By Emrah Oktay and Erkan Tiryaki
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey’s 4th annual Ethnosport Culture Festival at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport wrapped up on Sunday.
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 fee 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Oktay added that Turkey will build a People’s Garden at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport -- superseded last year by the new Istanbul mega-airport -- that will host many conventions and expos.
In 2018, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a People’s Garden spanning 12 million square meters would be established at the 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 came to 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 Belozoglu and Kosovar forward Vedat Muriqi, from their crosstown rival Fenerbahce, all took up the bow and arrows.
This festival also featured oil wrestling matches, and Turkish grappler Ismail Balaban won the title.
The Ethnosport Culture Festival kicked off Thursday.
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.
- Anadolu Agency support
Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s top news source, was the festival's global communications partner.
Senol Kazanci, the agency’s director general, visited the event on Saturday.
The festival featured a display of Anadolu Agency’s war journalism training.
Wearing steel vests and helmets, participants worked hard and had fun on a track set out by Anadolu Agency and the Turkish Police Academy.
They braved obstacles to finish the challenging track on time.
Anadolu Agency’s war journalism program is conducted in collaboration with the Turkish Police Academy, Turkish Armed Forces, and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).