By Mete Budak/ firstname.lastname@example.org
FIBA Europe’s president Turgay Demirel held a press conference in Istanbul today about the general situation in Turkey and also about the upcoming Eurobasket 2017.
Demirel explained that everything is under control and nothing will change in the scheduling or hosting of the Eurobasket tournament.
As he explained: “Over the last two weeks, I have got many phone calls and messages regarding the failed coup attempt in Turkey. Variety of federations and significant names all around Europe have expressed their concerns and admiration towards Turkish people who have fearlessly put up a fight against this unlawful, illegitimate attempt. I explained how the President of Turkish Republic and Turkish officials have been trying to campaign against this illegal and insidious organization that has taken roots deep inside the State the last couple of years. I also explained them this is not a coup attempt performed by Turkish army but the treacherous organization itself.
Turkey, in all respects, is a country that is intertwined with Europe. We are following the roots of our founding leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Any inconsistency that might turn up in this country will surely reflect on European Union in a negative way and will surely have continuous bearings. I am explicitly telling people that I am watching in a daze how the Western media is creating false and misleading news regarding the happenings in Turkey. I will also be present in Rio and try to spread the truth among basketball people and federation officials.
EuroBasket 2017 is ahead of us. Alongside the three others (Finland, Israel and Romania), the competition will be hosted by Turkey. We are more than a year away from EuroBasket 2017 and Turkey has a good reputation of hosting such organizations. Thus, none of the federations actually has a question mark regarding the ability of Turkey to host EuroBasket 2017. I have very positive feedbacks from federations that they have no concerns in regards to Turkey hosting EuroBasket 2017. Eurobasket 2017 is expected to be done without any problems. The draw will be held in Turkey on November 22th.
All under-age competitions ran smoothly, though the FIBA U-18 that was supposed to be hosted in Samsun is postponed to a later date. However, it’s still going to be held in Turkey. Turkey has four teams in Euroleague and five in Basketball Champions League. Turkish Basketball contributes a lot to the legacy of European basketball in both club level and national team level. Just like in 2001, I hope that Turkey will test well in hosting the Eurobasket 2017 and we will have another exhilarated, great competition that will bring Turkish people together again”.
Answering the question “do foreign players have any concerns about coming in Turkey and play, have you had such a report/complaint from club officials”, Demirel added: “Some players indeed hesitated but it all happened in the heat of the moment when things were very intense and raw. I do not think players, especially the players who have played in Turkey before, will have any doubts over coming in and play in Turkey”.