Date posted: May 28, 2013
Minister of Transportation, Maritime and Communication, Binali Yildirim, spoke at the Turkish Language Olympiads Cultural Festival participated by two thousand students from 140 countries, at Kulturpark in Izmir. In his remarks, Yildirim said:
“Izmir is the city of tolerance, tourism and maritime, compared to a queen in Victor Hugo’s diaries. You’ve added to its beauty. I would like to thank the organizers for choosing Izmir to hold the cultural festival in the run-up to the Olympiads initially participated by 62 students from 17 countries and that evolved into a huge organization with the participation of two thousand students from 140 countries. These events are creating an atmosphere that encapsulates our souls, warms our hearts; reminding us of tolerance, brotherhood and bravery.”
“We’ve truly missed our children coming from different cultures to blow like breezes across our country, over the last year. Turkish is the language of love. It is language of Yunus Emre, who says “Come, let us be friends” or Rumi saying “Come, whoever you are.” It is a language that calls humanity for peace. It is the language of Fethullah Gulen who urges, “Be so tolerant that your bosom becomes wide like the ocean. Become inspired with faith and love of human beings. Let there be no troubled souls to whom you do not offer a hand and about whom you remain unconcerned.”
Yildirim went on to praise the Turkish schools inspired by Fethullah Gulen: “Turkish language builds invisible bridges between hearts. It sprung like a snowdrop at the heart of Asia, thousands years ago. Turkish will continue its existence as long as the world exists, just like it has done to date. To speak a country’s language is to become brothers with its people and culture, and to understand that country by communicating with it. Thanks to the Turkish schools worldwide, Turkey is growing in significance among the leader countries. It is now widely mentioned across the world. Behind this success are our Turkish teachers and volunteers of service, with their love for Turkish and native country deep inside their hearts, and serving in seven continents without expecting nothing in return.
I would like to send my greetings to those teachers. Like UN, we are addressing to 140 countries through the Olympiads. This is not possible to be accomplished in only a few days. It takes a lifetime for this idea to be embraced and spread. My greetings to those who devoted their life to this cause. And to the selfless, Anatolian parents and teachers who have raised these volunteer servants. May God be with you until we meet again at the spectacular show on June 9, in Izmir.