BUENOS AIRES (Agencia Prensa Armenia)–On Tuesday December 15 the president of the Racing Argentinean soccer club, Victor Blanco, confirmed that the club has rejected a sponsorship bid by Turkish Airlines.
The move was hailed by the Armenian community of Argentina. In a statement entitled “Turkish Airlines tried to sponsor Racing to wash the image of the authoritarian government of Turkey,” the Armenian Youth Federation of South America welcomed the decision.
“For several years, Turkish Airlines became the main weapon of Turkish diplomacy around the world sponsoring important sports figures like Kobe Bryant or Lionel Messi. They exhibited their brand with recognized and admired figures to hide the reality of conditions under which the Turkish people live today,” said the Armenian Youth Federation.
“The persecution of the Kurdish people and the People’s Democratic Party, which last November reached a new limit with the murder of human rights lawyer Tahir Elç;, the harassment of opposition media that intensifies whenever there are elections in the country; the repression of peaceful demonstrations of the civil society; the imprisonment of opponents or simply those who ‘insult’ President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the harassment to those who challenge the [the Turkish government’s] official version of the Armenian Genocide; the censorship and blocking of Twitter and other social networks; and the [Turkish government’s] complicity with the Islamic State to intensify the conflict in Syria, are some of the many reasons that the Turkish diplomacy has to hide their true intentions,” added the Armenian Youth Federation of South America.
“In the sport of football [soccer], the shirt and the colors are sacred,” said Alfonso Tabakian, director of the Armenian National Committee of South America. “They are the identity of supporters of a club. Therefore, no fan of world would like their club to be sponsored by a government that violates human rights.”
Last year, San Lorenzo de Almagro, another Argentinean soccer club, rejected a million-dollar sponsorship offer from Azerbaijan.
Racing and San Lorenzo are two of the largest clubs in the country.