President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Turkey's Deaf Sports Federation for winning a total of 39 medals in the 23rd Deaflympics, the Presidency said Saturday.
In a congratulatory message to the head of the federation, Yakup Ümit Kihtir, Erdoğan especially celebrated the Turkish men's volleyball team and and the men's handball squad for winning their respective tournaments, the Presidency said in a statement.
The 23rd Deaflympics began on July 18 in the coastal Black Sea province of Samsun with more than 3,000 athletes from 97 countries participating, and is set to end on July 30.
With one day remaining before the end of the event, Turkey bagged 39 medals, includes 14 gold, 6 silver and 19 bronze, according to the official website of the 2017 Deaflympics
Turkey ranks fifth for most medals won behind Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China.
Valery Rukhledev, head of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), the main governing body responsible for the organization of the Deaflympics, thanked Turkey for hosting the global sports event.
"As ICSD, we applaud and congratulate Turkey," he said.
The first games for the deaf, known then as the International Silent Games, were held in 1924 in Paris with athletes from nine European nations participating.
The idea for the games initially came from Eugene Rubens-Alcais, president of the French Deaf Sports Federation.