The International Language and Culture Festival's closing ceremonies, which took place at the 12,500-person-capacity ISS Dome in the German city of Düsseldorf, sent out messages of peace that are still reverberating.
One of the guests of honor of this festival, education expert and talent scout for students in Germany Suat Yılmaz, talks about his feelings regarding all of this: “It was a wonderful festival, fitting for students and education in general. The fact that it unites youth from different cultures and religions is truly educational. I think that beyond being a wonderful thing, it is actually a much-needed event because it shows so many young people from different cultures, countries and religions coming together to show their potential and skills in one setting."
Yılmaz complained that in the past, Turkish has not been perceived very positively within Germany, or as a uniting sort of language, saying: “The fact that students from more than 100 countries came together to learn Turkish and speak it was really an influential tableau for everyone to see.”
Erhan Yeşilöz from Wuppertal city described his feelings after the closing ceremonies: “The program was unbelievable. It allowed us to become closer with our German friends and to express ourselves better to them. It was important for people to witness the love shown by these children for Turkey and Turkish.” Said Selami Karakaya, who joined this festival from Remscheid, said, “It is really a difficult thing to gather the entire world together in one place.” He added that as a Turk, he is very proud of what was achieved.
Businessman Ergin Baytemür explained his own proud feelings: “The fact that people from all over the world were championing our culture and waving our flags made for a great day for us all.” Azize Avcı from Bad Hersfeld said for her part that it was great that she was finally able to attend the Olympiads, which she had previously only been able to watch on television. “This whole program seems to get better with each passing year. I hope it continues this way,” she said.
Published on Today's Zaman, 30 June 2014, Monday