By Ercan Cakar
The third Ethnosport Cultural Festival wrapped up in Istanbul on Sunday.
Organized by the World Ethnosports Federation and sponsored by Anadolu Agency, the event aims to promote traditional sports and prepare for the Olympics.
The festival also allowed many successful and talented athletes to shine.
The five-day festival in Istanbul’s Yenikapi Square revived celebrations indigenous to the Turkic world, Central Asia, and Anatolia.
Aside from traditional Turkish sports, traditional Turkic tents offered activities such as historical craft workshops and a sword-shield dance. There were also horse parades.
The festival attracted visitors with traditional Central Asian feasts, folk dances, horseback riding for adults and children, children’s games and theaters, and traditional food as well as tents of Turkic countries and peoples.
Over 880 athletes competed in 13 different categories, including aba wrestling, Shalwar wrestling, brace wrestling, oil wrestling, and mounted archery.
Yabusame, traditional Japanese horseback archery, and falcon races were other featured competitions.
On the last day of the festival, the award-winning athletes were honored with medals.
Among those presenting the medals were World Ethnosports Federation President Bilal Erdogan, World Ethnosports Federation deputy head and head of the Turkish Traditional Sport Branches Federation Hakan Kazanci, and Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin.