ISTANBUL, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Over 1,500 artists across the world on Friday assembled for an international culture and art festival that will last nine days in Istanbul.
The 19th International Buyukcekmece Culture and Art Festival began with a symbolic ceremony held in Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square under the slogan of "Love to each other, peace for all."
The Ukrainian, Polish, Brazilian and Iranian folk dance groups performed some of their outstanding shows at the square, attracting interest from locals and tourists.
An international sculpture symposium, photo contest, folk dance competition, traditional handicrafts exhibition, display of musical instruments and several other cultural events top the agenda of the festival, organized by the district of Buyukcekmece.
Musicians, performers, dancers, sculptors, photographers, and artisans from a total of 64 countries joined the festival.
Hasan Akgun, the district's mayor, said the festival has now been transformed into a world-known event.
"Our primary target is to serve the development of culture and art in the world," Akgun said at a press release.
The participating artists and groups will also stage their shows at several open-air locations in the district of Buyukcekmece throughout the festival.