By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) – As many as 1.2 million people visited fourth edition of Turkey’s annual Ethnosport Cultural Festival, held in metropolis of Istanbul. The four-day festival wrapped up on Sunday.
Organized by the World Ethnosport Confederation, the festival brought together traditional sports and games like archery, equestrian javelin, oil wrestling, belt wrestling, mounted javelin throws, mancala, and horseback archery.
Nearly 1000 athletes from16 nations participated in the event, with Argentina as guest country.
In addition to traditional sports, visitors were introduced to old way of life and culture with traditional nomadic tents, horse displays, handcraft workshops, and sword and shield displays.
Atheletes competed in 12 traditional sports. Turkish grappler Ismail Balaban won the title in oil wrestling match.
There were 40 traditional games exclusively for children, besides 60 handicraft workshops.
The event also presented a dazzling array of traditional cuisines, from across the globe.
Football stars from Turkey’s top-tier Super Lig also visited the festival, not to use their feet to kick football, but to try their hand at archery.
Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, both from Istanbul powerhouse Galatasaray, and Turkey’s Emre Belozoglu and Kosovar forward Vedat Muriqi, from Galatasaray's crosstown rival Fenerbahce, took up the bow and arrows.
The world champion Turkish shepherd dogs attracted a great deal of attention in the Ethnosport Culture Festival.
The festival also introduced several breeds of Turkey's shepherd dogs — including Akbash, Kangal, Aksaray Malaklisi, Grizzly, and Black Sea.
The visitors appreciated their skills and took photos with the champion dogs.
Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s top news source, was the festival's global communications partner.
The festival displayed Anadolu Agency’s war journalism training.
Wearing steel vests and helmets, participants combined fun and hard work on a track set out by Anadolu Agency and the Turkish Police Academy.
They braved obstacles and fought time to finish the challenging track in stipulated period.