The international Turkish language olympiads has been held annually since 2003 and is now in its eighth year. Organized by the International Turkish Education Association (TÜRKÇEDER), the Eighth International Turkish Language Olympiads started on Wednesday evening with a spectacular opening ceremony at İstanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace. Some 150 students wearing traditional costumes participated in the opening ceremony, which Kadir Çöpdemir, a famous television personality and comedian, emceed.
Another ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Kızılcahamam Asya Termal Hotel, a resort in Kızılcahamam.
This year’s International Turkish Language Olympiads dance final will be held in Bursa on May 31, the singing final at İstanbul’s Ataköy Sinan Erdem Sports Hall on June 1, the poetry final in Konya on June 3 and the final ceremony on June 9 in İstanbul. While they are competing with each other in the preliminary rounds in Kızılcahamam, the students have made friends and have started to take photos and trade addresses.
Haruka Kurechi from Japan said that he loves Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül and came to the 8th International Turkish Language Olympiads for the possibility of meeting Gül. Kurechi is competing under the category of speaking.
British student Camilla Aba is competing in singing. Stating that she loves Turkey, Aba noted that she has memorized a number of Turkish songs.
Furthermore, cultural festivals are planned in 14 of Turkey’s provinces, including İstanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Konya, Antalya, Erzurum, Gaziantep, İzmir, Trabzon, Kayseri, Kahramanmaraş, Malatya, Manisa and Samsun during the 16-day event, in which hundreds of foreign students will promote their countries.