The Turkish Muaythai Federation is one of the leading IFMA member federations fully recognised by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey and the Turkish Ministry of Sport.

Under the leadership of President Halil Durna and Vice President Hasan Yildiz, Turkish Muaythai has gone from strength to strength. In fact, it was in Turkey that the first IFMA Youth World Championships ever to be held outside the Kingdom of Thailand in 2012.

The 2021 Youth Turkey Championship, attended by over 800 athletes from 55 provinces of Turkey and managed by 90 referees, was completed in a healthy, open air venue in Kusadasi, Turkey’s tourism center, by paying attention to the pandemic rules.

IFMA Medical Commission Chair Dr. Erdogan Aydin stated that the wellbeing of the athletes, especially the youth is a key priority for muaythai in Turkey which is why the federation maintained a close collaboration with IFMA, EMF and Turkish Sports Ministry throughout the organisation of the event.

Hasan Yildiz, Vice President of Turkish Muaythai stated “In 2019 Antalya staged the biggest youth world championships in the history of IFMA which was aligned with IFMA’s strategic plan in terms of Youth Development and Sustainability. The youth are our future and with muaythai’s inclusion in the European Games, World Games and so on, the next generation will be the key to the sport’s success and survival. We are extremely proud that this year’s youth national championship saw the participation of over 800 athletes athletes with a ratio of 55 to 45 male to female, bringing us one step closer to Turkey’s mission for full gender equality.”

He further stated that the event ensured the compliance of full safety regulations putting the safety of the athletes and all participants at the centre.

Erdinc Patlar, a member of the Turkish Youth Commission stated “This event was not just a competition. It was a get together of all Turkish clubs and regions for an event that gave the opportunity to compete not only in the combat discipline but also the cultural disciplines such as wai kru and mae mai muaythai to ensure a well-rounded and inclusive event.”

The gold medalists of this championship were nominated for the creation of the Turkish youth national team that will represent their nation at the forthcoming IFMA World Championships in December. The event was also testament to Turkey’s readiness to host future National and International events to be organised under the sanctioning of IFMA.