Dear Valued Guests,

In the context of historical developments within societies, it is evident that sports have maintained a tightly woven relationship with the socio-economic and cultural fabric. The competitions in which athletes demonstrate their achievements are intended to improve a nation’s representation, and these events have substantial effects on local, regional, and national economies.

The growing recognition of the significance of international sports events in Türkiye has led to an increased interest in sports activities at both the national and city levels. Efforts and investments to host these events have gained momentum.

It is estimated that Erzurum, the largest city in the Eastern Anatolia region, which is started to have been founded around 4900 BC, introduced modern winter sports activities to Türkiye with the introduction of skiing in the 1915.

Erzurum, with its infrastructure tailored to accommodate all sports competitions, holds a significant place in winter sports. Thanks to hosting events such as the 2011 World University Winter Games and the 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) Winter Games, Erzurum boasts modern facilities suitable for international competitions in disciplines such as Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon, Ski Jumping, Skiing, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, and Curling. Several initiatives are also in progress to train Olympic athletes in these winter sports disciplines. Our sports facilities and city have hosted numerous international events in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Erzurum is a city that deeply comprehends the language and practice of sports. It is a city that has successfully hosted the Olympics in various fields. We share a common language and culture with a city that has a profound understanding of sports. With this mindset, we take great pride in hosting the 20th Winter Deaflympics in Erzurum and welcoming approximately 1,500 athletes and guests from 40 different countries. We are delighted to be the hosts, and this hospitality brings us great joy.

Erzurum is not only a hub for sports but also a city characterized by humanity, compassion, mercy, beautiful emotions, natural beauty, and mutual understanding. I can assure you that our guests will leave here with profoundly positive sentiments. Both our local athletes and those from other countries will forge strong friendships through this event.

I firmly believe that the 20th Winter Deaflympics play a crucial role in enhancing the social aspect of deaf individuals, allowing society to recognize the accomplishments of this silent community, inspiring other disabled citizens, and promoting the widespread adoption of international sign language.

With this perspective, I extend my best wishes for success to all athletes participating in the 20th Winter Deaflympics, believing that sports, as an element that fosters respect and affection, will exert a positive influence on people’s socialization and serve as a significant means of promoting our city and our country.

Governor of Erzurum
Mustafa Çiftçi