Terrorism hits Turkish sports events

Istanbul, March 23 (IANS) Consecutive terror attacks that recently rocked Turkey have been jeopardising both domestic and international sports events scheduled in that country.

Numerous sport events have been either cancelled or moved from Turkey, especially after the latest attack that hit Istanbul’s busiest Istiklal Street on Saturday claiming five lives and injuring 36, reports Xinhua.

Following the attack, European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) declared that the European Olympic Singles Qualification Tournament, scheduled for April 6-10, has been moved from Turkey over terror threat.

“ETTU came to a conclusion that the event cannot take place in Istanbul,” read an ETTU statement. It added that the decision was taken in agreement with the Turkish Table Tennis Association (TTTA) and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

“We are very sorry,” TTTA head Oktay Cimen said. “The association had completed all the preparation for the tournament but the decision has been taken by the consensus of all the European countries.”

Furthermore, international “U12 Izmir Cup Tournament”, which was scheduled at Turkey’s western coastal province of Izmir, has been postponed over security reasons after the terror attacks that hit Brussels on Tuesday killing at least 34 people.

“After the terror attacks in Brussels, European clubs decided not to send their football teams to Izmir,” read a statement on Izmir Cup’s website.

Turkey’s most awaited derby between Galatasaray and Fenerbahce had also been cancelled over a “serious security threat” on Sunday. As many as 18 football clubs of Turkey’s Super League in their extraordinary meeting on Monday condemned terrorism and declared that they united against all kinds of terrorism.

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