Teams are wary on return of Rally Turkey on the 2017 calendar
Leading figures in the World Rally Championship have spoken out against a potential return to Turkey next season.
The WRC calendar coming from last month’s World Motor Sport Council listed 12 rallies with three possible additions in Turkey, China and Poland. But a summer of violence and political unrest following a failed coup against President Erdogan has called for many to postpone the series’ first trip back to Turkey since 2010.
World champion Sebastien Ogier said his concerns were for the people of Turkey.
“Right now with the political situation in Turkey, I would not want to go there and I don’t think it would be clever to go there,” said Ogier. “But hopefully – and more for the Turkish people – this situation will change and it can develop in a better way.”
Citroen’s Yves Matton echoed those sentiments saying: “Turkey could be an interesting rally for the calendar, but the timing is not a good one. We don’t know if, in one year, the security will be good for us to go there. It’s maybe a rally more for 2018 than for 2017.”
WRC promoter’s Oliver Ciesla defended Turkey’s provisional place on the calendar, saying: “I was there recently and the tourist season was in full flow, there was no feeling anything was wrong. There are major events happening in Turkey, such as UEFA Champions’ League and a major basketball event is going to Istanbul. We are not talking about going there tomorrow, we are talking about going there in 12 months.”