Athletes swim to Turkish Cyprus to draw attention to sports embargoes
A group of athletes, including national swimmers and former Minister Kürşad Tüzmen, began swimming on July 19 from the southern province of Mersin’s Anamur district to Turkish Cyprus to mark the 46th anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation.
The team, which was sent off from the Anamur Pier with a ceremony, plans to reach the Girne (Kyrenia) Harbor on July 20.
Participants will deliver a Turkish flag given to them in Anamur to Coast Guard officials at Girne’s Pentemili (Yavuz) beachhead, where Turkish marines landed on July 20, 1974.
The team will complete the 90-kilometer course by swimming in eight-hour shifts.
“It depends on the weather conditions, but I think we will swim for eight hours. Due to sea currents, directions can change and the distance can reach 110 kilometers,” Tüzmen said.
Officials, medical teams and Navy units will also accompany the participants for safety.
The event aims to draw attention to the international sports embargo against Turkish Cyprus.
Ankara intervened in Cyprus in 1974 following a Greek Cypriot coup that aimed to unite Cyprus with Greece.