The Adana Governor’s Office has cited security concerns as the reason for cancelling the annual “Adana Kebap and Şalgam Festival” scheduled to take place on Dec. 14-15.
“The festival in question has been cancelled by the governor’s office due to concerns that some terror organizations as well as malevolent people and groups might jeopardize the safety of life and property of our citizens and in this way undertake actions in a way to disturb the public order and safety,” said a statement released by the governor’s office on Dec. 13.
In 2015, the festival’s name was changed to “Adana Kebap and Şalgam (Kebap and Turnip) Festival” due to its previous name including the word “rakı,” an anise-flavored alcoholic drink that is popular in Turkey. The move came after the then-governor Mustafa Büyük denounced the festival as a disgrace.
“It’s not possible for us to allow something like this. We don’t want people to drink alcohol and we can not tolerate its promotion,” Büyük was quoted as saying by the media.
Despite the name change, locals still continue to call the prominent event as “Rakı Festival.”
The festival is held every year on the second weekend of December. The dinner tables are placed on more than 10 streets around the historical clock-tower of Büyüksaat. Besides the kebab restaurants of the area, kebap and liver vendors settle on the streets and serve food. Street musicians, playing drums and zurna visit the tables and entertain visitors.