US gives visa date in 2023, Turkish athletes not attending games
Turkish national karate team will not be participating in the World Games held in Birmingham, Alabama, between July 8 and 10, as the U.S. consulate in Istanbul has given July 2023 to apply for visas, the karate federation has announced.
“This attitude is done to the state not to the athletes or the federation,” Aslan Adib Uğuz, the head of the Turkish Karate Federation told the daily Milliyet on July 1.
Explaining the process in detail, Uğuz said that his federation sent all required paperwork and applied to the U.S. consulate “six months ago.”
The consulate, gave a visa application date for a year later, and refused all the federation’s calls that “the situation was urgent.”
The federation, then, applied to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Sports Ministry, National Olympics Committee and the World Games Organization Committee. All institutions provided letters to the U.S. consulate, but the answer was a “no.”
According to the daily, the U.S. consulate replied to the federation, saying that they could not bring the date forward.
“Maybe our athletes will get their U.S. visas at the promised date, but they will not be joining the games,” Uğuz said and added: “All efforts will go down the drain.”
When asked if the federation will attend next year’s games, Uğuz reminded, “We will look at our calendar. If there is a tournament more important then we will choose that.”
National karate players had broken a record in the European Championship with 11 medals. The athletes recently bagged five medals in the ongoing Mediterranean Games in Algeria.