Turkish Culture Route festivals expanded to 5 cities this year


Organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to contribute to the international value of the Türkiye brand, the Turkish Culture Route festivals once again meet enthusiasts with more inclusive events in five cities this year. The culture route festivals will be held in Istanbul, Ankara, Çanakkale, Diyarbakır and Konya provinces from September 16 to October 23.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Türkiye has preserved and maintained the cultural heritage as a whole through its tangible and intangible efforts which are presented to the world through the many important strategic events throughout the year. Among these events, the Culture Road Festivals aim to draw attention to the cultural, architectural and historical heritage of the cities where they are organized and to introduce different cultural experiences.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy speaks during the press conference held at the iconic Ataturk Cultural Center (AKM) on Tuesday evening.

The first of the Turkish Culture Road Festivals was first held in Istanbul last year under the name “Beyoğlu Culture Road Festival”. The Beyoğlu Festival kicked off its second edition earlier this year while the Başkent Cultural Route Festival was also held simultaneously in the Turkish capital, Ankara. In addition to Istanbul and Ankara, the festivals now extend to Çanakkale, Diyarbakır and Konya. After three years of feverish work, the festivals are ready to transform their cities into unique centers of attraction with more than 3,000 events in various fields ranging from art to cinema, literature and dance.

Turkey’s cultural route festivals were showcased during a press conference held at the iconic Ataturk Cultural Center (AKM) on September 6. Speaking at the conference, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said that they are organizing a cultural festival and is decisive in terms of international travel and attracts a significant number of visitors. “With the Türkiye Culture Road Festivals, we are reviving our cities’ cultural routes and making culture and art accessible to everyone. We will add Izmir to the festival cities next year. We will also include the Orange Blossom Carnival of Adana as part of the festivals,” he added.


A Trojan legend video mapping show will take place at the Trojan Museum.  (Courtesy of Troy Museum)
A Trojan legend video mapping show will take place at the Trojan Museum. (Courtesy of Troy Museum)

Stating that the Turkish Culture Route festivals draw attention to the cultural, architectural and historical heritage of cities through their routes, Minister Ersoy underlined that the activities on the cultural routes are as important as the events. Highlighting that they add a new spirit to the places on the festival routes, he said, “While creating the cultural routes in our cities, we are restoring our culturally significant places. We are also creating a cultural and artistic ecosystem by involving everyone, from galleries and foundations, to research institutes and antique dealers, on this route. Even if the festivals end on these roads, the spirit of the festival remains and the cultural and artistic investments and projects continue. This is exactly what we are aiming for. The historical and cultural elements that we highlight are transformed into very original attractions.”

The festivals, which extend over more than a month, will bring everyone together, whether they are 7 or 70 years old, with many artistic manifestations from different disciplines. They will host nearly 15,000 artists in free and paid events. During the festival there will be special events for children and families with children, as well as activities that will awaken interest in gastronomy.


Della Miles will perform at the Başkent Culture Road Festival.  (Sabah file photo)
Della Miles will perform at the Başkent Culture Road Festival. (Sabah file photo)

The legend of Troy is reborn

The Troy Culture Road Festival, which will take place in Çanakkale from September 16 to 25, will bring together more than 100 events consisting of exhibitions, concerts, lectures and workshops with art lovers. More than 1,000 artists will take part in the events which will take place in more than 40 locations. Bearing the traces of Troy, Lydia, Rome, Ottoman Empire and Turkish republic periods, Çanakkale will provide different experiences for all residents of Çanakkale and all who pass through the Bosphorus for 10 days.

As part of the festival, locals will have the opportunity to watch Turkish dance company Fire of Anatolia’s “Troy” performance, directed by Mustafa Erdoğan, on the open-air stage of the Anadolu Hamidiye Bastion. The bastion will also host three tenor concerts performed by the State Opera and Ballet and the musical of the “Hisseli Harikalar Kumpanyası” (“Shared Wonders Company”), which will be performed by the State Opera and Ballet. State of Samsun. Additionally, a Trojan Legend Video Mapping Show, to be held at the Trojan Museum, will provide a visual feast for the public. The film “Bağlılık Hasan” (Hasan Pledge), which had its world premiere at the 74th Cannes Film Festival last year, will be screened at the Çanakkale Naval Museum after an interview with director Semih Kaplanoğlu. Çanakkale war research will also take place during the festival, where many films about the Gallipoli campaign will also be screened.


