An international art fair known as Contemporary Istanbul commenced here on Thursday, bringing together 96 unique galleries from 21 countries. The event, which is heralded as Turkey's leading art fair, shows the works of over 650 Turkish and international artists. Ali Gureli, chairman of the fair, proudly boasts of its achievements during the eight times they have held it. "The fair has gone from strength to strength since its beginning in 2005, and today the fair attracts 68,000 visitors from across the globe. " "This year, we expect more than 70,000 visitors for the five- day duration of the fair. Our vision is to be a fair embedded in the culture of Istanbul while being an artistic hub for galleries from across Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa," he added. The fair features exhibitions from galleries from all over the world including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany. Proclaimed works by the 748 artists include Marlborough Gallery from New York and Galerie Lelong from Paris which will be on display at the fair from Nov. 7-10 at the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Center and the Istanbul Congress Center. Making its debut alongside Contemporary Istanbul will be Art Istanbul. a week-long celebration of contemporary art across the city with local institutions, galleries and cultural centers.