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Opening Ceremony, Özcan Says Mersin Willing to Organize Many Chess Events
picture_108The opening ceremony of World Under 16 Chess Olympiad was held with the participation of Metropolitan Mayor of Mersin Macit Özcan, Youth and Sports Director of Mersin Emrullah Taşkın,  President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazıcı and the Honorary President of FIDE Florencio Campomanes.
The news and impressions from the opening ceremony which had a nice traditional Turkish folk dance performance from Silifke (a district of Mersin) and Agean sea region.


The first speech was delivered by Youth and Sports Director of Mersin Mr.Emrullah Taşkın where he explained the sports organizations that Mersin has hosted beforehand. He mentioned that preparing for a long time for this organization, he is hoping that every participant will enjoy the time they spend in Turkey.


President of the Turkish Chess Federation and the Vice-President of FIDE Ali Nihat Yazıcı made clear in his speech which he made right after Mr.Taşkın that Mersin is one of the major chess centers in Turkey and that was the reason Turkey is organizing this event.  "We  do not only want to be an organizer this time but we also  want to win a medal in this event. I would like to thank Mr.Özcan to organize this wonderful event for the fourth time in Turkey".

Honorary President of FIDE Florencio Campomanes was the next to take the floor clarifying that "Organizing an event right after another, first one supported by the Şehitkamil Municipality in Gaziantep, Worod Junior Championship and then World Under 16 Olympiad supported by Mersin Metropolitan Municipality shows that Turkey has become a centre of youth chess. The games that I watched today also confirmed that. It is adorable that local governments support chess in Turkey. Without these chess lovers, we could not organize that many event. I would like to thank Mersin Metropolitan Municipality and Turkish Chess Federation for their decent support to this event where future grandmasters will grow from."

picture_070Macit Özcan: "We want all the chess tournaments"

The last protocol speech was made by the Metropolitan Mayor of Mersin Macit Özcan who showed his enthusiasm for chess by stating that his municipality is candidate for organizing many big chess events.

Özcan added that it is an honour for Mersin to host players coming from all around the world. He also mentioned some other sports activities that the municipality supports.

In the final phase of the opening ceremony, there was a folk dance show from Silifke region (a district in Mersin) and the Agean sea (western coast of Anatolian peninsula) which were performed by a group of student who attended the courses organized by the municipality.

Silifke Region folk dance

Zeybek folk (Agean region)

From left to right: Berkan Atman, Burak Fırat, Gökhan Gaygusuzoğlu, Oğulcan Kanmazalp, Mert Yılmazyerli, Mustafa Yılmaz and Irmak Sipahioğlu


Swiss delegation

Austuralian delegation

South African delegation

Russian delegation

From left to right: Burak Komut, Taylan Can Tekeli, Atilla Köksal Yüksel, Cankut Emiroğlu and Ufuk Sezen Arat

İSEM (From left to right):Kaan Kanlı, Benan Kazdağlı, Özgür Tarım, Tevfikcan İleri, Esat Bağlan

 Turkish Chess Federation 2008