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Sabantoy, the Great Tatar Feast, which is traditionally celebrated every year, and has been organised by Russian Federation (RF) Tatarstan Representation Office and Idyll Ural Turks Cultural and Beneficial Association, was celebrated in Istanbul.

The following personalities appeared at the celebration programme held at Sarıyer Bahçeköy Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park;

President of Tatarstan Culture Ayrat Sibagatullin, Deputy Governor Kazım Tekin on behalf of the Governor of Istanbul, İBB Deputy Secretary General Ali Altıntaş on behalf of the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Turksoy Secretary General Dusein Kasinov, RF Consul General to Istanbul  Alexey Erkhov, UCLG-Mewa Secretary General Mehmet Duman, General Director of Culture Co. Nevzat Kütük, Tatarstan President Consultant Radik Gimadinov and many Tatar-origin citizens living in Turkey attended the programme, which was hosted by RF Tatarstan Representative Aydar Gasigullin.

The programme was opened when Tatarstan Minister of Culture  Ayrat Sibagutullin read the letter of Tatarstan Republic President Rustam Minnihanov abut Sabantoy Feast.

Minister of Culture Sibagutullin: This Affection Makes Me Happy

Members of the Protocol that attended Sabantoy celebrations were thanks for the kind attendance by Ayrat Sibagatullin, Minister of culture of Tatarstan, who continues his remarks as follows:

“It makes me utterly happy to attend Sabantoy programme that is being organised by our Representation Office for Tatarstan, and Idyll Ural Turks Culture and Beneficial Association successfully every year, and being in close and good contact with our brothers and sisters such as yourselves here. Sabantoy is bliss, joy, fruitfulness and reunion of brothers and sisters. I salute all the attendants with these feelings. I wish a happy Sabantoy Feast to all.”

Erkhov, RF General Consul to Istanbul: We are Having a Joyous and Colourful Celebration.

Alexey Erkhov, RF General Consul to Istanbul remarked as follows: " I would like to give my thanks to RF Tatarstan Representation Office and Dear Minister of Culture for such a lovely programme. I celebrate the Sabantoy Feast of all participants. As General Consul to Istanbul, we are proud to be here. It is a very vivid and joyous feast. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our brothers and sisters of Tatarstan a happy Sabantoy Feast.".

Deputy Governor Tekin: I Wish a Happy and Peaceful Sabantoy Feast

Kâzım Tekin, the Deputy Governor of Istanbul, expressed that he was very happy to be here in Istanbul for Sabantoy Feast celebrations on a yearly basis despite his heavy work schedule. He reflected as follows: "I give my thanks to our Representation Office of Tatarstan and every single person who has made contributions to this programme. I wish a happy and peaceful Sabantoy programme.”.

İBB Deputy Secretary General Ali Altıntaş: Our Toy Feast Makes Our Bonds Stronger

İBB Deputy Secretary General Ali Altıntaş uttered as follows: "I have brought you greetings from Kadir Topbaş, the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan municipality. He could not make it here today because of his heavy work schedule. Our Toy Feast makes our bonds stronger. I wish Sabantoy, a centuries old ritual, which has survived until today, is celebrated in a joyous and fruitful environment for all.".

Türksoy Secretary General Duisen Kasseinov: I Celebrate Kazan as the Capital of Culture

Türksoy Secretary General Duisen Kasseinov expressed his contentment and gave his thanks to Tatarstan Representation Office and Minister of Culture of Tatarstan Republic for perpetuating such a tradition in Turkey. Kasseinov continued his remarks as follows: "As is known, Kazan, the capital to Tatarstan was selected as the Capital of Culture for the Turkish World for this year, that is, for the year 2014. As Türksoy, we will conduct a number of different activities in Kazan, the Capital of Culture. I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate our beautiful Tatarstan, which was selected as the Capital of Culture for the Turkish World under such a lovely programme, and I wish a happy Sabantoy.”.

Culture Co. General Director Kütük: Happy Sabantoy for All Our Brothers and Sisters of Tatarstan

Culture Co. General Director Nevzat Kütük wished a happy Sabantoy for all and remarked as follows:

“I want to congratulate our Representation Office of Tatars and for organising such a programme. As we always say, our friends may come from different countries but we are united deep in our heart. I would like to wish a happy Sabantoy to our Minister of Culture, in particular, and to our brothers and sisters from Tatarstan for attending the programme."

UCLG-MEVA Secretary General Duman: We are Happy to Bear Witness to Such a Great Excitement and Joy

UCLG-MEVA Secretary General Mehmet Duman expressed his contentment that Sabantoy Feast celebrations have become a tradition in Istanbul as it is being celebrated every year, adding as follows: "We are utterly happy and glad that we bear witness to the great excitement and joy of Tatar people together with our brothers and sisters here. Happy Sabantoy.".

President of Idyll Ural Turks Association Urallı: I Congratulate Our Association for its Good Efforts

President of Idyll Ural Turks Association Gülten Urallı gave a speech, and thanked the members of the protocol that attended the celebration programme. Urallı continued her remarks as follows: "I congratulate our Representation Office of Tatarstan and Management Board of Directors of the Association for making great efforts for this programme. The representatives of the Turkish World that came for the Children's Feast of the Turkish World, organised by the Turkish World Researches Society, are also here amongst us today. I give my thanks to them as well. I wish a happy Sabantoy Feast for all.”.

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After the protocol speeches, Ayrat Sibagatullin, Minister of Culture of Tatarstan, gave leather paintings that symbolise Tatarstan, as presents to the attendants. After the presentation, the folkloric dance teams from Tatarstan performed their show, and singers gave concerts.

Tug of war, money-catching on yoghurt tray, some of the traditional Turkish entertainments, were held and wrestling took place under the programme.

A ram was given as a present to the winner of the wrestling.

Following the folkloric dance performance, the programme ended with a souvenir photograph altogether.