The 54th Conference of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) and the 4th Forum of the International Council of Traditional Music and Dance (ICTMD) were hosted by Istanbul University, in cooperation with the Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) and the International Turkish Culture and Heritage Foundation. It was held in Istanbul between 11-15 September 2023.

In the opening speeches of the opening ceremony and concert hosted by Istanbul University Rector Prof Dr Osman Bülent Zülfikar, Secretary General of the Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) Fahri Solak, IASA President Tre Berney, Toby Seay from Drexel University, ICTDM President Svanibor Pettan, TURKSOY Former Secretary General Düsen Kaseinov, Leman Ağagülova, representing Gunay Afandiyeva, President of the International Turkish Culture and Heritage Foundation, and Abdullah Akat, representing the organizing committee, made evaluations on the value and preservation of archives, the representation and promotion of music and dance traditions, and the creation of a sustainable cultural heritage understanding. 

Following the opening speeches, performances were demonstrated by the musical groups of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the State Folk Dances Ensemble of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Irfan and Meydan Meşkleri Ensemble.

During the five-day program, 340 participants made scientific presentations on different topics. During the week-long event, concerts, workshops, panels, library and archive tours were held.

At the international meeting prepared with the efforts of Istanbul University State Conservatory Ethnomusicology Department, a special place was reserved for Turkish World music and archive studies. At the opening reception held on September 11, Kyrgyzstan State Artist Roza Amanova, Kazakhstan State Artists Aitbayev Kairat, Yerlan Ryskali, Rausan Urazbayeva Yernar Omirali, Azerbaijan Mugam Ensemble; State artists Rashad İbrahimov, Tabriz Yusubov, Sabira Arabli, Syavush Kerimov and the Ministry of Culture’s İrfan and Meydan Meşkleri Ensemble and the State Folk Dance Ensemble Zeybek team, representing Turkey, were present.

The opening presentation of the academic meeting was given by University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) faculty member Prof Anthony Seeger. In his speech, he focused on the theme of archive cooperation and suggested solutions on how world archive studies can achieve successful and sustainable results through international collaborations.

Rector of Istanbul University Prof Dr Osman Bülent Zülfikar started his speech by expressing that he was happy to host a conference of great importance in the field of music and dance. Stating that researching not only preserved traditional music and dance forms but also traditional heritages that are about to disappear has gained importance in recent years in current studies in the field of music, Zülfikar said that the conference will facilitate the transfer of knowledge by accelerating interdisciplinary studies.

While the event ensured success in institutional cooperation, it also allowed academics and experts from different countries to get to know each other. Additionally, the participants gained cultural and emotional experiences about Turkish World Music, Turkey and Istanbul.