92 Turkish athletes now Turkish citizens
Turkey naturalized 92 foreign sportspersons through 2006-2013, Interior Minister Muammer Guler has announced in response to a motion submitted by an opposition deputy. There are four other foreign sportspersons who have applied for citizenship of the Republic of Turkey as of May, 2013, and procedures regarding these persons are still underway, Guler also said in his response to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Ozcan Yeniceri, the Anadolu Agency reported on Aug. 26. Those 92 persons were from Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Britain, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Croatia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Guinea, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine, the United States and Uzbekistan, Anadolu said. According to data compiled last year by Britain's Channel 4 News, based on the International Association of Athletics Federations' figures, Turkey has been among popular destinations which gain athletes from other countries. Other such popular countries were listed as Belgium, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In addition to the United States, France and Britain which are represented in the top five countries of origin for nationality switches and destinations.