Politics Collides with Grand Prix Award

The winner of the Turkish Grand Prix was awarded his prize by the president of Northern Cyprus. Since Northern Cyprus is slice of Cyprus recognized only by Turkey, Cypriots are upset.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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SIMON: Felipe Massa won the Turkish Grand Prix, but the real controversy began when he reached the winner's podium. He received the trophy from Mehmet Ali Talat, who was introduced as the president of Northern Cyprus. Now, northern Cyprus is a slice of Cyprus that is not recognized by Cyprus. It is recognized only by Turkey, which has occupied it since a 1974 coup.

Awards are supposed to be presented by officials of the host nation, not people that the host nation would like to use to make a political point. So Formula 1 international racing is considering sanctions that could ban Formula 1 racing from Turkey. What a loss.

This week the Cyprus Mail Newspaper said, if they were to hijack any sport to promote their positions on the Cyprus, Formula 1 is appropriate. A sport where competitors go round and round in circles where the substance, the raw racing, has long given way to this self interest in an ultimately pointless yet strangely mesmerizing ballet.

Coming up, what makes some teams succeed and other just bleed. A man who advises sports and business teams on how to achieve harmony. Ohmmmm.

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