Sport events to be generalized in Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 12.06.2016 23:43
Updated 12.06.2016 23:46

After attending the funeral of the late former world boxing champion and honored sports personality Muhammad Ali, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke about the state of sports in Turkey and of his hopes for the future of sports in the country. Erdoğan is notable for his interest in sports and wants to generalize various sports in the country. He said: "I watch sports programs when I find the time. In particular, football and basketball matches. I play sports a few days a week with friends, such as Hidayet [Türkoğlu, former Turkish basketball star], Hamza [Yerlikaya, former Turkish gold medalist wrestler] and İbrahim [Kalın, the presidential spokesman]. ... It gives us strength and vigor. "I wanted Mr. Türkoğlu to work on what needs to be done to establish a program of sports events in our schools. During my term as Istanbul mayor, I made efforts to promote street basketball. I urge our Youth and Sports Ministry and professional clubs to concentrate on amateur sports. The state and government should make sure that schools have sports halls nearby. We had a project to establish sports schools. We must provide for sports culture. ... "We have many new, modern stadiums now. We possess as ample means as those enjoyed in developed countries. For example, this year's Super League Champion Beşiktaş has a wonderful stadium. There are wonderful, modern stadiums in Konya, Antalya, Bursa and others. I hope Trabzonspor will also have a new, modern stadium in August. With thanks to God, nobody in Turkey can say they do not have a stadium. We should be aware that basketball is getting more attention every day. Of course sports salons are not enough, there must be successful clubs."

Regarding Turkey's Euro 2016 prospects, he said: "I hope our national team is successful in Euro 2016. We have a young, talented squad with an experienced coach, Fatih Terim. I hope they advance to the next stages in the tournament. We trust them. Also, I wish our referee, Cüneyt Çakır, who has been assigned to the tournament, good luck." On Turkey's medal expectations in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Erdoğan said, "We can only expect to win medals. Our coaches are better at making the evaluations. An athlete of ours who became a champion in previous Olympics cannot repeat the same success. We want our athletes to be stable and resolute. We have pride in their achievements."

With regard to whether there is any progress in the Turkish Football Club's Union's bid for the rights to broadcast matches live, Erdoğan wanted Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç to answer. Kılıç said: "The Turkish Football Federation and Football Club Union have been examining this issue and the legal requirements. After Euro 2016 and examinations will be finished and we will further negotiate the issue."

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