After an absence of almost 28 years, the third edition of the National Cultural Council is being held in Istanbul, in a bid to find solutions to the problems regarding culture and arts in Turkey.
At the three-day event that kicked off on Friday, academics, artists and members of civic society will delve into challenges stunting cultural development in the country.
The Culture and Tourism Ministry is hosting the event, at a time when Turkey is striving to promote its culture and arts in parallel with its increasing role as a prominent actor in international affairs.
Seventeen committees consisting of participants of the event will hold conventions and panels to discuss artists' problems and methods to preserve the country's national culture, which has been a rich mix of Ottoman, Turkish, Islamic and Western influences.
At the end of the event participants will issue a declaration that is expected to serve as a set of guidelines for drafting new policies on culture and arts. The committees will focus on all aspects of culture and arts, ranging from museums to theater, cinema, music, literature, to architecture.
The council will also host several culture and arts events, including a mixed exhibition of Turkish calligraphy and works of renowned local painters, a concert featuring classical Turkish music, folk music, Sufi music, folk dance performances and the Ottoman military band, "mehter."
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey should concentrate its efforts on "permanent works" rather than "easily consumed" cultural products.
He said, Turkey, in terms of culture and arts, achieved much in the past decade and drew examples from the increased number of museums and museum visitors as well as the rise in state funds for cinema, from TL 7.4 million ($1.99 million) to TL 17.3 million.
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