I don't think I ever imagined in the long years I've been associated with the sport that a major curling competition would be held in eastern Turkey! But it looks as if it will really happen. The city of Erzurum, in Anatolia, will host the 2011 University Winter Games, and our sport will be represented once again at this event, as it was in Harbin. The website is here.
The World Curling Federation has accepted Turkey's application for membership, and the country now has provisional status, set to become the 45th Member Association of the WCF.
In the press release of the WCF Annual Assembly, which was held in Moncton in April (see here), it was noted that Erzurum is in the process of building a dedicated curling facility.
I thought David Murdoch's performance on Sports Weekly on Saturday was first class, and he came across confidently. Perhaps though he might have established, in the telephone interview with a representative in Ankara, was a bit more about this curling facility in Erzurum. Where exactly is it? How large is it? What is it like? What facilities does it have? Cost? What is the current state of the construction? David asked about the ice technicians who would make the ice, and I thought this a bit premature.
Anyway I was sure that there would be something about the facility on the Web. But I couldn't find anything (let me know if you can), but, as always in ploughing the Internet, I learned a few things along the way. There's lots about Erzurum itself here. It is indeed a fascinating part of the world.
How the International Olympic Association describes curling! The link is here. At first look it is quite funny, but it really is a disgrace!
I did stumble across a website with fabulous photos by Robin Lush of steam trains in Turkey in the 70s. The pic above was taken east of Erzurum on March 26, 1976! There are hundreds of photos to look at in the site.