The Balkans Folk Dances and Culture Festival, organized for the 17th time this year, hosted by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, has started. Speaking at the opening of the festival, which will last four days with the participation of 10 countries, Mayor Soyer said, “The Balkan Festival is the work of people who love peace and the Republic. It is both a national and sublime issue of Izmir. That's why we dedicate this festival, inherited from our Ancestor, to Izmir's never-ending struggle for peace,” he said.
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, which revived the "Balkans Folk Dances and Culture Festival", which was first organized in 1935 and 1936 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is hosting the same enthusiasm for the 17th time this year. The four-day festival, attended by 10 countries, started with the opening ceremony held in Republic Square. Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality attended the ceremony. Tunç Soyer, Konak Mayor Abdül Batur, participants from guest countries and the people of Izmir attended.
“Peace mobilization initiated by a nation emerging from war”
Speaking after the moment of silence and the singing of the National Anthem, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç SoyerHe said that this festival, which is the legacy of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is a universal step taken to establish peace between the people of the Balkans and the world. Soyer also described the festival as a peace mobilization launched by a nation emerging from war.
“We dedicate the festival to Izmir's never-ending struggle for peace”
Emphasizing that they learned from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk the importance of protecting these lands at the expense of their lives and running to their deaths when necessary, President Soyer said: “The Balkan Festival is the work of the people of our city who love peace and the Republic. It is both a national and sublime issue of Izmir. No one should think that peace will be maintained by itself. Just as fighting and winning victories are the result of a struggle, maintaining peace also requires struggle. Peace cannot be maintained by sitting, watching, or saving the world at a desk. Peace is not just an idea, it is also action. That's why we dedicate this festival, inherited from our Ancestor, to Izmir's never-ending struggle for peace.”
“We owe our wealth to the Balkan Turks of our city”
Inviting the people of Izmir to the festival, Soyer said, “I invite everyone to the festival to increase the voice of peace in the footsteps of our ancestors. Do not pay attention to the fact that Izmir does not appear on the Balkan map. Izmir is a Balkan city with Rumelia on one side of its heart and Anatolia on the other. The surface area of this city is larger than continents and its history is older than calendars. We owe this incredible wealth to the Balkan Turks of our city. "I'm glad you're in Izmir," he said.
After the opening ceremony in Cumhuriyet Square, the participants walked in a cortege to Kültürpark.
Shows, exhibitions and concerts
The festival, which aims to reinforce Balkan brotherhood, will be held between 22 and 25 September. To the festival; Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Hungary, Romania and Serbia will be the guests. In addition to folk dance shows, there will also be concerts and exhibitions at the festival.