'Göbeklitepe Opera' will meet enthusiasts at the Ankara Grand Theater as part of the Başkent Culture Road Festival.  (AA)
“Göbeklitepe Opera” will meet enthusiasts at the Ankara Grand Theater as part of the Başkent Culture Road Festival. (AA)

metropolis, capital

The Beyoğlu and Başkent festivals will be held at the same time between October 1 and 23 in Istanbul and Ankara, respectively. Over 6,000 artists in 46 different venues will meet art lovers in over 1,000 events during the Beyoğlu Culture Road Festival. AKM, the heart of the festival, will welcome the people of Istanbul on their cultural and artistic journey with all its halls. The world-renowned Spanish musician Buika, who gave a concert as part of the Başkent cultural route in May this year, will this time give an unforgettable concert at AKM Opera Hall as part of the cultural route of Başkent. Beyoglu. In addition to Buika’s songs at the AKM Opera Hall, folk music melodies will be presented to listeners with a concert by famous artist Yavuz Bingöl and Iranian artist Ali Rıza Ghorbani. In the AKM gallery, the personal exhibition of the artist Devrim Erbil will be opened.

Additionally, one of the strongest exhibitions of the festival will be inaugurated at Tophane-i Amire Tek Kubbe Hall. An exhibition of manuscripts by literary personalities such as Behçet Necatigil, Oğuz Atay, Tomris Uyar and Orhan Pamuk will be presented to enthusiasts.

Atlas Cinema and Istanbul Cinema Museum will host an exhibition on Stanley Kubrick, the director of cult films. An antiques festival and auctions will be held in the Çukurcuma district. The renovated Tarık Zafer Tunaya Art Gallery will be the scene of various encounters, ranging from an exhibition of the photomarathon event, open to all amateur or professional photography enthusiasts, to photography workshops involving children. Children will also enjoy the party with the Puppet Festival, plays and children’s workshops included in the program.


The 19th Konya International Mystical Music Festival is included in the Turkish Culture Route Festivals.  (Sabah file photo)
The 19th Konya International Mystical Music Festival is included in the Turkish Culture Route Festivals. (Sabah file photo)

Başkent Festival will also provide a rich cultural and artistic environment. Residents of Ankara and residents of surrounding cities will be treated to a unique cultural and artistic experience for 23 days with various events ranging from concerts to exhibitions, sports competitions and interviews. “The Göbeklitepe Opera”, inspired by Göbeklitepe, which dates back 12,000 years and is described as the “ground zero of history” in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa and is included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO, will meet enthusiasts at the Grand Theater of Ankara.

The Capital Culture and Art Island, CSO ADA ANKARA, will host special events throughout the festival. Among them, the “Carmina Burana” concert which will be staged by the Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the State Polyphonic Choir, the United Nations Special Concert, a concert by British singer Yusuf Islam and a performance by the American artist Della Miles.

CerModern will open its doors at the Ankara Jazz Festival, the Grand Theater will host the “Carmen” ballet and Ankara’s Mevlevi House will offer a concert by the Konya Turkish Sufi Music Ensemble. The non-fungible token (NFT) exhibition of young artists at Tiftik Evi (Mohair House) will bring a new dimension to digital art. At the same time, a series of activities ranging from archery training to old-fashioned bread-making will take place in the Roman baths. The excitement of the festival will be multiplied with the celebrations of the Seymen procession (a rank in the Seljuk army), which will be held on October 13 due to the 99th anniversary of Ankara’s accession to the capital.

Balloons in Mesopotamia

Between October 8 and 16, Peace Pigeons will be released during the Diyarbakır Sur Cultural Road Festival. With over 2,000 artists and 500 events, Turkey’s cultural and artistic wealth will be transported from Diyarbakır to the world. In performances by Kurdish musicians known as “dengbej” and the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian songs will be sung.


'Göbeklitepe Opera' will meet enthusiasts at the Ankara Grand Theater as part of the Başkent Culture Road Festival.  (AA)
“Göbeklitepe Opera” will meet enthusiasts at the Ankara Grand Theater as part of the Başkent Culture Road Festival. (AA)

Cappadocia balloons will fly over Diyarbakır, adding a splash of color to the festival, with the chance to take part in a sky-watching event from Keçiburnu Terrace. The digital installation “Renaissance Dreams”, prepared by Refik Anadol with works from the Renaissance, will be shown to viewers at Saint George Art Center while an exhibition by painter Ismail Acar will be presented at Surp Giragos Church.

mystical music

The 19th Konya International Mystical Music Festival, which is part of the Turkish Culture Route festivals, will also take art lovers to different worlds. At the festival, which will be held from September 22 to 30 as part of the 815th anniversary of the birth of Sufi philosopher Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi, musicians Cengiz Özkan from Türkiye, Jordi Savall from Spain, the El-Hadra Ensemble from Egypt , Teyyub Aslanov from Azerbaijan, Pera Ensemble from Germany, Nasiba Abdullayeva from Uzbekistan, Dhruv Sangari from India and Hesameddin Seraj from Iran will perform at the Selcuklu Congress Center. At the festival, which has become the meeting point for mystical music from various parts of the world, people from Konya and those from surrounding cities will be able to enjoy different types of music through open-air concerts.

For more detailed information on the events that will take place within the framework of the festivals, you can visit https://www.kulturyolufestivalleri.com/.

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