Tell us a little bit about yourself, why you chose to include and the Greek Cuisine in your restaurant ?
My name is Erdinc Salman. İZMİR is family business and we serve Greek and Turkish cuisine. Why Greek and Turkish because we are from Aegean we have two identity. We are Türk but we describe our-self as Egeli (Aegean). İZMİR was multicultural port city with majority of Greek and non Muslim people dominating the city even under ottoman Empire up until first world War.
But even after 100 years since Greeks and non Muslims mostly had to leave İZMİR due tragic events of September 1922 it still called non Muslim İZMİR. Because İZMİR stayed as a multicultural, secular, modern, democratic lively city with beautiful see, breeze and culture. Who replaced non Muslim population of İZMİR was mostly Turks from mainland Greece, Balkans and Greek Island.
So they were also pretty much influenced by Greek culture in their genes. Basically we are same turks from Aegean area and Greeks from are exactly same people with different names different and different nationalities. But we dance to same tunes, we got same family values, we laugh to same jokes, our food drinks are same. And we show same emotions to life events. We are both proud of our language, religion and we are so proud to be Greek and Türk.
When İZMİR people called Gavur (non Muslim) İZMİR by politicians especially religious people because they can’t get vote from İZMİR it makes us proud we take as a compliment to be called Gavur İZMİR because we know İZMİR is envied by rest of Turkey for being modern, multicultural, romantic, historical, secular city and we Greeks and all past occupants of this city for building this beautiful city and culture.
Tell us about Izmir Turkish & Greek Restaurant, the cuisine, the menu, the customers …etc.
We sell from stifado to kleftiko of course lovely moussaka, baklava, ravani. Our restaurant decorated with Greek and Turkish flags. I born in middle of Turkey but have moved to İZMİR as a baby and we can see clearly how İZMİR positively affected us thanks to Greek and non Muslim heritage.
When we were school kid our black and white TV had 3 channels: TRT (TURKİSH CHANNEL) had bad reception and ERT 1 and ERT 2 had very good receptions because antennas from Chios and other islands. So we were watching Sunday church services for years until Turkish channels improved. So we are very familiar with language and culture and I love this nice memories. Again that was only at İZMİR. So now you can see why we are proud to be Greek Turkish Restaurant.
If anyone would like come to our restaurant you will see spark and flowing emotions in our eyes who has just met long lost family member. And we can scream ”Yeia Mas” and enjoy Ouzo and Raki and dance to Zorba then to Harris Alexiou and than my favourite Anna Vissi. I know we got lots of Greek and Turkish people who has witnessed tragedies from 1900’s but we have so so much in common to somehow learn lessons from past and look forward to happy peaceful economically strong Aegean for all of us. We love you with all our heart looking forward to meet you.