Washington DC finals of the International Turkish Olympiads took place at Woodson High School in Fairfax, Virginia. The event that was organized by American Turkish Friendship Association (ATFA) and Mid-Atlantic Federation of Turkic American Associations (MAFTAA) attracted around 2000 people. Children performed their talents in three fields: poetry, song, and folk dancing. There were distinguished guests including Ambassador Namık Tan of Turkey with his wife Mrs. Fügen Tan, Congressman Jim Moran and State Senator Chap Petersen of Virginia as well as other distinguished guests.
There were members of the jury from various organizations and talented musicians. TAA President Dr Faruk Taban was also among the members of jury. MAFTAA’s Executive Director Mahmut Yeter opened up the Turkish Olympiad and mentioned about the importance of the event. Mr. Mahmut Yeter emphasized once again Turkish as a language of love.
Then, Congressman Jim Moran was invited to the podium. He determined he was happy to host such an event in northern Virginia, especially in his district. Congressman Moran indicated that those children who learn Turkish and contest among each other will be solving problems as well as fostering the relationship between US and Turkey.
A group from Maryland won the 1st place in folk dancing category. Children in this group played a folk dance, which belongs to the Silifke region of Turkey. Other groups performed folk dances that belong to eastern Anatolia.
Children competed with each other by singing various songs popular in Turkey. On the other hand, they read poems from Mevlana and Yunus Emre.
State Senator Chap Petersen said “I am happy to host such an event in our state and to be with you at such a colorful event this evening”.
Ambassador Namık Tan stated, “When we make this evening reality we actually achieve a very important event. We don’t just chose young skills, but we earn Ambassadors of heart who talk our language and understand our culture from various cultures of the world.
Ambassador Namık Tan, ATFA President Ahmet Tarik Ilhan, MAFTAA Executive Director Mahmut Yeter and TAA President Faruk Taban gave the Awards to the successful winners. Just like all the other Olympiad finals the evening came to an end with the song “A new world” with everyone’s’ participation.