4th Ethnosport Festival wraps up in Istanbul
As many as 1.2 million people visited fourth edition of Turkey's annual Ethnosport Cultural Festival.
Attending the event, Turkey’s vice president said the festival could help attract more tourists to the historic metropolis of Istanbul.
“I wholeheartedly believe many people will come here to see and live this [festival]. They will feel the unity, solidarity and brotherhood,” Fuat Oktay said in the festival’s closing address.
Oktay added that Turkey will build a People’s Garden at the Atatürk Airport -- superseded last year by the new Istanbul mega-airport -- which will host many conventions and expos.
In 2018, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said a People’s Garden spanning 12 million square meters would be established at the now-closed airport -- four times the size of New York’s Central Park.
Super Lig stars join festival
Football stars from Turkey’s top-tier Super Lig stars also visited the festival to try their luck at archery.
Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, both from Istanbul powerhouse Galatasaray, and
Turkey’s Emre Belozoğlu and Kosovar forward Vedat Muriqi, from their crosstown rival Fenerbahçe, all took up the bow and arrows.
This festival also featured oil wrestling matches, and Turkish grappler İsmail Balaban won the title.
The Ethnosport Culture Festival kicked off on Oct. 3.
Organized by the World Ethnosport Confederation, the fourth annual festival had 16 nations participating, including guest country Argentina.
Nearly 1,000 athletes competed in the festival in 12 traditional sports, including archery, oil wrestling, belt wrestling, mounted javelin throws, mancala and horseback archery.
Children also took part in 40 traditional children’s games and there were 60 handicraft workshops.
The event also presented a dazzling array of traditional cuisines from across the globe for festivalgoers to savor.