Prof. Dr. Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the GNAT inaugurated the exhibition titled "Historical Adventure of Turkish Archery" organized by Yunus Emre Institute and Archers’ Foundation and he opened Skopje Okmeydanı in Skopje. 21.12.2020

Speaker Şentop spoke at the opening ceremony held in historical Kurşunlu Han with the support of Ministry of Culture of Northern Macedonia and told that historical value of the exhibition is very important.

Speaker Şentop stated that, "Archery, which describes the use of arrow and bow has an exceptional place and importance in ancient Turkish history. In fact, the Turks who embraced archery as a lifestyle and were described as archer nations, called themselves names like Bozok and Üçok that are affiliated with the word arrow. Likewise, the symbol of Kayı Tribe, to which the Ottoman dynasty belongs, is a bow placed in between two arrows. In Turkish epics that are important elements of the history of our literature, the words arrow and bow are used widely and they are indicators of bravery."

Şentop stated that bow and arrow were considered as symbols of justice and authority in ancient Turkish history, that is why archery rings are holy in Turkish culture and these rings were described as a piece of heaven.

Şentop told that the Turkish nation is extremely dexterous in archery and that most powerful armies at the time were brought down by the courage and ability of Turkish archers:

"Pretending to escape from the enemy while stretching in the shape of crescent and besieging the enemy is a Turkish war tactic. Our armies have been using this tactic which requires moving coordinately, for years and centuries. Turkish Armed Forces used this tactic to remove the treacherous disruptors from Afrin. The Azerbaijani army also used this tactic in its operations against Armenian occupants in order to save its occupied lands."

Şentop emphasized that this tactic is also called "Retreat like a bow" because the next move is "Bounce like an arrow" and told that the Balkan geography has also had its share of this historical heritage and the culture and tradition of archery also rooted in this geography.

Şentop finalized his words accordingly:

"We see politics as a tool of spreading and sustaining our culture, art and civilization. Some people think that we had dominated in these lands with force and power, whereas we had been in Northern Macedonia and all around the Balkans with our grace, poise, elegance and ethics. It is possible to observe that in person while visiting Skopje, Bitola and Kalkandelen."

Nadir Alpaslan, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey also told that archery is quite important for Turkish people and Turkey.

Alpaslan stated that Turkey has 20 pieces in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List and told that Turkish archery is also registered at UNESCO.

Alpaslan indicated that, "Activities as such will further strengthen our relations with Northern Macedonia and carry them to ideal levels. Our Yunus Emre Institute will serve as a private cultural center here and be a tool of consolidating our cultural relations in Northern Macedonia and the Balkans." A gift was presented to Şentop by Yıldız, President of Archers’ Foundation.