Students from around the world, who came together as part of the 10th International Turkish Language Olympiad four weeks ago in Turkey, bid farewell to friends in tears during a closing ceremony held for the Olympiad at İstanbul's Türk Telekom Arena on Thursday night.
The international students, who got the chance to become friends with people from various parts of the world thanks to the Turkish Language Olympiad, were very sad at the closing ceremony of the Olympiads as it would soon be time to depart and leave their newly made friends. While the spectators had great time with the students' performances at the stadium, the tears were flowing behind the scenes. Mehpare from Bosnia and Herzegovinian hugged her Romanian friend Nascha and cried, saying “We even shared the same bed.”
Seeing them, Esmaye from Iraq, who was also crying, said: “Don’t cry please. Look! Am I crying?” in order to make her friends laugh.
Fatykhova from Tartary, who spoke to Today’s Zaman, said: “We had a very good night, but my heart is full of grief. I will miss my friends. When I return to my country, I will say ‘I have many friends from around the world.’ I want to thank the Turkish people and my teachers. I think it [the Turkish Olympiad] is a very important step towards world peace.”
Jealau Diarra from Senegal told Today’s Zaman that she doesn’t want to return her country, but wants to stay in Turkey. “I liked Turkey and my friends in Turkey very much,” Diarra noted.
Miktibek Nurlanbekuulu from Kirghizstan said it was time to leave and added: “I want to cry, but I am stopping myself from crying. I miss my country very much, but I also don’t want to leave Turkey. I am very happy to have attended the Turkish Olympiads and also happy to have met Turkish people.”