TODAY’S – Turkey’s women’s wushu team won’t participate in upcoming championship

Turkey’s women’s wushu team won’t participate in upcoming championshipThe president of Turkey’s Wushu Federation has decided not to allow the federation’s women’s team to participate in this year’s European Traditional Wushu Championships since his headscarved daughter was disqualified from last year’s edition of the martial arts competition, local papers reported on Sunday.Wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. The European Traditional Wushu Championships 2013 were held in Bucharest on April 8-15 of last year.According to the reports, Zeynep Makbule Akyuz, daughter of Turkey’s Wushu Federation President Abdurrahman Akyuz, was disqualified from the European Traditional Wushu Championship 2013 after her decision to participate in the competition wearing hijab, a religious headscarf for women in Islam.Zeynep Akyuz was later banned from further competitions for a two-year period by the European Wushu Federation. The website of the European Wushu Federation notes that Abdurrahman Akyuz was also banned from competition.”This ban only applies to Abdurrahman Akyuz and Zeynep Akyuz as individuals,” the European Wushu Federation (EWUF) says on its official website. The statement also says that the Turkish Wushu Federation was never involved in the incident and no actions were taken against the Turkish Wushu Federation or Turkish national team. “Both are welcome to attend EWUF events and championships,” it says.On hearing this, Turkey’s Wushu Federation administrative body first withdrew both the mens and the women’s national team from the 2014 championship. Later changing its decision, the country’s Wushu Federation decided to ban only the women’s team from participating in the championship, a move that has led to much debate.Seven female athletes on the national team have claimed that President Akyuz has unfairly punished the whole team by not sending it to the competition when only his daughter has been declared ineligible. “It is not a family federation. Even if his daughter cannot go to the competition, we still want to participate in the championship. We have been training for years. We wish to represent our country and wave our flag,” Turkish wushu champion Hatice AlI was quoted as saying.AlI, who is from Izmir province, has been practicing wushu for three years and has represented Turkey on the national boxing team for 10 years.Wushu Federation head Akyuz was implicated in a bribery scandal last year when the World Wushu Championships’ organizer claimed that Akyuz gave a referee a bribe to secure the gold medal for his daughter Elif, Turkey’s first world champion in wushu.

SOURCE: Todays Zaman

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