The 2016 World Deaf Championships are going ahead as planned at Samsun’s Batıpark despite the recent failed military coup in Turkey.
The week-long Championships, which are due to conclude on Sunday (July 24), are serving as preparation for the 2017 Deaflympics in the Turkish city.
They begun just three days after members of Turkish Armed Forces unsuccessfully attempted to seize control of several key places in cities such as Ankara and Istanbul.
It ended after forces loyal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan maintained social order within 48 hours.
The Government says 312 people were killed in the coup, including 145 civilians, 60 police, three soldiers and 104 plotters.
International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) President Valery Rukhledev, who attended the Opening Ceremony of the World Deaf Championships, described the military coup as "deeply shocking".
"ICSD strongly condemns it as barbaric and cowardly act," he said.
"This is not only attack on the Government of Turkey, on humanity but on all humanitarian and Olympic values.
"ICSD stands united with the Turkish people and people from around the globe.
"Our thoughts and prayers with the families of those who have been killed and wounded.
"This is a heartbreaking situation."
Rukhledev was joined at the Opening Ceremony by Turkey's Minister of Youth and Sports Akif Çağatay Kılıç, who led the "365 days countdown ceremony" for next year’s Deaflympics, scheduled to be held from July 18 to 30.
Kılıç started the countdown signboard at the Republic Square via live broadcast.
"We are happy to host you all," he said.
"I don’t doubt that Samsun will organise two excellent events.
"We will reunite next year for the 2017 Deaflympics."
The World Deaf Championships are made up of five sports including beach volleyball, judo, karate, table tennis and taekwondo.
As part of their visit, team delegations were given detailed information about sport complexes and ongoing operations for next year’s Deaflympics.
"Deaflympics 2017 in Samsun will be our common success," added Rukhledev.