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S A T U R D A Y

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If you think the gyro originated in that sun-drenched Mediterranean country whose tanned booty was once spanked by the Turks, I suggest you check out some gourmet literature and discover the real deal. Throughout the centuries, the pioneering Turkish culture has been a major point of interest for many other countries (not that we always gave them a choice). Its carefully preserved heritage spans continents, having influenced European and North African cultures ever since the days of the Ottoman Empire. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan became free to display their solidarity with this cultural dynasty. This weekend the Turks invade the District with the Turkic World Culture and Art Festival, showcasing their intricate handicrafts, diverse folk musics, and exquisite cuisine, including the real gyro—a Turkish döner. From 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. NW. $2. (202) 483-9090. (Serdar Sirtanadolu)