Turkey solves chess headscarf crisis
Saturday, March 29, 2008

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News

Turkey is preparing to host the World Chess Championship, after Iran set the use of “headscarf” by female participants as a condition to host the event.

Iran asked female chess players attending the championship to cover their heads. To solve the problem, World Chess Federation (FIDE) proposed Turkey host the event. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov mentioned the issue to State Minister Murat Başesgioğlu during the award ceremony of the İşbank Ataturk International Women Masters held in Istanbul last week. Başesgioğlu replied in the affirmative.

Initially it was Argentina that was picked as the host country for the championship, but it later announced that it would not be able to host the event and Iran stepped in instead. However problems arose during initial meetings between FIDE and Iranian representatives, when Iran set conditions like wearing headscarves and preventing men from entering the championship arena. Furthermore it said Israeli players would not be allowed into the country.

Turkey will host the event in Istanbul in December with sponsorship by İşbank. Ali Nihat Yazıcı, president of Turkish Chess Federation, said they sustain good relations with Iran. “We wanted our country to host this event after the proposal of FIDE. This way our European champion Kübra Öztürk and Betül Cemre Yıldız who ranked third in world class, will have the opportunity to compete in the championship as wild cards,” he said.

Source: Turkey Daily News

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