The 10th Turkish Olympiads is organized by the International Turkish Education Association (TÜRKÇEDER). The TÜRKÇEDER, which held a press conference at the İstanbul Sapphire on Wednesday, set out its timeline for the event that takes place between May 30 and June 14 in various cities of Turkey, but predominantly in Ankara and İstanbul. The inauguration ceremony will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in İstanbul’s Beşiktaş district on May 30. 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.
At the press conference, TÜRKÇEDER Chairman Dr. Ali Ursavaş said that a total of 1,500 students from 135 countries perform on 65 stages across Turkey within the scope of the Olympiads. Ursavaş added that these students will come to spread the message of brotherhood, solidarity and love across the world under the slogan of “İnsanlık için el ele” (Hand in hand for humanity) as well as introduce Turkey to their nations.
Ursavaş said students will compete in 20 categories, such as singing and poetry recitation, during the Olympiads. “A culture festival will be held at the Istanbul Expo Center between June 1 and 2. This festival was held in Ankara last year and attracted 350,000 visitors, but the festival was moved to İstanbul. This year, 600,000 visitors are expected to participate in the festival. The students will set up tables at the expo center to introduce their countries during this festival,” Ursavaş explained.
Ursavaş also thanked the international Turkish schools for all their contributions for the introduction of Turkish language across the world during the conference. Some foreign students also attended the conference. They were all very happy to be in İstanbul and waiting eagerly for their stage performances.
Habibullah from Afghanistan told Today’s Zaman that he was very happy to be in Turkey and added he primarily liked İstanbul. Habibbullah also noted that they are here in Turkey to spread the message of brotherhood and solidarity to the world and added they want the Turkish language to be a universally spoken language like English or Spanish.
Stating that he learned Turkish language at international Turkish schools, Habibullah said: “Our Turkish teachers have been working day and night in order to teach us, so I want to thank them for all their efforts.”
Farahmand from Tajikistan said that although he only started to learn Turkish language five months ago, he was able to learn the language and added he is very happy to be in Turkey because Turkish people are very warm-hearted, kind and humane.
Alexander from Germany told Today’s Zaman that his father encouraged him to attend a Turkish school in Germany and added when he first went to the school, he had some hesitations, but after he got to know the teachers and atmosphere of the school, he liked it very much. He feels that Turkish people are very hospitable and friendly, and has many Turkish friends in Germany to practice Turkish with.
Meryem Ane from Senegal told Today’s Zaman that there was only one Turkish school in Senegal and added because the languages of Wolof, English and French are generally spoken in Senegal, she wanted to learn another language apart from these languages, so she chose to attend a Turkish school.
Yadigar Muhammed from Iraq said that she was overwhelmed with İstanbul when she first arrived at the city but added she liked Turkish people very much. Stating that she learned Turkish within a year as result of great efforts of her Turkish teachers, Yadigar said: “My parents sent me to the Işık College [a Turkish school serving in Iraq’s Arbil] because it was the school that provided the best quality education in Iraq. Our school is very nice. A large number of students want to attend the school, so there is a lack of space. Therefore, we request the number of classrooms to be increased or other Turkish schools to be established in Iraq.”