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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Turkey refuse to give up on Formula One

Turkey are refusing to give up on persuading Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to keep the Turkish Grand Prix next year.

Chairman of the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED), Mumtaz Tahincioglu said: “We are seeking a way to keep Formula One in Turkey and the sports minister is ready to do everything for this goal.”

Tahincioglu plans to invite Bernie Ecclestone to Turkey in order to ignite some negotiations to persuade Ecclestone that the Turkish Grand Prix deserves a place on the Formula One calendar next season.

Istanbul has hosted the Turkish leg of the Formula One season ever since 2005, but was dropped last week over disagreement over fees involved and poor attendance of the event. It was rumoured that Ecclestone is demanding $24 million to keep the Turkish race alive this year, whereas in previous years the fee had been $13 million.

Tahincioglu reflected this, saying: “There has been a loss of commercial volume due to the poor interest in the Formula One race in Turkey. The fee Mr. Ecclestone demands from Turkey would become reasonable if we could expand this commercial volume in his favour.”

With sport in Turkey currently at a cross roads with football match fixing allegations coupled with the Turkish Basketball League flourishing and linked with star names such as Kobe Bryant, and the imminent bid by Turkey to host the 2020 Olympic Games, it seems as though there could be a lot of potential for Turkish Formula One should an agreement be made.

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