site.btaFifth Anniversary of Legendary Weightlifter Naim Syuleimanoglu’s Death Marked in Istanbul, Native Krumovgrad
Prominent sports personalities, public figures, relatives and admirers gathered Friday for the commemorative ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of legendary Bulgarian-born weightlifter Naim Syuleimanogly’s death at his grave in the Edirnekapi Martyr’s Cemetery.
The President of the Turkish Weightlifting Federation, Talat Unlu, and Mehmet Baykan, General Director of Sports Services at the Ministry of Youth and Sports were among the attending sports officials.
His mother, Hatice Syuleimanogly, was also present.
The mayor of Istanbul’s Avcilar district, Turan Hancerli, as well as members of the Society of Balkan Turks Culture and Cooperation with its Chairman, former freestyle wrestler Efraim Kamberoglu, also came to pay their respects.
Syuleimanoglu’s memory was marked with a minute’s silence and a commemorative prayer. Wreaths and floral contributions from institutions and public organisations were laid, as well as one from Good Party leader Meral Askener.
Suyleimanoglu’s memory was also marked with a minute’s silence and floral contributions in front of his monument in his native Krumovgrad, Southern Bulgaria, the municipality said.
Local people passed by to lay their flowers from early morning, to be followed later by Mayor Ulknur Kyazim, her deputies, the Chairman of the Municipal Council, Ersin Yumer, the Chairman of Momchilgrad Residents in Bursa Association Hasan Ozturk and members of sports clubs.
Suyleimanoglu was born on January 23, 1967 in the local village of Ptichar. He won three Olympic titles, was seven times world champion and improved world records in weightlifting 46 times. During the so-called "Revival Process" in Bulgaria he was renamed Naum Shalamanov. At a competition in Melbourne in 1986 he managed to escape from the Bulgarian delegation and emigrated to Turkey.