Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, hosts the Baku 2015 European Games held between June 12 and 28, 2015 for the first time. The opening ceremony of this great sports event, where over 6,000 athletes from 49 countries will compete against each other, was held at the Baku Olympic Stadium, designed and built by Tekfen Construction.
Seating 68,000, the stadium was flooded by the people of Azerbaijan for the opening ceremony, with tickets sold out days before the event. Lady Gaga ravished the whole stadium with her cover of John Lennon's "Imagine."
The Olympic fire, lit by President Ilham Aliyev on April 26 at the historic Ateşgah Monument in Baku, was brought to the stadium by the Azeri paralympic athlete Ilham Zekiyev after a 5,500-km tour through the country.
The parade was led by Greece, in honor of having hosted the first Olympic Games, and Turkish athletes received a standing ovation from the audience. The Turkish flag was carried by Enes Erkan, World and European champion in karate.
Many world leaders and high-level officials attended the ceremony as guests of honor, and Turkey was represented by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The ceremony ended with President Aliyev officially declaring the games open and nearly 2,000 dancers performing the traditional Azeri dance "Yalli."
The senior management of Tekfen was represented extensively at the ceremony. Ümit Özdemir, Chairman of the Board, Levent Kafkaslı, President, Cahit Oklap and Celal Erbil, Vice Presidents, as well as Cem Ilgün, Project Manager, and his team were among those present.