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Is Turkey about to return to the F1 calendar?


Formula One Group CEO Chase Carey has met with President Erdogan of Turkey, raising the prospects of a return of the Turkish Grand Prix to the F1 calendar.

The meeting held yesterday at Erdogan's presidential palace in Ankara also included Serkan Yazici, the president of Turkey’s automobile club, Istanbul Park circuit operator Vural Ak, and youth and sports minister Akif Cagatay Kilic.

At an Automotive Journalists Association dinner afterwards, Vural Ak told reporters a deal was "agreed in principle" but not yet completed.

"All I can say at this point is that the meetings went really well and we agreed in principle, although the contract hasn't been signed yet," he said.

Under the guidance of Bernie Ecclestone, a big fan of the country on apersonal level, Turkey built a dedicated facility on the outskirts of Istanbul and organised its first Grand Prix in 2005.

Low attendance figures and a financial dispute led to a termination of its contract with F1 in 2011 however.

F1's Chase Carey has pledged to extend the sport's calendar but after dropping Malaysia, and committing to the return of traditional venues France and Germany, the will to revive a race in Turkey seems surprising.

Not only was the race poorly attended when it was pulled from the calendar, the country itself is currently in a state of emergency since a thwarted coup attempt against Erdogan last summer.

Regardless  of how the future unfolds for Istanbul, the meeting at least proves Carey and Liberty Media's  ability to operate at government levels.

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