The Turkmen student delighted jury members with the song “Gülüm Benim” in the singing competition of the 10th Turkish Language Olympiad and received his award from Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış and singer Kayahan. Annamammedov then performed the winning song once again in front of a cheering audience. Azerbaijan’s Sema Sultanova, dressed in traditional Azerbaijani attire, came in second with the slow song “Gönül Yarası.” Indonesia’s Patton Otlivio Latupeirissa was in third place with “Anadolu Türküsü.”
Among the 15,000 attendees of the event were a number of well-known figures from politics, the arts, business and the world of sport. Minister Bağış said the event indicates that future generations and world leaders will all be the friends of Turks. “I thank those people working in institutions teaching the Turkish language. They are the masterminds of this mission, and they have dedicated their lives to the mission of representing our culture in the best way possible.” Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı said: “Watching tonight’s show made me think of a saying, ‘To make your dreams come true, you have to stay awake.’ We are all seeing a wonderful dream tonight in which people of different colors and religions live in harmony and see one another as brothers. I congratulate those striving to make this dream come true.”
A total of 1,500 foreign students from 135 countries came to Turkey for the Turkish Language Olympiad, which is organized by the International Turkish Education Association (TÜRKÇEDER). This year’s competition, which began on May 30 and ends on June 14, will predominantly be held in Ankara and İstanbul, but there are also activities in 41 other Turkish cities.