The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) named the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek as this year's Capital of Islamic Culture.
"Bishkek has taken the title, which has been awarded annually since 2005, from the city of Medina. Bishkek will carry this title until September 18, 2014," World Bulletin reported.
"The award means that as of May 20, all cultural events organized by the OIC will take place in Bishkek. In the opening ceremony in the city's Abdilas Maldibayev Kyrgyz National Opera and Bale Theatre the Kyrgyz Culture, Information and Tourism Minister Kamila Taliyeva spoke.
Noting that Kyrgyzstan is a secular country, the minister said that despite this, Kyrgyzstan was still accepted as a full member of the OIC and held an important place for Islamic culture in its history.
The Kyrgyz Culture, Information and Tourism Ministry organized a young opera-bale artist known as Manas to perform at the ceremony.
The Akak Komuz group also performed an orchestra concert of traditional music, capturing the attention of the audience.