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Row over TFF branch office in North Cyprus continues

12 March 2015

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Tourism, Culture and Sports Serdar Denktaş has met with Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sport Akif Cagatay Kilic in Ankara.

At the meeting, Kilic said that he was pleased about the efforts exerted in the TRNC for the opening of “a coordination office abroad” and said: “I would like to say that we are ready to provide any kind of help towards this issue. We had the opportunity to evaluate the work that could be done in the future in the field of sports for our youth”.

Also speaking at the meeting, Denktaş said that they put great emphasis on the cooperation between Turkish Cypriot and Turkish youth, adding that the newly opened coordination office abroad will give young players the opportunity to realise their ambitions.

Referring to the transfer problem of the Turkish Cypriot football players, [where the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation receives no transfer fee], Denktaş commented that the Turkish Football Federation opening a branch office in the TRNC was a wonderful opportunity.

Pointing out that the attempt of the TFF to open a representative’s office is a very positive development, Denktaş said that he had been expecting this move for a long time and thanked the chairman of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), Demiroren for suggesting it.

Commenting on the reactions expressed in the TRNC by several football clubs which disagreed with the TFF’s approach on this issue, Denktaş said: “As soon as I return to the TRNC, I will discuss this issue. What I can say right now is that this attempt is an attempt we have been waiting for years. Occasionally there are some objections, but we continue our path. Together we can achieve great projects. Turkey is the place for Turkish Cypriot athletes to make openings abroad.”

According to ‘Yeni Duzen’ the General Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Kutlay Erk condemned the initiative of TFF at FIFA to open a branch in the North Cyprus by disregarding the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation (KTFF) by describing it as unacceptable.

Hasan Sertoglu, chairman of the KTFF, also said that this situation is unacceptable, adding that the “TFF at every opportunity says that FIFA does not recognise you (KTFF), we cannot compete with you, nor even take a photo with you because FIFA will punish us. But TFF always say to us that they know that FIFA’s stance is wrong”.

Sertoglu noted that in their letter to FIFA, they also asked for a meeting with the General Secretary of FIFA in order to explain the ongoing developments with the Cyprus Football Association (CFA/KOP).

Speaking on Bayrak TV, Prime Minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu sharply criticised the request by the TFF to FIFA to open up a representation office in North Cyprus.

Prior to meeting of the Council of Ministers, Yorgancioglu said that any proposal, initiative or move which ignored the KTFF is unacceptable. He also expressed his displeasure that Deputy Prime Minister Denktaş supported the TTF’s move and that he would be taking this matter up with him when he returned from Ankara.

Sources Kibris Gazetesi, Yeni Duzen, Bayrak TV

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