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Yunus Emre Institute Co-hosts Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day Concert

The Concert was held at the Turkish Ambassador’s Residence

Washington, D.C. - Yunus Emre Institute co-hosted a commemoration for Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day with the Turkish Embassy and H.E. Hasan Murat Mercan on May 19th. This date is an important public holiday for Turkey celebrated each year to recognize the importance of young people for the future of Turkey as a strong country. The event started with a reception at the Turkish Embassy and concluded with a concert featuring the New Manhattan Sinfonietta String Quartet sponsored by the Yunus Emre Institute. The event was hosted for a group of 15-26 year olds from the D.C. Metro Area and dignitaries from government agencies, the military, nonprofits, and other embassies.

The Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day reception was held in the Turkish Embassy’s reception hall. Two officials from the embassy gave speeches explaining the importance of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s legacy and keeping young people healthy and engaged in their communities through sports. This holiday is celebrated because Atatürk believed that healthy and well-educated children were key to creating a bright future for Turkey. After playing Turkey’s national anthem, “İstiklal Marşı,” Yunus Emre Institute’s video celebrating Turkey’s sports initiatives for its citizens with disabilities was shown to the attendees. NBA players Cedi Osman and Furkan Korkmaz also contributed videos of their tributes to the holiday. Attendees were able to enjoy delicious döner kebabs and ayran, a yogurt drink often described as Turkey’s national beverage.

The attendees walked down to the Turkish Embassy Residence for a concert with the New Manhattan Sinfonietta String Quartet which was arranged by the Yunus Emre Institute. The Embassy Residence is the beautiful historic Edward H. Everett House in Washington, D.C. not far from the formal embassy building. The Quartet is an orchestra from New York City founded by Turkish maestro Gürer Aykal with the Turkish American Arts Society of New York. They played the cello, viola, and violin. They played a selection of classical music from the world’s greatest musicians such as Beethoven in a set that lasted an hour. Guests were able to enjoy light refreshments provided by the embassy. The audience gave the Quartet many rounds of applause for their beautiful music.

Yunus Emre Institute is a Turkish cultural center located in Washington, D.C. and around the world. The institute hosts events and programs that educate the public about Turkey’s culture, history, and language. For more information about the institute’s mission or online programs, please email or follow @yeewdc on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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