With 135 countries this year, Turkish language festival kicks off in İstanbul
International Turkish Language Olympiads was kicked into gear in İstanbul on Wednesday that would bring 1,500 students from 135 countries all around the world.
The Olympiads, organized by the International Turkish Education Association (TÜRKÇEDER), bring together hundreds of foreign students each year from Turkish schools established throughout the world. This year’s Turkish Language Olympiads started with a spectacular opening ceremony at İstanbul’s Four Seasons Hotel that was attended by officials and people from all walks of life.
As part of the Olympiads, the students are expected to compete in 20 categories, ranging from poetry to songs. A total of 1,500 students from 135 countries will perform on 65 stages across Turkey within the scope of the Olympiads.
This year’s Olympiads will take place between May 30 and June 14 in various cities of Turkey, but predominantly in Ankara and İstanbul.
On June 5, students will give their final performances for the song contest at İstanbul’s Sinan Erdem Sports Hall. On June 6, students will give their final performances for the poetry recital contest at the Ankara Arena sports hall. On June 9, the prize-giving ceremony will be held at the Ankara Arena sports hall for students who give top performances in the contests. The closing ceremony will be held at İstanbul’s Türk Telekom Arena on June 14.
This year’s Olympiads is held under the slogan of “İnsanlık için el ele” (Hand in hand for humanity).
In the inauguration ceremony moderated by famous TV host Beyazıt Öztürk, Education Minister Ömer Dinçer congratulated organizers of the Olympiads, which he said “gathered these youths of humanity family under Turkish flag.”
He added that one of the ways to restore peace, love and brotherhood in the world is teach a language. The education minister also recalled government’s efforts to promote Turkish language in the world by establishing Yunus Emre Cultural centers. He underlined that these centers and Turkish schools are having significant role in spreading the Turkish language.
The chief organizer of this year’s Olympiad, Mehmet Sağlam, said students participating in the competition are champions in their countries, noting that these youths will be volunteer ambassadors of Turkey in the future. He added that the goal of the Olympiads is to serve Turkish language to become the language of science, art and literature along with being the language of love, friendship and dialogue.
Along with Dinçer and his spouse, İstanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and his spouse Gül Mutlu, İstanbul mayor Kadir Topbaş, Turkish Airlines head of Executive Board Hamdi Topçu, Doğuş Holding chief Ferit Şahenk, Doğan Media Holding head of Executive Board Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ, Ciner Holding head of Executive Board Turgay Ciner, Çukurova Holding head of Executive Board Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, Habertürk daily Editor-in-Chief Fatih Altaylı, Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı, Zaman daily owner Ali Akbulut, Hürriyet daily Editor-in-Chief Enis Berberoğlu, celebrities Çelik Erişçi, Muazzez Ersoy, Sezen Cumhur Önal, Bursaspor coach Ertuğrul Sağlam, İstanbul Provincial Head of Education Department Muammer Yıldız, Beşiktaş Chairman Fikret Orman, former Galatasaray football club chairman Adnan Polat were among many invitees who participated in the event.
Show TV News Desk Editor Ali Kırca said he was surprised to see many students from all across the world speaking in Turkish.
Stressing that the Olympiads is a different kind of event, Kırca said he is excited to see this project. He added that Turkish Olympiads is contributing to the promotion of Turkey.
Former referee Ahmet Çakar also made similar remarks, saying that he was caught in suprise to see students performing in Turkish.
Polat said it is not a surprise to what point this Olympiads reached today, congratulating those who contributed to make this happen.
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