ICSD President makes an opening speech during the Chef de Mission

Samsun, Turkey - 20 February 2017

I am delighted to tell you that I am at the panel with the Governor of Samsun, the General Coordinator of Samsun Deaflympics, and other Esteemed Representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Turkey. After listening to their presentations, I realized once again that they are doing fantastic job for the upcoming Deaflympics. Their ultimate goal is to make Deaflympics greater and to raise the awareness of Deaf Sports movement.

Before the Chef de Mission, I had a high level meeting and was told that the 23rd Summer Deaflympics will be as good as Olympic games in Rio in 2016 and I thanked them graciously for their continuous efforts and commitment.

All of you have visited the sports venues and I believe that you can confirm the readiness for the event.

I recall that the Turkish officials asked ICSD to relocate the Deaflympics to Samsun from Ankara, the capital of Turkey. They recommended that ICSD think thorough and consider the offer to have Deaflympics hosted in Samsun. After long deliberation by the ICSD executive Board, we eventually agreed with them to relocate the games to Samsun.  And now you all can see that Samsun stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held, is a more than suitable one. When I visited Samsun for the first time, Turkish representatives pointed out the ground, bare dirt, where the new stadium for the opening and closing ceremony will be built, I was in doubt, due to short timing, about the readiness of a new huge stadium. And then just recently, I saw the stadium which is almost completely done.  I went inside the stadium, I am truly impressed by their commitment and the speed of their work in completing the stadium. So huge inside! So, this means that Turkey can build the venues in a timely manner. Let"s congratulate them.

When I asked you earlier to come to Samsun, most of you were afraid and hesitated to come due to the military coup in Turkey last year. Despite the mess and political situations last summer, the officials said they will still go ahead with the hosting of the 23rd Summer Deaflympics. Now as you can see, their work, preparations, handling security matters and many other issues, they are truly prepared for this summer. I really do hope that this 23rd Summer Deaflympics will exceed our expectations more than we hoped for and even wore athletes, fans and guests will come. And, the hosting of 23rd Summer Deaflympics in Samsun would not be forgotten for many years and will be important part of our history. Turkish officials took great interest to ensure that this huge event is truly remarkable and positive event as part of their own history.  I believe you all will also remember those times during the 23rd Summer Deaflympics as the memorable one.

In closing, you all explored Samsun, you all can say in your heart how beautiful and safe it is.

Turkey made our heart peaceful! Thank you All!