Turkish FM challenges Obama to game of golf
ANTALYATurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who is known for his love of golf, has challenged U.S. President Barack Obama to a round in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.
Stating that many world leaders had played golf in Antalya’s Belek, a resort town famous for not only its beaches but also its golf courses, Çavuşoğlu said Obama had not been able to play golf yet in Belek.
“Barack Obama has decided to come to Antalya once his presidency tenure is over,” said Çavuşoğlu, referring to January 2017 when Obama will hand the U.S. presidency post to his new successor.
“If he plays with me I will give him a few-stroke lead,” Çavuşoğlu said, according to Doğan News Agency.
Çavuşoğlu was in Belek for the launch of the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open tournament.
Stating that he has contributed very much to the sport of golf, Çavuşoğlu said, “The [Turkish] nation now thinks that ‘if a politician can swing a club, then we can very much do it,’ and we have made many people envious.”
Çavuşoğlu also prejudices that only elites can play golf had been broken.
The event, which teed off at the Regnum Carya Golf Resort on Nov. 3, brings together top 10 players Danny Willett and Tyrrell Hatton, as well as Ryder Cup contestants Lee Westwood and Andy Sullivan.
Some top names have pulled out of the tournament over security concerns, but they may have overreacted, according to three-time major winner Padraig Harrington.
“There’s a lot of scaremongering,” said the 45-year-old Harrington. “They have to put more security in and pay attention, but is it more dangerous here than anywhere else? I’m not sure.”
“The world we live in, anything can happen anywhere and Turkey is no different to anywhere else,” he said. “I had no security worries. People are very welcoming and there are many international media members here so you haven’t got fears. I’m just here looking forward to playing golf in a big tournament and we’ll be focusing on that. Nothing else is fazing me.”