Still surprised that Turkey won both the gold and silver in the women’s 1500 metres?
You aren’t alone.
In fact much of the athletic world was left stunned by the performance. It’s true however that the İstiklal Marşı has been played at Olympiads since 1924 but usually for Turkey’s weightlifting success and hardly ever for running events.
Before the London Games twenty-eight of Turkey’s thirty-seven gold medals were for weightlifting. It is of course true that Turkey’s female athletes have in recent years improved their form. So much so that at the 2010 European Athletics Championships Alemitu Bekele and Elvan Abeylegesse won gold and silver medals respectively in women’s 5000 metres; Elvan Abeylegesse also won a gold medal in the women’s 10000 metres; and Nevin Yanit won a first European Championship in a sprint race for Turkey by winning gold in Women’s 100 metres hurdles.
Still it was an unexpected windfall when Aslı Çakır Alptekin led a Turkish 1-2 even if the country’s total medal tally fell short of previous Olympiads. This in spite of the fact that a record number of athletes attended the Games: sixty-six women and forty-eight men represented Turkey in sixteen events in London and sixty-six athletes are participating in the Paralympics.
That Turkey is committed to international competitive sport is well known and despite seeing its fair share of violent conflicts and now a surge of Syrian refugees across its borders, the country still revels in the success of its athletes.
Win Lifted Turkey’s Collective Spirit!
Speaking of Turkey’s summer success Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan said that at the moment the athletes had won, he felt as though a big burden on the shoulders of Turkey had disappeared and Turkey had missed experiencing such joy. He went on to say that “There is no energy stronger than the great emotional outbursts and mingling at these times. Such a joint energy is like the colourful box of a magician which spreads hope, trust, joy and peace to society.”
100% Write-Off for Amateur Sport Sponsorship
On the heels of the country’s unprecedented athletic triumph, this week the Turkish Ministry of Finance announced that as part of the government’s policy to invest and contribute towards the development of Turkish sports clubs, payments for the sponsorship of sporting events can be ‘credited’ against Turkish corporate income tax.
To be eligible for the tax deduction sponsors must not expose brands, logos or emblems as that would deem them ‘commercial expenditure’ which is not covered by the law. The types of expenditure eligible for the ‘write-off’ include contributions towards rents for sporting facilities; athletes’ food, travel and housing expenses; equipment; player transfer fees; and performance bonuses for sportsmen.
A ruling by the Ministry of Finance means that sponsors with expenditures related to sponsorship of amateur sports events that are non-commercial may be able to write off 100% of such expenditure against income tax.
A Clear Statement of Intent.
The rules will of course be the subject o refinement over the coming weeks and months especially in the case of sponsorships of sports events containing both eligible expenditures and non-eligible commercial expenditures but the intent of the tax law is a clear statement of Turkey’s ambition to improve its showing in 2016 and in 2020 when it hopes to host the Summer Games in Istanbul.