|Chinese dancers perform a Muslim dance during the opening ceremony of "2012 China-Turkey Islamic Cultural Exhibition and Performances" in Istanbul, Turkey, on Aug. 31, 2012. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)|
ISTANBUL, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Over 500 Chinese and Turkish government officials and Muslim representatives on Friday attended here the opening ceremony of the Chinese Islamic cultural pageant, which will last eight days.
The event, part of the celebrations to mark the China-Turkey Cultural Year, is held to introduce China's Islamic history and unique Muslim culture to Turkey.
Wang Zuoan, Director of Chinese State Administration of Religious Affairs, said at the opening ceremony that the exposition, the first of its kind between the two countries, will help deepen mutual understanding and enhance the cooperation between Chinese and Turkish Muslims.
Nowadays, Wang said, Islam is getting more and more popular in China as Muslims' religion belief and custom are fully respected. The Islam also plays an active role in promoting economy and culture, he said.
For his part, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said that it is a very important opportunity for the two countries to enhance cooperation and introduce Chinese Muslims' life, culture and belief to the Turkish people.
"The relations between Turkey and China showed many positive developments throughout history," he said.
"On one hand, we wish to convey the Islamic civilization in China to our public and, on the other hand, we wish to jointly work for the religious education and religious affairs of Muslims in China. When you look at the bilateral relations from a cultural perspective, you can see that there is high hope to develop our relations," Bozdag said, adding that Turkey will carry out a series of Islamic cultural programs in China next year to enhance its relations with China.
During the exposition, Chinese Muslims will exhibit Chinese Islamic culture, Quran chanting, a symposium on China-Turkey Islamic exchanges, as well as Islamic singing and dancing shows.