after the parade, President Seçer pointed out that 750 kinds of plants are grown in the region and said, “This first festival is very important. It has to become traditional. It has to be done consistently every year,” he said. President Seçer then ate the meals served from the Mobile Kitchen of the Social Services Department at the earthly table with the citizens.
Herbs and products from the region were exhibited in 51 stands
The festival, which lasted for 2 days in Mut Karacaoğlan Çınaraltı Park and historical Taşhan, attracted great attention from both the people of Mut and citizens from other districts. Various products besides herbs specific to the region were exhibited at 51 stands, which were established under the coordination of the Women's and Family Services Department. The stands stretching from Taşhan to Karacoğlan Park were appreciated by the visitors.
Traditional delicacies and performances were also presented at the festival.
Photographs, rugs and painting exhibitions took place in the festival, where various dishes such as meleturean milk rice, lübülü mung soup, buckthorn, milk tarhana and yampur soup were made, which are among the traditional and lost culinary delights. In the stages set up in Taşhan and Karacaoğlan Park, various stage performances of the Department of Culture and Social Affairs and the Department of Women and Family Services took place. In Taşhan, zumba, fairy tale workshops, creative dramas and theaters for children were staged.
Meral Seçer met with fashion designer Cemil İpekçi
Workshops, concerts, plays, competitions and shows took place in Karacaoğlan Çınaraltı Park. World-renowned fashion designer Cemil İpekçi left his mark on the festival, in which Chef Hazer Amani also attended. On the first day, he met with President Seçer and talked about the festival. sohbet İpekçi met with Mersinden Women's Cooperative President Meral Seçer and the founding partners of the cooperative on the second day of the festival. Meral Seçer, who gave a gift to Cemil İpekçi, also talked about the handicraft needle lace of Çamlıyaylalı women.
Meral Seçer: “I think it is a precious festival for Mersin”
Meral Seçer and the founding partners of the cooperative; He watched Cemil İpekçi's wood printing performance on cloth with the madder colors prepared by Kemal Efecan and his team. At the end of the workshop-like event, a mini interview was held with Cemil İpekçi. Meral Seçer, President of Mersinden Women's Cooperative, touched upon the importance of the festival and said, “I think the Mutt Herb Festival is a valuable festival for Mersin. The current event is an event that brings this festival to its true purpose and crowns it. Root dye reflecting not only edible herbs but also our ancient culture; It is an event to raise awareness about the realization and dissemination of this. We are also working in Mersin to promote Mersin in traditional handicrafts and transfer it to future generations.”
Cemil İpekçi presented the hand-printed scarf he made at the event to Meral Seçer as a mother's day gift. After visiting the festival area and Taşhan, Seçer did not break the offer of the students of Mut Şehit Emin Çelik Anatolian High School and visited the painting exhibitions.
Cemil İpekçi: “More than half of the grass in the world comes from this region”
Making evaluations about the festival, Cemil İpekçi emphasized that the festival attracted attention and said, “More than half of the grass in the world comes from this region. Şifa Lokman Hekim used herbs here. The most important thing for me is the fabric. Carpets, root dyes. The most beautiful root dyes are made. Unfortunately, very few do it anymore. Hopefully he will be encouraged. I think we can ensure the continuation of our traditional culture. I came for him,” he said. Adding that the festival should be held more frequently from now on, İpekçi said, “It brings people together and maintains cultures. Especially the season here lasts 6 months, 8 months, nice weather. That's why I think festivals should be held more often," he said.
“These are the herbs our grandparents gathered”
Sebile Günay, who exhibited the herbs specific to the region at the stands set up during the festival, talked about the herbs they brought to the festival. Pointing out that most of the herbs he introduced were used in food in the past, Günay said, "When there was no spinach in the old culture, there was no lettuce and this new culture did not exist, these were all herbs that our grandparents gathered from the road, vineyard or garden. It was the herbs that they roasted, oiled and ate that night without worrying about cooking. They ate some of them with bulgur, some with yoghurt, and some just as a salad. Our product is watermelon; occurs where the snow water is wet. It comes out early, it has a salad, and rice is also made. We make it with sumac, sour, salty onions. In other words, it is really super delicious next to lettuce salad, especially next to that fish, next to beans.”
“This step taken by the Metropolitan Municipality has been very good for Mutlular”
Perihan Baki, who exhibits and sells the products obtained from herbs in the stands, said, “As producer women in Taşhan, we bring what we produce at home, we sell, we contribute to our home economy. I make flowers, olive oil, wood products and local products to keep Mut's culture alive. The festival has contributed a lot to us. This step taken by the Metropolitan Municipality has been very good for Mutlular.”
“There is more than expected at the festival”
The festival made the residents of Mut happier. Emphasizing that the festival went well, Ahmet Özkan, one of the happy people, said, “I think there will be much more beautiful festivals in the future. The crowd is very nice, there is intense interest. "I think it will be much better in the future," he said.
“As the people of Mut, we cannot imagine a life without herbs”
Merve Adıgüzel, one of the visitors of the festival, stated that there would be no flavor without herbs, “Mut is very rich in this regard. There are about 750 species of plants in our region. We use spinach a lot. We use hibiscus and fresh thyme in all dishes. The mountain thyme is already very famous in the Taurus Mountains. I'm a spice cook, frankly, I use it a lot and with love. We especially have basil, we use it in our dips. A local dish. Mut's food. Without basil, a dip is unthinkable. That is why, as the people of Mut, we cannot imagine a life without herbs.”
“This festival will be a blessing for both Mut and Mersin”
One of the visitors, Fatih Özkan, pointed out that herbs are used in many areas and said, “There is a culture where meat and grass come together. We consume both together. Apart from that, we also have herbs used in root dye. There is yarrow, saffron. Mut has it all. We are so glad we live here. This festival was very good for the promotion of Mut. This festival will be a great blessing for both Mut and Mersin.”