tbb.gen.tr More than 100 festivals are organized in Turkey every year. Along with the local festivals organized in almost every city of the country, international culture and art festivals are also held in major cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya. Istanbul is the most important center of international culture and art festivals and sponsored festivals.

The Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation which celebrated its 27th year in 1999 organizes the International Istanbul Film Festival every April, the International Istanbul Theater Festival every May, the International Istanbul Music Festival every June and July, the International Istanbul Jazz Festival every July and the International Istanbul Biennial once every two years. Within the framework of these festivals, hundreds of renowned performing artists and musicians from all over the world gather in Istanbul, adding further color and cultural luster to a city which is famous for its historical and cultural richness.

In the summer months, a number of annual music festivals are sponsored by some prominent Turkish corporations. The Pamukbank Dance Days , which brings world-famous dance groups to Istanbul, the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival which has been organized for ten years and hosts well-known groups, the Akbank International Jazz Festival, during which Turkish musicians and the jazz masters of the world meet, the Yapi Kredi Art Festival, which has the characteristis of "one-year festival", with its activities from Rock and Roll and pop to classic music and jazz spreading all year and the Fujifilm World Music Days are the most important of these music festivals.

In the capital city, Ankara, the International Ankara Music Festival is organized by Sevda Cenap And Foundation every year in April-May. This festival which is a member of the European Festivals Union and of which the 16th was organized in 1999, has hosted over 8.000 famous artists up until today. Moreover, the Turkish Choruses Festivity, which is organized by Polyphonic Choruses Association established with the objective of spreading polyphonic music in the country, brings together thousands of music lovers, with its increasing number of invited choruses and listener capacity every year.

The International Izmir Festival, which is organized every year by the Izmir Culture, Art and Education Foundation, will celebrate its 16th year in the year 2000. It will be held in historical places such as the Efes Antic Theatre, the Celcius Library and the House of the Virgin Mary and, as it is the case every year, wold-famous artists and groups in the branches of orchestra concerts, chamber music, ballet, theatre, jazz and pop will participate. Additionally, the 7th Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, which attracts about 80,000 people every year, will be held in the year 2000.

The Bilkent International Anatolia Music Festival, which is one of the most important organizations calling, from Turkey to the world, for friendship and peace through the language of music, carries the magical rhythm of the classical music to various regions of Anatolia throughout a month in every year. This festival, which is the first of its kind among international festivals in its mobile character and who walked around Anatolia step by step, celebrated its 6th year in 1999. In the year 2000, the symphony concert, which is planned to be performed by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Sanliurfa Harran Plane, has been included in the festival program.

The oldest film festival in Turkey is the Antalya Film Festival. This festival which celebrates its 36th year in 1999, is sometimes referred to as "the Oscar of the Turkish film industry". The International Ankara Film Festival and the Adana Altin Koza Film Festival are two other important film festivals which attract the cinema-lovers of Turkey. Film weeks are also organized in many other cities.

Among the other festivals organized in Turkey every year are the Traditional Mesir Festival in Manisa, the Interna-tional Music and Folklore Festival in Adana, the Cesme Music Festival in Cesme, the Ceramic Festival in Kutahya, the Hittite Festival in Corum, the GAP Culture and Art Festival in Gaziantep and the Kemer Carnival in Kemer.