Mountaineer who unfurled Turkish Cypriot flag in Antarctica dies
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar broke the news that Uzun was dead after the U.S. diplomatic mission notified his office in north Nicosia following a ski accident in Oregon.
"I've been informed with great sorrow that Turkish Cypriot mountaineer Birkan Uzun, who made us all proud with his achievements, passed away as a result of an accident in America," Tatar said on Facebook.
He conveyed his condolences to Uzun’s family and loved ones.
On Twitter, Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also offered his sympathies following the skier's tragic death.
"It is with deep sadness that I learned that the Turkish Cypriot mountaineer Birkan Uzun, who made us all proud with his achievements, passed away as a result of an accident in the U.S.," said Altun.
No further details were immediately provided regarding the death of Uzun, but U.S. media said that he was found unresponsive in a tree well and was rushed by patrollers to a hospital.
The sudden death of the 28-year-old skier has sent shock waves to the Turkish Cypriot community who only last week were cheering him on after he climbed Mount Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica.
Uzun had posed for victory in front of the TRNC flag after reaching the summit of 4,892 meters on Dec. 16 following a challenging route.