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It’s great to see Turkish curling continue its slow and steady—but promising—development.

Three Turkish teams made the three event finals of the Pre-Olympic Qualifying Event hosted on home ice in Erzurum. Two of them earned gold and a trip to the OQE in the Netherlands.

Ümit Uzun-WCF

Ümit Uzun-WCF

Dilşat Yildiz and Uğurcan Karagöz have competed in four World Mixed Doubles Championships with their highest finish at eighth place.

The bright lights of the Euro A group • Céline Stucki-WCF

The bright lights of the Euro A group • Céline Stucki-WCF

Yıldiz’s women’s team was the first to break Turkish curling into world curling consciousness. After competing in four straight European B-Division Championships between 2012 and 2015, the squad finished 8-3 in 2016 and earned a place at the following year’s main European “A” event. 

Their ninth-place finish in 2017 dropped them back into the B-Division but they’ve been a threat to win their way back to “A” ever since.

Ümit Uzun-WCF

Ümit Uzun-WCF

Suffice to say, Yildiz’s team also won one of the two OQE women’s berths in Erzurum. The Turks finished second in their group and had to defeat Hungary (6-5 in an extra-end) and then Slovakia (12-3) to claim the berth.

In men’s play, the Czech Republic stole their way to Holland with a 7-6 victory over Spain. Meanwhile, Turkey’s men’s team made a playoff run, beating Kyrgyzstan 10-3 in a semifinal before falling to Finland 10-9 in an extra-end to just miss the last OQE men’s berth.

Jermu Pöllänen

Jermu Pöllänen

Not bad for a nation that joined the World Curling Federation in 2009. They’ve benefitted from their Erzurum facility hosting regular WCF competitions—four were hosted within three years of its opening in 2010; the 2011 Winter Universiade, the 2012 World Mixed Doubles, 2012 European Mixed and 2012 European C-Division—and the hard work of their national team players.