Students show talent at Turkish Olympics
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
With the participation of 1,500 students from 135 countries around the world, the Turkish Olympics will include special shows and performances in 41 provinces. AA photoThe 10th International Turkish Olympics opened May 30 with a ceremony at Istanbul’s Four Seasons Hotel, kicking off a celebration of the Turkish language with the participation of 1,500 students from 135 countries around the world.
All the students participating in the event were champions in various competitions in their own countries, said the chairman of the Turkish Olympic Games Organization Committee and the Turkish Parliament’s National Education, Culture and Sports Commission, Professor Mehmet Sağlam at the games’ opening.
The students can sing songs, read poems and even make jokes in Turkish, he said, adding that 250 million people speak Turkish in its various dialects and that the language was taught at more than 135 schools and universities worldwide.
Education Minister Ömer Dinçer congratulated the event’s organizers on gathering young people together under the Turkish flag, saying, “I congratulate all of the people who are working all around the country to improve the Turkish language and promote Turkey.”
He said the government had put great effort into spreading the Turkish language to the world, especially in recent years. “We try to teach people Turkish via the Yunus Emre Institutes that we have opened around the world. I ask you to visit these institutes in the countries you visit. I think that you will be proud when you see people’s efforts to learn Turkish.”
Every year, nearly 500 local languages disappear, and thousands of languages will no longer exist in another 100 years, he said. “When you look at this, you can see that this effort is very important to keep Turkish alive.”
The Turkish Olympics will include special shows and performances in 41 provinces. Participants in the event will demonstrate their talent in Turkish in 20 different categories. Exhibitions accompanying the Olympics will be displayed at the international terminals of Istanbul’s Atatürk, Ankara’s Esenboğa and İzmir’s Adnan Menderes airports, as well as the Cumhuriyet Art Gallery and the subway station in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
The event will close on June 14 at Türk Telekom Arena, following an award ceremony to be held on June 9 in Ankara. The closing show will be presented with help from 290 students.