Balkans Qualification Round of the 9th International Archery Cup was held in North Macedonia with the collaboration of Yunus Emre Institute and Archery Foundation. 14 athletes from the Balkan countries were qualified to participate in the 9th International Conquest Cup to be organized in Istanbul.
The Tozkoparan Iskender Balkans Archer Cup Competitions and Award Ceremony, organized through the collaboration of Turkish Archery Foundation and Yunus Emre Institute, were held in North Macedonia, Tetovo.
SOME 100 ATHLETES PARTICIPATED IN THE COMPETITION
Some 100 athletes primarily from North Macedonia and other Balkan countries of Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia have participated in the competition organized at the Arabati Baba Tekke.
14 athletes who won the Balkans Qualification Round were qualified to participate in the 9th International Conquest Cup.
In women's competition, Almina Baralija from Bosnia and Herzegovina won the first place, Selma Mehmed from North Macedonia won the second place, and Nasiha Hasic from Bosnia and Herzegovina won the third place.
In men's competition, Amel Baljic from Bosnia and Herzegovina won the first place, Zeljko Acman from Croatia won the second place, and Ermal Draguşa from Albania won the third place.
TURKISH ARCHERY IN THE BALKANS IS KEPT ALIVE BY VALUABLE ATHLETES
In his speech, the Ambassador of Turkey to Skopje, Hasan Mehmet Sekizkök, said that archery, which has a special place in the ancient Turkish culture, was kept alive in the heart of the Balkans, North Macedonia, by valuable athletes coming from all across this geography.
Sekizkök thanked everyone who contributed to this meaningful event and said, "The bow and arrow was commonly used in the Balkans throughout the history. We happily see that the interest in the archery courses, organized with the support of our Archery Foundation in many Balkan countries, has been constantly increasing.".
Haydar Ali Yıldız, the Beyoğlu Mayor and President of Turkish Archery Foundation, have also participated in the award ceremony in Tetovo. Yıldız said that they have planted the white birch, from which the bow is made, at the historical Arabati Tekke together with young people coming from different locations of the region.
Yıldız highlighted that white birch was considered the sturdiest, most durable and longest lasting of all trees and said, "I wish our friendship, the relationships between Turkey and Macedonia, between the Balkan countries and Turkey will be sturdy, durable and long lasting like these trees.".
"TOGETHER, WE WILL TAKE FIRMS STEPS TOWARDS THE FUTURE"
Yıldız stated, "I believe that we will meet at all the spots where our history and civilization met in the past, and all together, walk towards the future as the children of a large and strong civilization.".
Sedat Suleymani, North Macedonia Minister of Education, mentioned that such activities should be reproduced in order to better promote the Ottoman culture and said, "If God allows, as North Macedonia Ministry of Education, we are ready to give all the help in order to reproduce this type of activities as much as possible in case it is requested from us.".
WE MUST PASS THE TURKISH ARCHERY DOWN TO OUR CHILDREN
Chief Executive Officer of Halkbank Skopje, Bilal Sucubaşı said that they were happy to support such an organization.
Sucubaşı thanked the organizers of the event, Yunus Emre Institute and Turkish Archery Foundation and said, "I hereby congratulate Turkish Archery Foundation which keeps alive and sustains our traditions and customs, Turkish sports, especially archery, and grants us the opportunity to pass these down to our children.".
The Director of Skopje Yunus Emre Institute, Serhat Kula said that they were organizing the Kemankeş Project for a long time through the collaboration of Yunus Emre Institute and Turkish Archery Foundation.
Kula mentioned that they delivered archery training for thousands of students and said, "We have taken our Kemankeş Project one step further with an exhibition last December. With every passing day, we are continuing to improve our works with this tournament. God willing, we will meet once again with more extensive and more professional works in the near future.".
The athletes who were qualified were presented their awards at the end of the ceremony. The 9th International Conquest Cup will be organized on May 29 at Istanbul with the participation of athletes from 30 countries.