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Tamil Nadu athlete posts Whatsapp video, says all safe in Turkey

India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, 148 Indian children and 38 officials in Trapzon are all safe and the games are on. They will start returning in batches by July 18. Photograph: (Getty)

PTI Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Jul 16, 2016, 04.37 PM (IST)
A girl from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu who has gone to Turkey to participate in the world school games meet there has sent a Whatsapp video stating that all of them are safe and sought government help to ensure that the entire contingent comes back without any harm.

"We are safe here. There is no problem here in Trabzon (northeastern Turkey)," Tamizhselvi, one of more than 10 athletes from Tamil Nadu in the contingent said in a Whatsapp video.

They are part of a larger contingent of 148 Indian athletes participating in the World School Games amid a failed military coup in that country that claimed more than 250 lives as per news wires. Turkish government figures still stood at 161 at the time this report was filed.

She said they came to know of the coup attempt only after a parent who had watched the news on TV called them on phone this morning.

Tamizhselvi said the athletes had no idea if the rest of the games would be held as scheduled and said that as per their itinerary, they were scheduled to start back home from Trabzon on July 18 and reach Istanbul via Ankara.

Since these cities had seen violence over the attempted coup, she urged the Centre should take steps to ensure that the athletes reached home safe.

Her father Venkatesan too appealed to the government to ensure the safety of the children.

India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had tweeted that "there are 148 Indian children and 38 officials in Trapzon #Turkey. They are all safe. The games are on. They will start returning in batches from 18th July."

Earlier in the day, union sports minister Vijay Goel said that all the Indian athletes participating in the World School Games at Trabzon in Turkey are safe. 

(PTI)
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