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article imageSplit Turkish meze bar becomes first Halal object in Croatia

By Paul Bradbury     May 27, 2014 in Food
Split - While the focus on cuisine in Dalmatia is decidedly local, a Turkish kebap and meze bar becomes the first halal-certified object in Croatia.
A recently opened Turkish kebap and meze bar in Split became the first and only certified halal object in Croatia on May 26, 2014 at an award ceremony attended by Digital Journal.
The owner of Istah Kebap and Meze Bar, Onat Ozyurt, received the award from the chief imam of Split, Vahid Hadzic, at the popular Turkish eatery near the Hajduk Split stadium, after months of painstaking testing by the Croatian Centre for Halal Quality Certification.
Istah Kebap and Meze bar has proved extremely popular since opening last year.
Istah Kebap and Meze bar has proved extremely popular since opening last year.
Ivica Profaca
Although some restaurants do have halal certified dishes in Croatia, Istah is the first to be awarded 'Category B', as Aldin Dugonjic from the Halal Centre explained:
"Category B is the higher level of Halal certificate, it's granted to the whole restaurant, not only for food prepared here, but all the ingredients, and beverages, meaning there is no alcohol in the venue."
Onat Ozyurt receives the certificate of Croatia s first certified halal object from the  chief imam ...
Onat Ozyurt receives the certificate of Croatia's first certified halal object from the chief imam in Split, Vahid Hadzic. The first Turkish restaurant in the city is an example of its expanding gastronomic offer.
Ivica Profaca
The award is welcome news to tourists in search of halal food in the Dalmatian capital, where tourism is booming, and where halal options are hard to come by.
Despite being a major tourist destination, there are relatively few international eateries in Split, with the local population preferring more traditional Dalmatian cuisine, although Istah has been a major hit since opening in 2013.
The halal certification will be welcome news to tourists coming to Split in search of halal food.
The halal certification will be welcome news to tourists coming to Split in search of halal food.
Ivica Profaca
Croatian Tanja Samardzija Ozyurt met her future husband Onat in Turkey, and they decided to move to Split, where the idea of opening an Turksih restaurant kebap and meze bar was born. Dedicated to quality and authenticity, the couple have had to offer numerous logistical battles to ensure the right ingredients are available. There is, for example, only one halal beef supplier in the country, several hundred kilometres away in Istria.
The first halal certificate for an object in Croatia.
The first halal certificate for an object in Croatia.
Ivica Profaca
The Turkish delicacies have aroused the interest of the local population  with Turkish culture more ...
The Turkish delicacies have aroused the interest of the local population, with Turkish culture more familiar in Croatia due to popular Turkish soap operas.
Ivica Profaca
Istah owners Onat Ozyurt and Tanja Samardzija Ozyurt.
Istah owners Onat Ozyurt and Tanja Samardzija Ozyurt.
Ivica Profaca
Authentic Turkish dishes are prepared  despite logistical problems of supply.
Authentic Turkish dishes are prepared, despite logistical problems of supply.
Ivica Profaca
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