Sümeyye was born without arms on the 5th February, 2003 in Eskişehir, Turkey, and began drawing pictures with her feet when she was only four years old. She learned how to swim in 12 hours when she was five and a half. In 2009, she drew a picture for the cover of a book entitled Russian Folk Tales. When she was six, Sümeyye became the first Turkish child to have an exhibition of her own work in Russia, as part of celebrations for April 23. She started producing ebru (paper marbling) when she was 7, and hosted her first personal paper marbling exhibition in Eskişehir when she was 11. She has played an active role in many social responsibility projects, particularly through the “Education Overcomes Every Obstacle” campaign, which was organized by the Republic of Turkey Presidency from 2009 to 2011.
As well as art, Sümeyye has continued swimming. She came first in the nationwide Turkey Championships that she participated in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and was awarded the National Sportswoman award in 2016. She achieved good results in the swimming events in Berlin, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, Denmark, and Brazil, and, most recently, became the European Champion of the Paralympic European Championship, held in Ireland in 2018, which meant that she was the first woman European Champion in the history of Turkish Republic. Now aged 15, Sümeyye’s main goals are to be able to sing the Turkish National Anthem at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Olympics, and to become an effective social psychologist.
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