A total of 1,500 foreign students from 135 countries came to Turkey for the Turkish Language Olympiads, organized by the International Turkish Education Association (TÜRKÇEDER). This year’s competition, which will run from May 30 to June 14, will be held predominantly in Ankara and İstanbul, but there will also be activities in 41 other Turkish cities.
Inauguration ceremonies for the Olympiads were held in various cities, but the main inauguration ceremony took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in İstanbul’s Beşiktaş district. The chairman of the Olympiads’ organizing committee, Mehmet Sağlam, said in his opening remarks that students attending the 10th Turkish Olympiads had been selected from international Turkish schools in 135 countries around the globe. Noting that all the students who came for the Olympiads were the champions of their home countries, Sağlam declared that the champion of champions would be determined at the competitions held in Turkey.
Sağlam thanked esteemed Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen for assisting in launching Turkish schools abroad as well as the Turkish teachers at those schools. After his opening speech, the students enchanted guests with nostalgic songs sung in Turkish, recitations of Turkish poems and Turkish folk dances. At the end of the ceremony, a chorus of students sang the song of the Olympiads. The opening ceremony brought together politicians, high-ranking state authorities, artists, businessmen, journalists and authors as well as many guests from Turkey and beyond.