“Traditional Turkish Archery Training”, the first phase of the Kemankeş Project realized by Yunus Emre Enstitüsü and Okçular Foundation was held in Istanbul between November 27th and December 4th, 2017.
In the scope of the project that aims to introduce traditional Turkish archery to the world and to bring new athletes to our ancestral sport, 40 athletes from Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Morocco, Palestine, Iran, Japan, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Lebanon, Malaysia, Egypt, Poland, Serbia, Sudan and Jordan and students in Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Archery Club came together in İstanbul.
Bilal Erdoğan said, “It pleases us that Yunus Emre Enstitüsü and Okçular Foundation revive our ancestral sport. We now tell our story to the world by introducing values that now belong to us, through these institutions. Today, we will be promoting Turkish archery all over the world. ”
As part of the training where all kinds of theoretical and practical knowledge and experience pertaining to traditional Turkish archery were shared by Okçular Foundation coaches and experts within the curriculum, the athletes visited the historical and cultural attractions in Istanbul.
Following the completion of “Traditional Turkish Archery Training” a launch event was held on December 4th, 2017 where all stages of Kemankeş Project were announced to the press. After the opening speeches, athletes who successfully completed one week of intensive training received their certificates from Yunus Emre Enstitüsü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş, Okçular Foundation Chairman Haydar Ali Yıldız, Okçular Foundation Member of Board of Trustees Bilal Erdoğan, and former Minister of Culture and Tourism Bülent Akarcalı.
Enstitü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş made a speech in the program, and stated that Yunus Emre Enstitüsü introduces Turkey’s accumulation and values to the world in 61 countries on 5 continents, with 54 Enstitü centres and 139 contact points. Ateş marked that the Enstitü has realized Kemankeş Project together with Okçular Foundation with the aim of consolidating the friendship and cultural ties between the countries by introducing traditional Turkish archery around the world that is a building stone of Turkish cultural history that marked pre-Islamic Turkish way of living, and continued to preserve its vitality on grounds of belief and thought brought along by Islam.
Okçular Foundation Chairman Haydar Ali Yıldız who spoke in the event, said, “Our athlete friends will train those who aspire to learn about this ancestral sport in classrooms prepared at Yunus Emre Enstitüsü centres in their respective countries. Those who take interest will be able to take a course with resources prepared for them and handmade archery materials within the scope of the Traditional Turkish Archery curriculum, and then we will proceed to the second stage of the project.”
Okçular Foundation Founding Member of Board of Trustees Bilal Erdoğan who made the last speech in the event, wished for the project to be beneficial, and continued as follows: “Project was realized rapidly thanks to fruitful efforts of the two institutions. We are a nation that has been the centre of a very rich cultural transfer with respect to both geographical location and the cultural richness we have inherited throughout the centuries. It pleases us that Yunus Emre Enstitüsü and Okçular Foundation revive our ancestral sport. We now tell our story to the world by introducing values that now belong to us, through these institutions. Today, we will be promoting Turkish archery all over the world.”
Kemankeş Project to Continue
The other stage of the project consisting of traditional Turkish Archery seminars, exhibitions and performances, and archery courses to be organized within Yunus Emre Enstitüsü will initially be realized in 16 countries.
The athletes will continue their training in classes prepared at Yunus Emre Enstitüsü centres in their respective countries and they will train new students. With the project, anyone who takes interest in Turkish archery will have the opportunity to train and practice shooting in archery classes in Yunus Emre Enstitüsü centres.
The last stage of the Kemankeş Project will be complete after the archery course participants demonstrate their skills in the major competition to be held in Istanbul in the summer of 2018.