Art And Culture

Iran-Turkey Ethnic Music Fest

Ashiks performing in Tabriz, East Azarbaijan ProvinceAshiks performing in Tabriz, East Azarbaijan Province

Iran-Turkey Ashik (as ethnic singers are called) Festival will be held on August 20 in Tehran.

Ethnic music performers and singers, known as 'ashiks' from Iran and Turkey will come together at the Niavaran Cultural Center to highlight "one of the most precious cultural commonalities" between the two countries, IRNA reported.

The festival is organized under the auspices of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), a political and economic intergovernmental organization, founded in 1985 by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member states. In 1992, the organization was expanded to include seven new members: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The festival includes songs of traditional epic and romantic tales accompanied by long-necked lutes, known as 'komuz' in Kyrgyz, 'gopuz' in Azeri or 'kopuz' in Turkic. It is an ancient fretless string instrument usually held chest-high when played by the musicians. The festival starts at 8 pm.