16th Turkish Folk Dances Contest
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Date : April 21, 2008
Venue : Ataturk Cultural Center, Istanbul
Winner : Cankaya Municipality Hoy-Tur Folk Dances Group Youth and Sports Club  / Uskup Region
Runner-up : Ege Dance Youth and Sports Club / Izmir Region
Second Runner-up : Istanbul Contemporary Tourism Folklore Association / Tokat Region

The finals and the award ceremony for 16th Folk Dance Contest organized by theSabanci Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, held in attendance of the distinguished guests including Ertugrul Gunay, Minister of Culture and Tourism; Governor of Istanbul,  Muammer Guler;  Guler Sabanci, President of the Sabanci Foundation Board of Trustees; and Turkan Sabanci.


Dubbed as the most important contest in Turkey in the field of folk dances since its onset in 1994, awards for Turkish Folk Dance Contests were given away to the winners in a splendid ceremony organized in Ataturk Cultural Center last night.


A fruit of the collaboration between the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Tourism and the Sabanci Foundation, who have been contributing much to the preservation and upholding of educational, social and cultural values thanks to its omnipresent activities all around Turkey and its permanent works dotted around the country, the ceremony was a big dance party in the real sense of the word thanks to the performances by 10 bands qualified for finals. Not unlike previous years, the best folk dance bands of Turkey were voted from among the contestants.


Ms. Guler Sabanci, President of the Sabanci Foundation Board of Trustees said in her speech, “Folk Dances are the most beutiful and important indicator of our thousand year old Anatolian culture. We are a nation that celebrates its special days with folk dances. In this respect it is important for us to support such an event. With this contest we manage to pass our local richness to new generations by bringing regional diversity and cultural differences together.


On the final night Ertugrul Gunay, Minister Culture and Tourism said, “Well done. It could not have been any better than this. As I watch the show I thought, what a great country that we have. How many different colours we have. How great it is to dance all together, hand in hand. If only we could live the rest of our lives like this. We do not want to see hostilities in our country any more. Brotherhood is what suits these colours. Peace and solidarity are what we deserve.”

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