After the podium ceremony at the Turkish Grand Prix, in which Mehmet Ali Talat presented the winner's trophy to Ferrari's Felipe Massa, the FIA has summoned race officials to appear before the World Motor Sport Council meeting later this month to...
After the podium ceremony at the Turkish Grand Prix, in which Mehmet Ali Talat presented the winner's trophy to Ferrari's Felipe Massa, the FIA has summoned race officials to appear before the World Motor Sport Council meeting later this month to decide if they breached the sporting regulations.
Talat was captioned on television as "President of the Northern Turkish Republic of Cyprus" but the Greek-Cypriot south is the internationally recognised government and only Turkey recognises the north. The FIA launched an investigation in regard to the political neutrality of the sport's governing body being compromised.
"The National Sporting Authority of Turkey (TOSFED) and the Organisers of the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix (MSO) have been called to appear before a specially convened meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on September 19, 2006, to hear charges that they have acted in breach of the FIA Statutes, the International Sporting Code and the 2006 Formula One Sporting Regulations," said an FIA statement.
Reportedly TOSFED has claimed that it did not break any rules as Talat was acceptable to FIA criteria. The sporting regulations state that the winner's trophy should be presented by the head of state or prime minister of the host country, or the President of the FIA. If none of those are available "a comparable person within the host country, or a dignitary of international status should be invited".
TOFSTED claims that Talat fits the description of a dignitary of international status. The FIA takes a dim view of podium protocol being disregarded and next year's Turkish GP could be in jeopardy if the governing body disagrees.