A solemn opening ceremony of the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games has been held in the Turkish city of Konya.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended the ceremony.
The aerobatics flights of “Turkish Stars” over the Konya Metropolitan Municipality Stadium, where the opening ceremony was held, produced a wonderful impression on the audience.
Then Maher Zain, a Swedish singer of Lebanese origin, performed with a concert program. Drone and light effects added a special color to the ceremony.
Then verses from the holy Quran-Karim were read out.
The audience of the remarkable event gave a round of applause for President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and other heads of state and government as they entered the arena.
President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a short conversation with First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva and Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.
Dancers who appeared first on the stage created the logo of the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games. The logo in the shape of a tulip symbolizing number 21 was designed specifically for the Games. The logo also includes the word "أ خ", which means “brother” in Arabic.
A composition describing different periods of Turkish history and cultural riches was demonstrated during the ceremony. At the end of the composition, the Turkish flag and the moon-star figure were projected onto the stage using light effects. Then the military brought out the State Flag of Turkiye. The flag was raised to the sounds of the National Anthem of Turkiye – the Independence March.
After the raising of the flag, the ceremony featured a parade of volunteers and teams participating in the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games “Konya 2021”.
Azerbaijani athletes were the fourth to enter the arena.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva warmly welcomed the members of Azerbaijani team.
During the ceremony, the tricolor flag of Azerbaijan was carried by athlete Nazim Babayev and volleyball player Ayshan Abdulazimova.
Nazim Babayev is the European champion, winner of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, double winner of the Winter Universiade and bronze medalist of the Summer Youth Olympic Games. Ayshan Abdulazimova is the captain of Azerbaijan women’s national volleyball team, winner of the Challenge Cup, the Golden Europe league and the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games.
A total of 281 athletes represent Azerbaijan in the Islamic Solidarity Games. They will compete in weightlifting, shooting, athletics, 3x3 basketball (women and men), judo, football, wrestling, gymnastics, aerobics, rhythmic gymnastics, handball (women and men), karate, kickboxing, fencing, archery, para-archery, para-athletics, para-swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, cycling, volleyball (women and men) and swimming.
More than 4,000 athletes from 56 countries will compete for 483 sets of medals in 24 sports at the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games, which are scheduled to last until 18 August.