Yunus Emre Enstitüsü

Love for Turkish Brought Students Together in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Written by TR Dergisi

Nearly 10 thousand students from Bosnia-Herzegovina who learn Turkish in 130 high schools and elementary schools, came together at the Children’s Festival.

Organized by Yunus Emre Enstitüsü for the fifth time this year, the Children’s Festival was held at Zenica city in Bosnia-Herzegovina under the auspices of Turkish Ministry of National Education, Turkish Embassy in Sarajevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of Civil Affairs. The Childrens Festival was supported by more than 100 ins ti tu ti ons and organizations from Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the event held at Zenica Sports Hall, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avcı, Bosnia-Herzegovina Minister of Civil Affairs Adil Osmanovic, Turkish Ambassador to Sarajevo Haldun Koç, Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş and many distinguished guests from Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina were present. Turkish and Bosnian songs were performed for children who arrived at the hall before the festival took start, and a childrens janissary band and folk dance company took the stage. The program where the excitement and enthusiasm of the children reflected on the stage, started at 1 P.M. with performance of the national anthems of both countries. Following the anthems, Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr Şeref Ateş, Turkish Ambassador to Sarajevo Haldun Koç, BIH Minister of Civil Affairs Adil Osmanovic and Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Dr. Nabi Avcı made speeches.


Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş who marked in his opening speech that as Yunus Emre Enstitüsü, they have organized the event titled “Childrens Festival” for five years with the aim of bringing students who learn Turkish in Bosnia-Herzegovina together, said: “As Yunus Emre Enstitüsü, we present the Childrens Festival to all Bosnian children who do or do not learn Turkish. This festival is now your festival. ” President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş who underlined that he brought lots of greetings to children of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Turkey, continued as follows: “Bosnia-Herzegovina is the country that celebrates April 23rd with enthusiasm outside of Turkey. Bosnia-Herzegovina also resembles Turkey as a country sensitive particularly towards national sovereignty. Bosnians, so fond of their sovereignty, gave many martyrs for the freedom of their homeland. ” Turkish Ambassador to Sarajevo Haldun Koç also pointed out the strong ties between Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina and stated that Bosnia-Herzegovina has always been distinctly important for Turkey and that Turkey has invariably underlined this. Ambassador Haldun Koç stressing that those who learn Turkish have made a good investment in their futu re, spoke as follows: “You have also invested in your future by choosing Turkish. You have made an important choice for the future, so I congratulate you all.” Bosnia-Herzegovina Minister of Civil Affairs Adil Osmanovic, who expressed their satisfaction with the fact that Bosnian students choose to learn Turkish, emphasized that Turkish is one of the most beautiful world languages.


Turkish Minister of Culture Prof. Dr. Nabi Avcı pointing out the importance of language at the Children’s Festival, firstly thanked the families of students who learn Turkish for their support and said: “I hope that ten years later, the ministers of the two countries will be able to speak Turkish and Bosnian fluently.” Noting that the children in Turkey choose Bosnian language as a second language, Minister Prof. Dr. Nabi Avcı said, “You will be robust bridges between the two countries in the future. May your smiling faces never fade. May you always be so enthusiastic, hopeful and happy. ” Following the opening speeches, the winners of Yunus Emre Painting Competition with the theme ”Holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina” were granted their awards. Upon learning that prizes were also granted at the end of a draw over ticket numbers in addition to awards presented for painting and selfie contests, Minister Avcı said he would also like to make a draw and that he would present special gifts to three winners. After reading the drawn numbers, Nabi Avcı announced the prizes for three students who came on the stage.

Avcı said that the winning students will be hosted in Turkey for a week with their families including their grandparents.


In the event where Selçuklu Municipality Children’s Folk Dance Company also performed, Bosnian children performed “Osman Pasha’’ folk song and “Sultanım” hymn in Turkish and Bosnian which was applauded. Turkish messages to children from famous athletes Arda Turan, Edin Dzeko, Rijad Bajic and Amir Hadziahmedovic and famous actors Meryem Uzerli and Ozan Güven were projected on the screen. The students strongly applauded the actors they know from Turkish TV series. Following zeybek show by Bosnian Children’s Folk Dance Company, and Bosnian Folk Dance show by Zenica School for Disabled, the leading actor of TV series ‘Elif Damla Güvenilir addressed the children. Child actor Güvenilir made a surprise by reading the poem titled “I am a child” written for students who learn Turkish. Students who were placed in “best selfie” contest organized by Sarajevo Yunus Emre Enstitüsü and participated by students who learn Turkish, received their prizes from Damla Güvenilir. Güvenilir presented tablets to the top 10 winners of the selfie contest with Turkish and Turkey theme, participated by more than 600 students. As Childrens Festival was celebrated with enthusiasm and made a tremendous impact all across Bosnia-Herzegovina, the famous Bosnian Artist Han Mata Hari also performed in the event. The artist who came out third in the 2006 Eurovision song contest with the song “Lejla” he performed, is a most popular singer in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Children’s Festival ended after a cake was cut on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of Yunus Emre Enstitüsüs establishment.

About the author

TR Dergisi

Leave a Comment