Date posted: June 9, 2013
The president has branded the annual contest of foreign students on the Turkish language the “greatest service” to Turkey, Turkish culture and its language, as he met with contestants participating in this year’s Olympiads.
President Abdullah Gül told reporters while meeting with participants of the 11th Turkish Olympiads in the Çankaya presidential palace that organizations such as the Turkish Olympiads contribute to peace, brotherhood and friendship.
First lady Hayrünnisa Gül, Turkish Olympiads Organizing Committee chief Mehmet Sağlam, Fatih University President Şerif Ali Tekalan, 82 students from 23 countries and other invitees attended the ceremony on Friday.
In the colorful event, the students recited Turkish poems and sang songs to entertain the participants. Azerbaijan’s Demir Demirov, Malawi’s Ahmet Tuavi and Tunisia’s Umran Zayed performed for the president and first lady, while a group of students from Kyrgyzstan performed a Black Sea folk dance, meeting with lengthy applause.
Gül said nearly 2,000 foreign students came to Turkey as part of the Turkish Olympiads, describing the entire organization as “very big.”
He congratulated everyone who made efforts to make this organization happen. He said considering that the organization received no state funding and that it was done as a result of a civil initiative, it deserves plaudits.
Gül said Turkish people can see in Turkey how efforts of Turks abroad yield positive results, but he can observe these on the ground.
“I visit Turkish schools during my visits from Asia to Africa, from the US to Japan. I see that along with your own culture, you also learn Turkish and universal culture. Gül told the students that they will have a role in the future to deepen relations of their own countries with Turkey and will contribute to expanding cooperation between Turkey and their nations.
Source: Today’s Zaman, 7 June, 2013