Turkish Airlines, UN launch 'sports for peace awards'

Turkish Airlines, UN launch 'sports for peace awards'
2 min read
26 September, 2019
With the Turkish government under scrutiny by human right groups for its domestic and foreign policies, can it legitimately host the "Sports for Peace Awards"
Turkey is going to host the "Sports for Peace Awards" [Getty]
The United Nations signed an agreement with Turkey's national airline on Tuesday, to launch an intercultural exchange through sport called "Sports for Peace Awards".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were present at the meeting where Ilker Ayci, Turkish Airlines chairman and Miguel Angel Moratinos, high representative of UN Alliance of Civilizations, signed the agreement at the UN Headquarters in New York.  

"Sports has strong unifying power on different societies and communities from all around the world," Ayci said in a statement.

The project aims to cover 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are UN targets for its social and economic policies implemented by 2030.  

Turkish Airlines, which will host the award ceremony, said: "... prominent names from sports, art and business worlds along with opinion leaders will be brought together to draw the eyes of the world to global opportunities and challenges."

The meeting followed Erdogan's speech at the 74th UN General Assembly on Tuesday, which took a stance against Islamophobia and called for justice for the Palestinian people.

However, the Turkish government under his leadership has been subject of criticism in its response to the conflict in the southeastern region, recent political elections, as well as the treatment of journalists and academics. 

As the purpose of "Sports for Peace Awards" is to set up to promote "peaceful societies", critics of Erdogan's political practice will be apprehensive of the regime's involvement in this initiative. 

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