"Aşıklar Şöleni ", the folklore music performance by artists (Aşık) from Iran and Turkey, arranged by ECO Cultural Institute and Turkish Yunus Emre Cultural Center, was held at Niavaran Cultural Center on 20 August 2016, well received by huge audiences.
At the event, Iftikhar Husain Arif, President of ECO Cultural Institute said: "The art of Ashiqs is perhaps the most popular form of national and artistic self-expression for millions people in ECO region. The art which has been preserved up to the present day, testifies to the fact that it holds a prominent position in the system of values and preferences among the people in ECO region."
"I hope that such an initiative which is in line with the realization of ECI goals and objectives would play a valuable role to better introduce such a worthwhile art to the word." He added.
Nuri Şimşekler, the Cultural Attaché of Turkey in Iran also said: "Aşık music maintain is the linkage between Iranian and Turkish music."
He added: "The Turks never consider language, literature and arts of Iran as foreign. Interestingly, books such as Rumi's Mathnavi, Attar's Pandnameh, Sa'di's Golestan and Hafez's Divan are the bestsellers in Turkey next to the Holy Quran. "
Also Turgay Şafak, Head of Yunus Emre Cultural Center extended his gratitude to the ECO Cultural Institute for close cooperation and said: "Iranians are interested in Turkish culture and arts, the large audience at the event demonstrates it. Also in Turkey there is a great interest in Persian literature and music. "
He said Yunus Emre Cultural Center programs will be developing in the near future and soon we will organize Turkish cinema week, music week and workshops about Istanbul in Tehran.
Furthermore, Abbas Sajjadi, Director of Niavaran Cultural Center spoke on cooperation between the Center and the ECO Member States in the past and said: "various varieties of Aşık music are spread across the region. The music could forge bonds between countries in the region."
Mahmud Karadaş and Gültekin Bulut from Turkey and Imran Heydari and Mahbub Khalili from Iran performed the Aşık music.
The event was concluded with awards ceremony.