ADANA, Turkey

The popularity of traditional archery in Turkey is soaring, an official of a group promoting archery told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Transcending the use of bow and arrows as a weapon, now people see archery as a leisure pastime or sport, said Erhan Uzman, a board member of the Traditional Turkish Archery Federation.

After a long time in which the bow’s popularity waned, in the two years since the group was founded, now archery wins over more enthusiasts every day, according to Uzman.

Uzman said that they started their archery club in 2016, in the southern Turkish city of Adana, before the federation was founded.

“When there was only our archery club in Adana, only six or seven people in the city and 300-400 people in Turkey were practicing archery. Now, there are 200 licensed athletes in eight clubs in Adana, and 500 unlicensed athletes practice archery,” he said.

“Turkey now has around 5,000 licensed archers.”

He said that government support helped the development of Turkish archery, along with other traditional sports.

Younger and younger people are interested in the sport, including children, who got excited seeing bows and arrows being used in movies and cartoons, he said.

Many people do the sport with their families since men and women and people of all ages can practice archery, he explained.

He added that women are more active in archery in Adana, and their numbers swelled after seeing other skilled women wield the bow and arrows.

*Writing by Muhammed Enes Calli in Ankara

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.