Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday inaugurated the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games in the country’s central Konya province.
“I am starting the sports activities of the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games. I congratulate all those who contributed to this on behalf of myself and my nation. Good luck,” Erdogan said at the opening ceremony.
The games will run through Aug. 18 with the participation of more than 4,000 athletes from 56 countries.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hissein Brahim Taha, secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, thanked Türkiye for hosting the event.
Taha said it is important that Islamic countries hold such events which strengthen intercultural dialogue.
Saudi Arabia’s Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, who is also serving as the president of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation, thanked Erdogan and the Turkish people for holding the sports event.
For his part, Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu said Konya will host a “sports festival.”
Kasapoglu added international sports activities contribute to the development of brotherhood between countries.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the event, Erdogan held talks with his visiting Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.