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All Indian athletes in Turkey safe: Sports Minister

| Updated: Jul 17, 2016 00:13 IST

Bengaluru, July 16 (ANI): Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Saturday confirmed that all the Indian athletes participating in the World School Games at Turkey's Trabzon are safe, adding that the event would be held as per schedule as the venue is far away from the capital Istanbul, which is presently reeling under a political crisis. Around 148 Indian students and 38 officials were stranded in Turkey where an attempted coup by sections of military pushed Istanbul to chaos. "All Indian athletes taking part in World School games are safe. Our Ministry is in touch with the athletes and the Ministry of External Affairs. I have also spoken to the Indian ambassador in Turkey and the Ministry is in touch with the parents of the athletes," Goel told ANI here. "As the coup attempts have failed, the World School games will continue as the venue is quite a distant away from Istanbul," he added. A group of students from Tamil Nadu, who are in the north-eastern province of Trabzon for the 2016 World Schools Championship that began on July 11 and will end on July 18, earlier said in a video message that they were safe as there were no problems in Trabzon. Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that 2,839 members of Turkish army have been detained. They range from ordinary soldiers to high-ranking officers, after the country weathered the worst of an attempted coup by an army faction to oust a civilian government, he added. Yildirim said that coup was a black stain on Turkish democracy while addressing the media in Ankara today. According to latest report, Turkish military personnel have landed in Greece and requested political asylum. Greek Police Ministry has said that they have arrested eight men aboard a Turkish military helicopter which landed in the northern city of Alexandroupolis at midday today. The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu following the report has demanded the return of eight military personnel after the failed coup. Meanwhile, British Airways has cancelled all flights to and from Turkey in wake of the matter. (ANI)