Children from all over the world embarked on Turkish voyage

Photos: Sunday's Zaman, Mehmet Yaman)
Photos: Sunday's Zaman, Mehmet Yaman)

Date posted: June 24, 2013

Around 22 years ago, Fethullah Gülen said, “The day will come when you will no longer fit into the stadiums.” In fact, it turned out to be true. The Turkish Olympiad, which began in 2003 with young people from 17 different countries, has grown to the point that this year we hosted 2,000 students from 140 countries. The Olympiad came to an end in Istanbul with a magnificent final ceremony.

The first stop in Anatolia for these “children of Turkish” was in Izmir, at the cultural festival held there. İzmir residents were happily surprised to see young Africans dressed in their countries’ traditional clothing but speaking in Turkish in the city center’s Kemeraltı market. In the end, İzmir embraced these young guests from all over the world. It was interesting to watch the young people walking along İzmir’s seashore “kordon,” bargaining with shop owners in Turkish, seeing species of fish they weren’t familiar with and looking at the city’s famous clock tower, with all its pigeons.

Later that evening, of course, they brought city residents a night of Turkish song that would not soon be forgotten. After Izmir, the young people traveled on to Ankara’s Kızılcahamam, where they were warmly welcomed as if they were the city’s own children. At the same time, they were preparing for the Olympiad’s elimination rounds. The generally bureaucratic atmosphere of Ankara was softened — if only for a while — by the presence of these young guests, who visited the Turkish Parliament, the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Ankara Train Station.

In Bursa, these young guests began their journey with a ride on a sea bus. They ate Iskender kebab and performed for the many Bursa city residents who filled the local Ataturk Stadium. The unparalleled beauty of Bodrum, in the meantime, captivated the young people. And the Turkish songs and poetry they performed in the Bodrum Amphitheater attracted, perhaps, more guests than the theater had ever seen before.

In the end, the young people arrived in Istanbul for the Olympiad finals. It was almost time for their farewells. The energy of the song contest winner, Martin Yordanov of Bulgaria, was incredible; he seemed to fly all over the stage and won the hearts of jury members Ajda Pekkan and Orhan Gencebay as well as others on the jury. Of course, it wasn’t just the jury that was captivated; so were the many members of the audience, and the millions watching on television screens everywhere. And so these cultural ambassadors left us with memories that will last forever. At the airport, the sad farewells between Angel Lazaro and his friends from Thailand were akin to the most melancholic of songs. They met as competitors in a single language — Turkish — but parted ways as friends for life.

Source: TodaysZaman , 23June2013

Related News

Ankara’s soft-power dilemma

Turkey’s major assets in terms of successful diplomacy and soft-power policy included Turkish schools opened by the Hizmet movement all around the world; the International Turkish Language Olympiads organized by the same group; business associations within and outside the borders of Turkey; intercultural and interfaith dialogue societies; foreign language publications of Turkish society; Turkish hospitals in several countries; and Turkish international humanitarian aid organizations.

Armed with automatic rifles, Turkish authorities raid Gülen-linked schools

Inspectors from six different state bodies have raided several schools and educational facilities linked to the Gülen movement as part of a witch-hunt against the group that has been raging since twin corruption investigations targeting the country’s president and his inner circle.

Denmark charges Turkish informants as spies

A broad ranging investigation by the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has resulted in trials being opened against three people who informed on Turkish citizens living in Denmark to the Turkish government, Turkish news portal Gazete Duvar reported on Monday.

Draft law on prep schools

The first adverse effect is related to unemployment. The AKP did not keep its promise to provide jobs at public institutions to all the prep school teachers who are not hired by the new private schools. Only teachers with six years of experience will have the chance of being hired at public schools. Thus, tens of thousands of prep school teachers will definitely lose their jobs since only the large, well-established prep schools can take the financial risks of re-establishing themselves as a new private school.

What ‘struggle for power’? [Between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Fethullah Gülen movement ]

A “Fethullahist” parallel state is a conspiracy theory par excellence, exploited by secular as well as Islamist fundamentalists and particularly by the Erdoğan government which vindicates once again the dictum that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Gülen extends condolences to MHP over official’s death

Prominent Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who also inspired the faith-based Hizmet movement, issued a message of condolence to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) officials regarding the death of the party’s media adviser, Cengiz Yücel Akyıldız, who was killed during an attack outside a party office on Sunday.

Latest News

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

Grondahl: Turkish community strong in wake of threats from back home

In Case You Missed It

Woman detained during visit to imprisoned husband on Valentine’s Day

Turkish schools organize the biggest science olympiads of Indonesia

Catholics, Hizmet bring faiths closer in the US

Erdoğan draws ire from all segments of society over bid to close Turkish schools

Turkish Canadian institute presents peace and dialogue awards

Nigerian President opens Turkish Hospital

Alevi, Sunni businessmen will finance joint prayer complex

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News