The Ethnosport Cultural Festival is aiming to become an international event, said the deputy head of the World Ethnosports Federation on Tuesday.
“We aim to bring back those traditional sports that belongs to us and are beginning to be forgotten, and pass them onto the young people and children,” Hakan Kazanci, also head of the Turkish Traditional Sport Branches Federation, told Anadolu Agency.
Istanbul is hosting this year’s five-day Ethnosport Cultural Festival starting Wednesday.
Kazanci said eight out of 11 sports belonging to Turkey are included in the festival and added that this year the number of competitions in various sport categories rose 200-300 percent from last year.
“We plan to spread out all over Turkey, just like soccer and basketball, which are followed by large crowds. We also aim to make Ethnosport into a global event by gathering up all the traditions sports and federations of other countries under the Ethnosport Confederation,” he added.
Kazanci noted that the number of sport categories this year rose from 11 to 13, saying: “Not only the traditional sports in the Turkic republics, but we brought falconry from Qatar and the Japanese archery sport Yabusame. We have requests from other countries but we initially want only traditional sports, so we’re selective.”
A total of 883 athletes, both national and foreign, are competing in this year’s festival, he said.
During the festival, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) will also be offering various tastes from 31 countries.
For the third year in a row, Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner and sponsor for the Ethnospor Culture Festival.