“BETA International Tea and Culture Festival” celebrates International Tea Day in Istanbul

Beta Tea, claimed to be the 12th largest tea company in the world, hosted the “Beta International Tea and Culture Festival from 21 – 24 May 2024 at Beta Yeni Han in Istanbul, Türkiye.

Tea expert and Beta Foods Istanbul Branch Manager Hatice Uğur, stated that it is the first time that the company organized such a culture festival in Türkiye.

Mr.  Beşir Uğur, Hony. Consul for Sri Lanka in the Mediterranean Region, Adana, father of Ms. Hatice Uğur, founded the company in 1987 with bulk tea importation from Sri Lanka, and packaging and reselling in Türkiye as well as abroad. Later, the company started importing teas form other tea growing countries as well.

BETA Tea felt that it was timely to celebrate this special day, adopted at the UNESCO in to the list of intangible cultural heritages in 2022, as 2024 also marks the 100th anniversary of the commencement of tea cultivation in Türkiye.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka supported BETA tea in organizing the event by inviting diplomatic missions of tea growing countries to join the event.

Among the special guest were the Istanbul Deputy Governor, Şevket Atlı, Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake, Chinese Embassy Undersecretary of Culture Meifen Zhou, Argentine Deputy Consul General Fabiana López and Indian Commercial Consul Raj Kumar Tanwar, Turkish officials as well as researcher-writer and history professor Kemalettin Kuzucu.

Representatives of Mr. Beşir Uğur, Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka to Adana (Chairman of the Board-BETA Gıda Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.), Mr. Aydin Ozu, Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka to Istanbul and the Ambassador Iskender Okyay, former Ambassador of Turkiye to Sri Lanka also participated to the event.

Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Türkiye, described the history of tea industry in Sri Lanka, the uniqueness of Ceylon Tea, health benefits of tea and production process was through a power point presentation, emphasizing that Ceylon Tea has been certified by ISO as the world’s cleanest tea, produced through ethical and sustainable processes and was the first country to earn the accolade of "Ozone Friendly Tea" label.

The event had displays of tea drinking traditions and cultural elements of Sri Lanka, China, Argentina (a type of a herbal tea), India and South Africa, organized by respective Embassies.

Cultural performances on stage started with Traditional Turkish music played on stage by 02 musicians. Argentina demonstrated how to prepare the herbal tea and China presented a kungfu inspired performance. The Embassy of Sri Lanka presented traditional Sri Lankan costumes on stage and also arranged to light the traditional oil lamp and both attracted much interests of the audience more than 200.

A menu of tea flavours specially prepared for the reception by the famous Chef Eyüp Kemal Sevinç with 39 Signature World Tea Blends and Types were also presented to the guests. The menu, which included flavours such as artichoke soup brewed with Jasmine tea accompanied with sour cream, and ravioli cooked in Turkish tea (with a tea-based spicy yoghurt sauce), offered the guests the opportunity to experience tea in different way.

The ‘Tea Time Tunnel’ exhibition on the historical adventure of tea and the ‘Tea Gourmet Competition’ was also conducted during the event.

Accompanied by Türkiye’s 2018 Tea Brewing Champion Gülhanım Delihasan, Turkish tea cultural ceremony too was organised with tea-themed photo shooting areas and traditional clothes, also took place.

The ‘International Tea and Culture Festival’ hosted its guests from 22nd to 24 May.


Embassy of Sri Lanka

Ankara, Türkiye

28 May 2024