A culture and food festival began on Thursday in California, the United States to promote Turkey.
Five Turkish cities are being promoted in the Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival in California.
The festival, organized by the Pasifica Institute, has opened at the Orange County Great Park, in the south of Los Angeles.
"We hope this festival would inspire people to visit Turkey," Hakan Tekin, Turkey's Consul General in Los Angeles, said during the ceremony.
Tekin said the Turkish Airlines (THY) would launch flights to Los Angeles in September, which would make Turkey easier to access.
American people and Turkish citizens living in the United States will have the opportunity to view Anatolia's culture, taste Anatolian food and learn more about Turkish cities of Istanbul, Konya, Antalya, Mardin and Van for four days.
Models of Topkapi Palace, Maiden's Tower, Mevlana Museum, Aspendos Ancient Theater, Mardin's stone houses, and Akdamar Church will be on display during the festival.
There will also be 120 stands with authentic foods and goods in an area inspired by the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
The festival will showcase the great civilizations that thrived in Anatolia, dating back to the Trojans, Romans and Ottomans. The "Paths of Anatolia" ushers visitors inside through a series of 14 arches dedicated to them, with costumed models bringing it all to life.
Several Turkish films will be screened, Janissary Band will give a concert, whirling dervishes will perform a show, and Turkish musician Omer Faruk Tekbilek living in the United States will give a concert on the sidelines of the festival.
Turkish and Armenian musicians, and a Greek sirtaki group will take stage in the festival.
The festival will end on May 9.
The Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival is sponsored by the LA-based Pacifica Institute along with the California Turkish American Chamber of Commerce (CATA) and the Organization of Istanbul Armenians (OIA).
Around 30,000 people, including 13,000 Turks, visited last year's festival.
This year, the festival expects some 50,000 visitors.