With support from their relatives on the sidelines, the 24-person Turkish Deaf Karate Team has won 4 medals on the first day of the competition.

At the end of the first day of the karate competition, the Turkish team has 2 silver and 2 bronze medals for a total of 4. Burak Mert Can, Fatih Çiçek and Mehmet Ali Sapmaz have won medals, while Sena Saime Sönmez, Kader Işık and Melek Morgil have been eliminated from the tournament. As the athletes competed on the tatami, their relatives cheered them on from the tribunes.

"THEY'VE BEEN WORKING NON-STOP FOR 4 MONTHS"
Burak Mert Can's parents haven't left him alone from the tribunes as the athlete won a silver medal in kata and a bronze in kumite. His father İhsan Can, after his son's medal ceremonies, stated: "I can't articulate my emotions. We're very happy, very proud. They've been working non-stop for 4 months. Their coaches have done everything to improve their morale, too. They played a huge part".

"I'M VERY HAPPY FOR MY MOTHERLAND"
Fatih Çiçek's father Kenan Çiçek, who was very proud of his bronze medalist son in the kata discipline, described his feelings: "I am very moved by my son ranking 3rd here. I am very happy for my country, for my motherland. May Allah bestow this pride on everyone".

"IT'S ALRIGHT"
Mehmet Ali Sapmaz suffered an unfortunate injury in the kumite final and had to settle with a silver medal. His uncle and his coach Mehmet Sapmaz stated: "Normally Mehmet Ali should've taken the gold medal, but he was unlucky. It's alright. We're very proud of him. We're very proud as the people of Hatay [Sapmaz family's hometown], too".

"I'M ALWAYS WITH THEM"
Kader Işık and Sena Saime Sönmez competed in kata, while Melek Morgil competed in kumite. Neither could win a medal. Kader Işık's mother Arzu Işık said she's very proud even though her daughter was eliminated, consoling her: "We're very happy. I'm very proud whether she wins or loses. I'm always with them. Winning or losing doesn't matter. What matters is being here".

THE GOAL OF THE MORGİL FAMILY IS THE NEXT DEAFLYMPICS
Melek Morgil's father Köksal Yüksel Morgil is also Deaf. Father Morgil said their goal was the next Deaflympics: "You train in karate, you have the right technique but it's not certain, you might lose. There are athletes that never succeed despite being very good. I'm sad but there's always the next Deaflympics".

"SENA IS MY LIFE SOURCE"
Sena Saime Sönmez's mother Hatice Sönmez couldn't control her emotions. The mother Sönmez, who travelled from İstanbul to watch her daughter, stated: "Her coming this far and competing here is unforgettable for me. I'm very happy, I can't explain what I feel. I've done everything for Sena. She's my life source".

The karate events will end on the 26th of July.

 

Turkish Airlines is the official airline of "23rd Summer Deaflympics Samsun 2017" and special discounts are offered on certain booking classes. In order to proceed with the online booking tool for Turkish Conventions please visit the Turkish Conventions website https://www4.thy.com/TKC/app/main?language=en and use the event code “154TKM17” under delegate section.