'Divine Heart' wins legendary Gazi Race marked by Gezi Park slogans
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
The famous horse race has been organized since 1927 to commemorate Atatürk. AA photoThe annual legendary Gazi horse race in the memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, held at Istanbul Veliefendi hippodrome was marked by slogans in support of the Gezi Park demonstrations.
The 87th edition of Gazi Derby was won in a photo finish by "Divine Heart," ridden by jockey Yücel Bilik with a time of 2:31:09. Iconic jockey Halis Karataş just missed what would have been his sixth victory and third consecutive one, coming second with his horse "Carlos the Jackal" and posting a time of 2:31:23.
Onur Öztürk, with his horse "Arctic Man," completed the podium.
Some spectators chanted "Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance," and "We are the soldiers of Mustafa Kemal" before the race and during the award ceremony of the most prestigious race in the presence of Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu.
Mutlu, much-criticized for the police's brutal crackdown against protests sparked by an attempt to cut down the trees in Gezi Park, attended the event with Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker.
The famous horse race has been organized since 1927 to commemorate Atatürk.