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It may be 2017, but Istanbul rolled back the years last weekend with the Ethnic Sports Cultural Festival (EKF), which aims to promote the sports practiced by modern Turks' ancestors – from the nomadic horsemen of Central Asia to the Janissaries, the elite troops of the Ottoman empire.More than 800 athletes took part in traditional sports from Anatolia and Central Asia which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government wants to develop to celebrate the glory days of Turkey's past.The festival is part of Erdogan's efforts to revive Turkey's Ottoman roots after decades of a Westernization drive following the collapse of the empire.The modern Turkish republic was founded in 1923 after over 600 years of Ottoman rule.Born of the wars that shaped Ottoman life and forged an empire that stretched from the Balkans to the Gulf, most of these traditional sports died when the old order fell after World War I.
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