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International swimmers join Turkish Olympic Committee in peacefully linking Asia with Europe by crossing The Bosphorus

Participants jump into the water for the start of the race.
ISTANBUL, 27 July, 2016 - The Turkish Olympic Committee successfully organized the 28th edition of the Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race on July 24th, with the participation of 1541 swimmers from 49 countries around the world. The swimmers, along with thousands of spectators and families, shared in the joyful atmosphere of this TOC ‘Sport for All’ event across the beautiful Bosphorus straits of Istanbul.

Upon completion of the Race, TOC President Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener said: “We are delighted with the high number of international participation and interest shown from around the world for the Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race at a time when Turkey, unfortunately, faced a failed military coup attempt. To have as many countries represented in the swim as last year is another clear demonstration of the power of sport to peacefully bring people together. It is by coming together peacefully that the people of Turkey have ensured a healthy future for our democracy. At the TOC, we shall continue to use sport to promote this togetherness.

“Peace and fairness are vital parts of sport and the TOC condemns the attempted military coup, while reiterating its full support for Turkey’s democracy and democratic institutions. We fully respect the constitutional order, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms,” continued Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener. “With full confidence in the Turkish state and parliament, the TOC will always support fairly elected representatives and democratic principles. The successful organisaiton of the Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race is a wonderful demonstration that normal daily and social life has continued here in Turkey, despite the despicable attempt to disrupt it.”

At the launch of the Race, Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç said that it was important some 500 of the competitors were foreigners: "Our overseas guests are always welcome, as a key part of the Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race and we are honoured to have them join us for this as for so many other sports events every year. These swimmers from around the world have seen there is nothing extraordinary in Turkey despite the coup attempt of the last week: no sport events have been cancelled until now and there are no plans to cancel any in the future. Daily life in Turkey has vey much returned to normality already and we look forward to continuing to show a warm Turkish welcome to all our guests.”
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